This book could not exist if it weren’t for the time and dedication of hundreds of firefighters. The stories herein are based on my best recollections and I have attempted to tell them as accurately as possible. There is no doubt that some participants may recall some aspects differently; any errors in that regard are solely mine. Names, with very few exceptions, have been changed and the stories are mainly, but not entirely, chronological.
Every firefighter will notice some incidents in which accepted standards and practices for safety and use of personal protective equipment are violated. They are related in this way simply because that is how it happened and they are not to be taken as an example of proper firefighting technique; as my son, Mike, regularly tells me–“You can’t do it that way anymore, Dad.”
I would also like to thank the Endless Mountains Writers Group (EMWG) and, in particular, Hildy, Marcus, Jeanne, Carl, Rob, Ann, Eleanor, Mary, Mary and all the other group participants.
I am also grateful to George Navarro for his assistance in locating photographs. The placement of the pictures throughout the book is random. A photo does not necessarily depict an incident described in the corresponding text of a chapter.