Remembering 12-24-12 — West Webster (NY)

A memorial that was dedicated earlier this year for those killed in the West Webster shootings on Dec. 24, 2012. Photo by The Democrat & Chronicle.

A memorial that was dedicated earlier this year for those killed in the West Webster shootings on Dec. 24, 2012. Photo by The Democrat & Chronicle.

*This article appeared in the December 25 edition of the Cape May County Herald.*

In the early-morning hours of Christmas Eve one year ago, four firefighters in West Webster, NY responded to a reported vehicle fire near the shores of Lake Ontario in extreme upstate New York, just outside the City of Rochester. The West Webster Volunteer Fire Department responded to 191 Lake Road with an engine of two firefighters, as well as two additional firefighters who responded in their personal vehicles. Continue reading

Tragedy 55 Years Ago Shaped Schools Today

A Monument to those lost in the Our Lady of the Angels School Firein Chicago, IL. Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.

A Monument to those lost in the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, IL. Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.

*This article appeared in the December 18 edition of the Cape May County Herald.*

Earlier this month marked the 55th anniversary of one of the most tragic fires in American history. In December of 1958 the Our Lady of the Angels school fire in Chicago, Illinois claimed the lives of nearly 100 students and teachers and changed the fire service forever. Continue reading

The Cost of a Firefighter

*This article appeared in the November 20 edition of the Cape May County Herald.*

I often hear residents throughout the surrounding areas wondering why it takes so much money to run a fire department. Government agencies are always looking for ways to cut budgets, and often times public safety is one of the first to get the budget axe, as was the case last week when Pleasantville firefighters were issued layoff notices. Continue reading

Driving Precautions to Prevent Apparatus Accidents

Crashes involving emergency, like this one in Huntington, WV, are becoming a common sight in the United States. (Photo by flickr user dfirecop)

Crashes involving emergency, like this one in Huntington, WV, are becoming a common sight in the United States. (Photo by flickr user dfirecop)

*This article appeared in the October 30 edition of the Cape May County Herald.*

For those who frequently read or watch the news, it should come as no surprise that one of the most common instances of emergency services in the news include responding to incidents. However, more often than needed, the news is the emergency they’ve caused themselves during their response through an apparatus crash. Continue reading

New Study Shows Firefighter Cancer Rates Higher than U.S. Average

A new study has shown that firefighters, such as those pictured here at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, are more likely to contract cancer than the average American. (Photo by flickr user USACE HQ)

A new study has shown that firefighters, such as those pictured here at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, are more likely to contract cancer than the average American. (Photo by flickr user USACE HQ)

*This article appeared in the October 23 edition of the Cape May County Herald.*

A new study released last week by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has confirmed the long-believed notion that the likelihood of firefighters contracting cancer are a significantly higher rate than the general population. Continue reading

Google Glass: A Firefighting Tool?

Google Glass is expected to hit the markets in mid-2014, and could have a major impact on the fire service. (Photo by flickr user Loic Le Meur)

Google Glass is expected to hit the markets in mid-2014, and could have a major impact on the fire service. (Photo by flickr user Loic Le Meur)

When Google announced their “Google Glass” product earlier this year, a long awaited technology idea had finally begun to come to fruition. Glass is essentially a pair of glasses, on a relatively normal frame, with a high-definition screen projected in the lenses, comparable to a 25-inch television screen viewed from 8 feet away. Continue reading

Is It Worth It?

(This column appeared in the October 9th edition of the Cape May County Herald)

One of the most common questions I get when people find out that I’m a volunteer firefighter is “Why do you do it?” Many people struggle to understand why on earth someone would want to volunteer their own time, in an often dangerous field, and do for free what thousands of firefighters across the country are employed to do each day. Continue reading