August 1, 2011
Book Review: Fire Men
Fire Men is told from the view-point of Gary Ryman, and is about three generations of a firefighting family. The book starts off with Ryman detailing his fathers entry into the volunteer fire service, and the various incidents that shaped his interest into following in his fathers footsteps.
A large portion of the book details Gary’s journey in the fire service as he goes to his first fire, becomes a company officer, is a live in firefighter while attending college, and eventually making it to the chief officer ranks.
Finally the book details the beginning of Gary’s son Mike as he beings to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, and father as a third generation fireman.
My self being a second generation fireman I have definitely felt a lot of the emotions that the author has experienced. My dad has been a fireman for around 30 years in various capacities (industrial, volunteer, and career) and me and my brother have been in the same position as the author on several instances coming up under someone with a lot of knowledge and background, learning from him, getting scolded for doing something dumb, and finally succeeding and getting to a level where he viewed us as equals and not just his sons. So on that level I really enjoyed the book as I could relate to it. I can also relate to being a young fire officer in a volunteer organization, then having kids and having to cut back (or stop all together in my case).
One thing that was both positive and negative was how the book was layed out. The book is a lot like a firehouse BS session, while good it is sometimes hard to follow. The author will tell a detailed account of an incident, and state that was not the only call that would be horrible that day (or some other teaser) then never talk about it or mention it again. I found this a little frustrating as it could have led to more detail of the story. I also wish there would have been a little more on his “live in” experience while attending college. I feel like that alone is another whole book and I hope him or some other author out there visits this topic, I would surely like to read it, and if I could go back and do it over again it I would have chosen that path to pursue my college education.
Overall this is a good read, and shows how the fire service has progressed over three generations. I definitely recommend picking it up and giving it a chance.
You can pick up the book here: http://www.fire-men-book.com
You can also become a fan of the book on face book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Men-Stories-from-Three-Generations-of-a-Firefighting-Family/183551625026176?sk=wall
A special thanks to Tribute Books http://www.tribute-books.com for giving me a copy of the book to review.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!