Sometimes the pride of our work leads us to opportunities that build more pride.

I had the honor of helping 125 guard members in Oregon go through wildland refresher training this week. A true honor.

It was rather warm in Salem. A Sunbaked day that was beating down on us like any August day. I was surrounded by guard members, who two years before had been trained on how to fight wildfires. Their excitement and boredom were both palpable. There was no mistaking that they were eager to help, but were saddened to be away from family.

Our job was simple, give them the knowledge to be safe and provide them the tools to go home. We knew their job would likely be of mop up and gridding and taking care of the mundane. But we always know that in a moments notice they could be in harms way. It was difficult to explain what harm could be, knowing that most had served somewhere where bullets or IED’s were there threat. But we also knew that in the wrong place at the wrong time, Fire is very unforgiving.

Their smiles were infectious. But there enthusiasm was even more amazing. Without question or negativity they are willing to enter harms way at a moments notice. And they do so with every step of the way leading to a thank you. “Thank you for being here”, or “thank you for helping us”….

I say no that’s not acceptable. They deserve the true thanks. Citizen soldiers. Who on their weekend, or day off, or son or daughter or wife’s birthday, are willing to drop it all and help us.

So the true thanks goes to them.

Thank you.

Thank you for what you do every day for us. I am Humbled, for we are nothing, and they are everything.


#wildlandfirefighting #humble


Embrace It


It is so precious. Yet so abused. Every day is a gift. Yet Every day is taken for granted. In a moments notice, or even less, life can be taken away. Please, please, respect this gift and love life. Love your family. Love your craft. Honor those you work with. Honor those who have pave your way. And most of all, honor those who have gone before you. For they have paid it forward, likely against their wishes. 
Rest in Peace Seargent Goodding of Seaside Oregon Police Department. You will live on in all of us.

Today we laid to rest a hero. This hero did not wear turnouts. But none the less, he was an amazing public servant. Gone, but never forgotten.

UL/NIST blindness

This blog will be short… Very short.

Two main points here. If you are one of the folks out there who believes that the latest fire behavior/flow path info from NIST/UL is bad for the fire service then I challenge you to prove otherwise. It is potentially life saving so tune in instead of ignoring reality.

Second point… NIST/UL need to study fire behavior and flow path from the next room or the hallway. And include the impact of steam! The reality is offensive attacks need a place. So lets put together data on how the environment looks from a few rooms away or the hallway so we can begin to develop the clues or signals for firefighters that will save them and lives.

My  cents. Move along if you don’t like them. I hope to discuss this with Aaron Fields one of these days…Burned turnouts = empty turnouts. Stay safe.

Fire Service Leadership: What’s your motivation

A great read with great perspective.


Leadership: What’s your motivation?

It is apparent that leadership is a hot topic in the fire service today. One quick search on the internet reveals that leadership is something that is written about, lectured on, and taught on many different levels across our nation. Why do you think that leadership is such a “hot topic”? Leadership has been wrapped up in a neatly packaged wrapper and marketed in a very poor manner. The motivations behind leadership today are superficial in most places. How do we seek a deeper understanding of how we can lead others? In this series we will address a definition of leadership that will set your apart.

“What a waste to try to change their behavior without truly understanding the driving needs that cause such a behavior! Yet millions of people spend a lifetime searching for love, acceptance, and success without understanding the need that compels them.”…

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Remember where you came from…

Who are you? How did you get to this point in your career? Who helped you get here?

Each question has an answer… We do not get into the fire service without the help of others. I am very thankful for the people who have helped me along the way. I would not have my job if it wasn’t for the people who came before me. The people who mentored me in the tiny department I started in. And most of the time it isn’t the formal class that people learn the most from. It’s the guy who has done it before, or has been around long enough to have a bit of experience that helps them think through the obstacle or problem. It’s those experiences that make us better, safer, more practical. Sometimes the only tool need to train is a full cup of coffee.

It’s the people who give up free time to instruct fire training in the fire department or at the community college. The tutors, lab instructors, or the husband or wife who already doesn’t have enough time in the day but cares enough about their chosen craft that they will help the next person coming up.

The people in this business who get this are the people who respect our history. The people who know the risks and costs and care enough to do their part to try to prevent the unthinkable. The people who selflessly help others succeed.

All to often as of late I have encountered people who are doing this job for a pay check. They work for their days off and spend as little time as possible giving back to their craft. Do not mistake me, I am all for time off, but I am all for making sure the person in those turnouts next to me is prepared. I don’t care if your making a check or giving your time to your community. I care that you go home when your done. I care that you succeed because when we serve our community in their time of need, they don’t know who is making a living or who is living to help others. Can you look into the heart of a volunteer and question them? Are you that out of touch?

I am for making sure the person who fills my empty turnouts receives the same help I did. It is not for me to decide who gets help and who doesn’t. Everyone gets help…Who am I to judge as I am not perfect. No matter if you choose to lead or to follow, choose to help others succeed just as the people before us did. We already have to many, empty turnouts.