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Fortune Tellers

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Fortune Tellers:

In my last blog titled “Dig In.” I talked about the importance of story telling in the fire service and how it serves as a means of sharing experiences, traditions and values from generation to generation. In this article I try to tell a story, and in that story, I hope you can find a lesson to share for generations to come.

Almost every firefighter I meet speaks of how they always knew, from the time they

Albion FD Says: You Have to Want It!

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you-have-to-want-it-jd-patch-87x212“You Have to Want It!” is the message that Albion Volunteer Firefighters and EMTs are sending to their community in a new effort to challenge more citizens to become part of their local volunteer emergency response team.

Thanks to a four-year $134,500 grant from the US Department of Homeland Security specifically for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters, the all-volunteer fire department will have the funding to develop recruitment efforts and marketing materials with the help of Tiger Schmittendorf, who also helped them write and secure the grant.

“The reality is that firefighting isn’t for everyone, but volunteering can be. We offer flexible memberships for non-emergency personnel to join our Support Team,” says Rocky Sidari, the fire department’s deputy chief.


From X-Box to the Box Alarm

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img_5855-cropAs I travel around the country talking with other firefighters, a commonly recurring theme of our chat is the future of the volunteer fire service.

The conversation always comes around to the topic of today’s firefighters and the next generation of firefighters. Some “more experienced” firefighters (notice I didn’t use the term older) share that they don’t understand the “kids” coming into the fire service today.

The veterans don’t think today’s recruits share the same values as those who are currently leading us. And they certainly don’t have the same appreciation for the traditions and discipline of the fire service. Community service is not in their blood as it is in ours. Or at least that’s their complaint.

The first question I

There’s at least Four Cs in NBFC

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img_6153Earlier today I had the pleasure of joining lots of other folks who  participating in the dedication of a new fire station for the North Boston Volunteer Fire Company in the Town of Boston, NY.

As I was sitting here remembering the ground breaking ceremony they held last fall, I was reminded of how proud I am to be associated with their fire company.

Many times when we discuss incident management, training and collaboration in emergency services — we refer to the Three Cs of: Coordination, Communications and Cooperation. For a small rural fire department, the North Boston Volunteer Fire Company (the NBFC) is far ahead of the curve when it comes to the Three Cs.

Those three Cs have become the hallmark

Clean the Litterbox

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This blog is a companion piece to my article titled “Make it Personal” featured in the June edition of Fire-Rescue Magazine. I was reading a not so tongue-in-cheek blog written by my good friend Art Goodrich titled: Ordering From the Risk Menu and it reminded me of a Saturday I spent recently, full of fire […]

Schmittendorf Secures $500k for Erie County Chiefs to Conduct R&R

Erie County Fire Chiefs Awarded $500k Recruitment Grant – Offer Opportunities for You to Get Involved The Erie County Fire Chiefs Mutual Aid Organization, in collaboration with the Erie County Division of Fire Safety, are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $498,800 SAFER-Staffing for Adequate Emergency Response grant by the US Department […]


From The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY)



Contacts:  Liz Burke (212) 981-5263; (917) 573-1440 / Andrea Vividor (212) 981-5193





(NEW YORK – May 27)  This year’s Firemen’s Association of the State of New York

What the World Needs

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Chief Dan Daly responded to Ground
Zero on September 11, 2001. He now spends his time sharing the true legacy of 9/11 – a story of courage, compassion and the power of the indomitable human spirit. His life’s work now centers on helping US Military Service Men & Women who have returned home with traumatic brain injuries. His mission is to inspire citizens of all ages to embrace and embody the values that make us a great nation, and most of all – to never forget those who have sacrificed so much.

Lots of leadership in Kingsbury NY

Thank you Kingsbury and friends. I’m on my way home as I’m typing this on my Crackberry LOL but don’t worry, I pulled over to get some grub. I was honored to meet so many great people from Washington County NY this weekend. You are all truly fire service leaders and have much to be […]

Join the Conversation

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ToolkitJoining on the heels of the recent well-attended presentation for Suffolk County, fire departments in three more New York State Counties have recently signed up for Tiger Schmittendorf’s “Leadership in the Firehouse” seminar series.

Tiger’s flagship presentation is a comprehensive review of the Recruitment and Retention Rescue vs. Recovery discussion. The highly interactive presentation engages the participants in a conversation to discover the root causes of the challenges we face, why we face them and what we can do about them; together.

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