Category Archives:

That’s Why.

Entry Img

Friendship NY Firefighter Tom Torpey is flanked by his mom Sissy and wife Jessica at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo NY

Friendship NY Firefighter Tom Torpey is flanked by his mom Sissy and wife Jessica at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo NY

I recently responded to a post on FirefighterNation.com from my friend Adam Box, who shared the dilemma he was experiencing with his significant other:
Tomorrow, I will be attending the funeral of Elizabeth Fire Department Acting Captain Gary Stephens. This will be my second (unfortunately I doubt it will be my last) time attending a LODD funeral.

I was in a bit of a

Schmittendorf Signs On for Fire Service Leader Round-Table

Entry Img

The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) has secured volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention specialist Tiger Schmittendorf as part of a round-table presentation at their 2009 Convention in Niagara Falls, NY.

Schmittendorf will join Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder, host of FirefighterCloseCalls.com; J. Gordon Routley, who oversaw the inquiry into the Charleston Sofa Store firefighter fatalities; and Phoenix Fire Department Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini, who is largely credited with promoting customer service in the fire service as we know it today.

The four-man team will culminate what promises to be a day of lively, informative and even entertaining presentations at the FASNY convention on August 20, 2009. The panel will field questions from the audience and will discuss everything

Conveying Tragedy

Buffalo News Photo-Tonawanda Fatal Fire

Buffalo News Photo-Tonawanda Fatal Fire

I consider myself a student of effective public and media relations. One of the most difficult messages a fire chief or public information officer must convey is that of a tragedy where, despite our best efforts, the results are fatal.

I often coach fire officers and public officials at incident scenes as how to best deliver difficult news. While I encourage them to focus on the role of the rescuers – not the victims, showing respect and concern for all those affected by the tragedy is very important as we speak publicly. This difficult and uncomfortable situation is one that any of us could be faced with at any time.

Some things bear repeating

I’m not one to regurgitate information. I don’t do a lot of pass through e-mails. And I certainly don’t perpetuate “Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Some inane subject matter” e-mails like so many copy-and-paste-challenged people do.

But some things bear repeating. Some things strike you so profoundly, so succintly, that you simply feel obligated to pass it along, even if so many others have done so already.

This is one of those occasions. I’m re-publishing (with permission) this excerpt of an e-mail from my good friend and mentor Billy Goldfeder. It’s from his not-so-secret Secret List at FirefighterCloseCalls.com. If you don’t subscribe to it, you’re either out of touch or you don’t care about our brother firefighters getting hurt and dead.

Do the Right Thing

Entry Img

I’m sure we’ve all heard, and maybe even experienced, how the world is “getting smaller every day.” There’s probably no other place that this phrase is truer than in the fire service.

The more we dare to explore outside of our engine room doors, the more we find that there’s a brave new world out there full of firefighters who, despite their differences, are very similar to every one of us. A friend once told me that, in the end, it’s only the name of the fire department that changes.

While our shapes and sizes, apparatus color and even, dare I say, terminology may be different – we’re all still very much alike. Our challenges and concerns are comparable. Our dedication to serve our communities runs parallel lines despite the distance between us.

Page 3 of 3123