August 15, 2011
by Carrie Beasley
As the wife of a volunteer firefighter, I've heard more than my fair share of stories and gained first hand knowledge of the ruined plans and sleepless nights that are a big part of being a volunteer. But while reading Fire Men: Stories From Three Generations of a Firefighting Family, written by Gary R. Ryman, I gained more insight into the life of a firefighter.
Gary R. Ryam is, in his own words, the creme filling in the middle of an oreo cookie of firefighters. His father started the family tradition and his son followed in his footsteps to make the third generation of firefighters. Mr. Ryman has a way with words, pulling you so far in to the scene of a structure fire that you can almost feel the heat of the flames on your face. The book starts with action on the first page, not leading up in to it like so many authors do. This grabs your attention from the start, and it will keep your attention until you get to the very last page.
While Mr. Ryman does omit any overly gory details, you get the gist of every situation that he writes about as you follow him through life, starting with childhood memories of dreaming of following in his fathers footsteps. The book chronicles calls from his fathers day all the way up to his sons time and it is fascinating to note how procedures and equipment changed over the years.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, but if you have a firefighter in your life, it is a must read. Follow Mr. Ryman on Facebook or on his website.