He said. She said.

Whadayacrazy? Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what other folks have to say about my work:


“Based just on what you shared with us this morning, we have already implemented important changes in our fire department. We have traditionally only sent chiefs to FDIC and we already committed to sending at least five ‘probies’ next year as a means of sharing our experiences and training with them as early on in the process as possible. You made a huge impact on our department and the way we’ll address our challenges in the future. Thank you.” –Chief-Fire Department in Kentucky



“Tiger Schmittendorf’s Xbox Live conversation is a MUST for every firehouse in the country looking to bridge the gaps in communications and understanding between generations. This Xbox conversation is contagious!”

–Candice McDonald – State Advocate-Ohio Fire Corps | Reputation Management with CandiceMcDonald.com



“Rarely do you see a presenter who exceeds the expectation they create for the audience. Right from the start, you challenged us to discover for ourselves that the solutions to many of the challenges we face in the fire service are not only within our reach, but right here among the participants in the room. I’m convinced that you could have stepped out of the room at any time, come back ten minutes later, and the conversation would have still been going on.” –Xbox LiveTM Participant – FDIC



“The more you talked – the more p***ed off I got. Not only are you so right about your generation – you’re so right about my generation – and it made me mad! I’m what you call an “exception to the rule” about my generation and there are more of us out there. Your generation just needs to be willing to listen and share their experiences with us. Thank you for being an advocate for our generation!”
–19-Year old Xbox Generation Firefighter–Claymont DE



“You are one of the most enjoyable presenters that I’ve ever had the opportunity to listen to. I highly recommend to anyone who has the chance to be a part of your Xbox Live™ conversation should do so.”

–Asst. Chief Bill Bennett – Glenmoor Volunteer Fire Dept. – St. Clair Twp. (OH)



“I and two other gentlemen from my department sat in on your class at FDIC and were simply amazed and enlightened. Your class was able to motivate us to come back to town and begin running full throttle at recruitment and retention. I have been using your sites over and over again as references. We are working on establishing a Fire Explorer program to supplement our current Junior Firefighter program. We are also looking into the Fire Corps program, something many people in our department had never heard of before, including me, until your class.

I’m emailing today, because we have a National Guard Armory in town, along with Army, Navy, and Marine recruiting offices. I remember you discussing working with your local National Guard on a joint recruitment campaign, and I was hoping you would be able to provide some more information to me regarding this.

Again, thank you for the eye opening, motivational and all around excellent class at FDIC, along with your websites, which have been such excellent sources of information for my Recruitment Workgroup.”

-Asst. Chief Bret Gares – Burlington Twp. (NJ) Fire Dept.–Sta. 302



“I thought your conversational style of presentation was great! I like the fact that you got an actual discussion running within the audience. It makes for an interesting class and it gave us so many things to think about. We learned so much. I would love to listen to you speak again. Thank you.”

–Rachelle Wells – Winona (OH) Volunteer Fire Dept.



I feel so blessed to have met you and to have taken part in such an amazing class. Taking your Xbox Live class has definitely changed the way I do things and the way that I look at my brothers around me, whether seasoned firefighters or new recruits. I love reading your writings and thank you for sharing your article on the four layers of brotherhood. I appreciate the knowledge you have given me to carry along for not just the rest of my career, but also life.

-Meghan Soper Anderson – McKenzie Fire & Rescue-Leaburg OR



Tiger Schmittendorf was the keynote speaker at the 55th Annual Convention of the New York State Association of Fire Police in Syracuse, on May 2, 2009.

Schmittendorf’s topic, “Incident Management in the Fast Lane” discussed how traffic control is one of the most dangerous jobs at the fire scene. If one thing was accomplished that day, it was that Tiger Schmittendorfput out a WAKE UP callto the convention attendees.

It was a shame that more Fire Chiefs were not in attendance to be reminded of the importance of their Fire Police units, and the fact that they can’t continue to operate on minimal dollars in their annual budgets year after year.

It was a great address by this well spoken, enthusiastic and informative fire service leader.

Also, congrats to our own Onondaga County Volunteer Fire Police Association Committee for hosting the convention for the secondconsecutive year! Good job General Chairmen Jeff Martin and Bob Beamish!

– Past Chief Gordy Kotars – Taunton Fire Dept., Syracuse NY


Last year I decided to sign up for our county’s honor guard. In our area, when a firefighter dies for whatever reason the family may request the honor guard to attend the calling hours.

