A Different Kind of “Challenge”

Consider challenging yourself this fall and getting back into the classroom. Photo courtesy flickr user ijames.

Consider challenging yourself this fall and getting back into the classroom. Photo courtesy flickr user ijames.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has been taking the social media world by storm, with users flocking to dump water on their heads in support of the ALS Foundation.

And the campaign has been extremely successful, with at least $30 million Continue reading

Hoping for the “Good Call”

The definition of a "good call" changes drastically as you progress through the service. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The definition of a “good call” changes drastically as you progress through the service. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Recently, I’ve encountered a lot of my newer colleagues in the fire and emergency medical services who are very eager to get into the action. We’ve all encountered these people—the fresh out of school probie who’s dying to get his first job, or the EMT constantly hoping for the big trauma or cardiac arrest.

It’s a natural instinct, to want to put your new skills to the test. Everyone Continue reading

Deadly Philly Blaze, Ensuing Riots Highlight Misconceptions of Fire Service

The aftermath of a deadly fire in Philadelphia on July 5, 2014 that killed 4 young children. Photo courtesy ABC7.

The aftermath of a deadly fire in Philadelphia on July 5, 2014 that killed 4 young children. Photo courtesy ABC7.

Last week, a fiery blaze that ripped through ten buildings in Philadelphia claimed the lives of four young children. It also claimed national headlines after the parents of the children killed criticized the fire department and crowds of supporters gathered outside a firehouse to protest the department. Continue reading

A Firefighter’s Mom

Photo courtesy EMSShirts.com.

Photo courtesy EMSShirts.com.

Today, just as our society has every second Sunday of May since 1908, we celebrate our mothers. And as I sit thinking about the holiday, and all of the things that makes mothers like mine great, I couldn’t help but think of the role a mother plays in the fire service. Continue reading

Walking the Social Media Tightrope

In the age of up-to-the-second news, thanks to an ever changing and improving technology field, social media has become a part of everyday life – for better or for worse. And the fire service has been by no means exempt from the social media spectrum.

But make no mistake—social media can present Continue reading

The Firefighters of Chernobyl

A firehouse close to the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant with a memorial for those killed in the disaster. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

A firehouse close to the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant with a memorial for those killed in the disaster. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear power is abundant across the world today, thanks in part to the US and former Soviet Union’s research and competitiveness during the Cold War.

But one April night in 1986 proved that this nuclear power had deadly consequences, and has left many Soviet firefighters in the same situation those who responded to Ground Zero face today. Continue reading

The forgotten tragedy.. And why it matters to you

A funeral service for those killed in the West, Texas disaster was held at Baylor university and was attended by President Barack Obama. (Photo via WhiteHouse.gov).

A funeral service for those killed in the West, Texas disaster was held at Baylor University and was attended by President Barack Obama. (Photo via WhiteHouse.gov).

Last April, the nation’s emergency services were thrust into the media spotlight through a series of events. From the heroic scenes of emergency personnel running towards the exploding bombs in Boston to the heartbreaking scenes of destruction in West Texas, these events reminded us that tragedy can strike at Continue reading