My kids will verify that we rarely swear in front of them. Foul language is unacceptable in our house. My involuntary response to the pager message was: “Holy S***!” Alex immediately sensed something and asked me “What’s wrong Dad?”
I said, “I can’t believe I’m saying this but… I’m going to a plane crash.” I grabbed my laptop backpack and my go-bag for extended deployments and headed out the door.
“You have a mass in your throat,” he said after examining me, “It looks malignant. And aggressive.” He looked me right in the eye as he spoke, making sure I understood the gravity of his comments. My wife Mary Ann and I sat in stunned silence as he informed us of what needed to be done to complete his diagnosis. As he talked on, my mind took me back to all of those times when I entered burning buildings without breathing protection, and all of the times I worked for hours, unprotected, doing salvage and overhaul in the smoldering remains of fires over the past three decades. Like my peers, I had felt bullet-proof in those days. I had always thought that cancer was something that happened to other people. Not me. Now, for the first time, I was actually afraid for my life.
I was a Run-to-the-Curb type kid. What’s your story? I’ve created a page at RuntotheCurb.com that will feature future firefighters — what I call “Run to the Curb” Kids. This week’s RttC Kids include 2-1/2 year old Collin Manning, son of Williamsville Firefighter Chris Manning as well as a photo of my daughter Kathleen and her friend taken […]
The FFN WebTeam posted a news article about some Pennsylvania fire departments going into the high schools to recruit future firefighters.
A day later, one participant on the FirefighterNation.com noted that there has been an inordinate number of blogs and discussions related to Junior Firefighters and Fire Explorers.
Both discussions have pretty much turned into Junior/Explorer bashing.
I stumbled across this post from FireCritic (Fire-EMS Blog Network) and was dumbstruck. I haven’t thought of John Jordan in a long, long time. In May of 1994, as Managing Editor of The Fire Fighter Newspaper and as a guest of VFIS, I and three other local firefighters (Dave Sherman, Jim Guy and Ric Dimpfl) traveled […]
I’m not big on forwarding for the sake of forwarding; or just regurgitating information in an effort to build traffic to a web site. However, my good friend Billy Goldfeder sent out a broadcast yesterday that deserves sharing. His efforts were followed up by a newsletter distribution from the USFA Coffee Break that highlighted similar events. […]
I’m blessed to be the keeper of a three-ring binder that details my father’s entire military service history from his enlistment in World War II through his survival from the Korean War. Military campaigns, the boats he traveled overseas on, the camps he received his training at, the medals he received, and more — it’s all detailed in this book created by my first cousin Jim Schmittendorf, my father’s godson and a retired Lt. Colonel in the US Army.
This was the second installment of “Sound Magazine” that focused on volunteer recruitment and more are planned for the future.
It offered me the opportunity to talk about being a kid who “ran to the curb” whenever I heard a fire siren and all of the great things that come with being a volunteer firefighter.