The duty requires Class A uniforms, and consists of standing guard on either side of the casket; opening the doors of the funeral home for guests; standing on either side of the entrance hallway, inside or out; and so on.

It impresses the guests and the family is always extremely grateful.

I sometimes wondered why I chose to do this. Recently I found the answer: http://tigerschmittendorf.com/2009/01/thats-why/

Asst. Chief Joe Stoltz – Bristol Volunteer Fire Department NY


Tiger –
Great article in the FASNY magazine this month. You and I (and hopefully more) share the same beliefs! I think that you have hit “it” out of the park. I would like to post your resolution on our wall in our fire department and was wondering if you would mind. Also, if you could send the resolution electronically it would be great!

I always enjoy reading your articles and look forward to each month’s issue just to read it!

Thank you.

Chief Kevin Murray – West Valley Volunteer Hose Co.


Hi Tiger:

Just wanted to pass along a great big ‘THANK YOU’ for all your efforts in helping the folks at Doyle 1 Fire Company (Cheektowaga NY) develop an outstanding Recruitment Campaign. Not only have you helped us develop some great, inspiring artwork and recruiting materials but you have done an excellent job of educating us in how to get up on our feet and develop some very productive efforts all the while making it a lot of fun!

I would highly recommend anyone looking to create an exciting and effective Recruitment campaign to contact Tiger. He will definately help you to get things going and help you to find the funds to do it.

-Mike Mazurowski – Doyle 1 Recruitment & Retention Team


Hey –
It’s been a while since we connected but I may be hitting you up for some help. I am starting a cadet program in our district and may need some advice. You are my fountain of knowledge. You have a lot of great information. Thanks.

-Barbara Nelson – Stayton OR Volunteer Fire District


Hi Tiger:
Great presentation in Albany. Thanks.
-George Davenport/Onondaga County Recruitment and Retention



Great job. These are the memories that will occupy your mind in those moments when you ask yourself “Why do I need this?” And what you discover is that you don’t need it as much as “it” needs you and more like you.

This one moment in time would put the exclamation point on many careers. With yours, it is another in a long list of moving tributes to the human spirit and the bonds that define the brotherhood.

Never for a minute minimize what you do for our fire service. Leaders lead. Leaders set the example for others to follow. They inspire and they provide the motivation and support needed to complete new challenges.

-Art Goodrich – Chief Reason – Woodhull IL


Tiger –

Super job on the presentation at the FASNY Conference. I really liked how you involved the attendees as well as the presentation itself. Top Notch!

Chief Jim Brunelle Jr. – Kingsbury NY Fire Department


Hello –

I am from the Lawrence Road Fire Company in Lawrence Township New Jersey. I am reaching out to you as a fellow firefighter because I have read your blogs about recruitment and have thought they were very informative. I am coming to you with our problem of membershipto get any ideas that you think would make our efforts better. Any tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time.

Yours Truly in the Fire Service,

-Keith Kent – Lawrence Road Fire Company – Lawrence Township New Jersey


Thanks Tiger –
You did an excellent job at our graduation ceremony. It’s very appreciated.
-Dave Stachelski – Bowmansville Volunteer Fire Association


Good morning Tiger,

My husband is a volunteer fire fighter in Chemung County NY. I am currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in management. Part of my degree requirements is a final project with an organization. I am working with my local volunteer fire departments and retention and recruitment strategies.

I have found your monthly articles in The Volunteer Firefighter extremely useful and informative. I am writing to you to ask for assistance, I have put together a survey for volunteers to complete. Would you be willing to look it over? Any help from you would be most appreciated.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!!

-Christina Morrison


Thank you for making our 2008 Legislative weekend conference one of our most successful events to date. The feedback on the value of your talk was uniformly outstanding. More importantly however, is that I can confirm that you have inspired attendees to make a commitment and take action to achieve their recruitment and retention goals.

Our conference attendees were unanimous in their genuine praise of your delivery style and insights into the issues faced by the volunteer fire service as it pertains to finding recruits and keeping them. Your “conversation” was inspirational and motivational, but in a practical way with a very hands- on and pragmatic approach.

Not only do you have vital information to share with the fire service, but you bring passion to the stage and more importantly, you balance the strength of your message with authenticity and a warm generosity that was greatly appreciated by the attendees.

Thanks for making me look good!

– Mary Ellen Shea/Training and Education Planner: The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York