Sunday, May 29, 2016


Where is it? Where can we find our presence that we are proud of? 
Where is our presence that we enjoy, both for its entertainment & educational values?
Oh, you mean that one show on that one network? IS that one that you would sit and watch with your kids?

CAVEAT: What I am about to say has no negative meaning or tone to our comrades who are LEO's. Please understand that.

Now, use your "TV Guide Magazine," use the guide on your satellite or cable menu, and count how many "police shows" are on American TV. Whether it's the police in a city, sheriffs in a county, state police in cold climates, wardens in woods and lakes of our beautiful country; they all deal with one form or another of law enforcement. Oh, there are more to come. Coming this week on Animal Planet will be, "Lone Star Law."

There are nearly 1.1 million firefighters in this country; active. And what about those of us who are retired or disabled? Add in spouse, children, extended family, close friends, all of whom who know that you are, or were a firefighter. You risk your life every single day that you are/were on shift or on call. You never were a "no-show" when contract negotiations broke down; no one has ever heard the term, "Red-Flu," when firefighters wouldn't show up for duty because those negotiations collapsed. You were always there. Moreover, even when you're off-duty, you will always respond to an emergency or any place where your skill, knowledge and yes, perhaps, bravery, are needed.

So, how many TV shows demonstrate those facts to the viewing public.

Yes, I'm venting! For over at least one decade, there were no shows about the fire service. OK, several years ago, the Chicago show appeared. However, I can count on one hand the number of fire, rescue and EMS people, who like it and feels it reflects positively on what we do.

Listen, when the Devil wants to "dance," he doesn't care whether you're a career firefighter, a volunteer or you work on-call. He doesn't care if your a male or a female. He doesn't care if you live alone or have a wonderful family. We step up and dance. Most of the time, we beat him. Sometimes,we lose.

With all that, how do you think the average firefighter is viewed by the public? Think of this:
1. We had a big house fire; we rescued the family, saved most of the house. ->Heroes
2. We had a huge brush fire; hundreds of us responded and pounded and cut aware through thick forest and brush, working 18 hours a day. ->Heroes
3. We responded to a call of a soft mewing sound from a drainage pipe. We responded and spent 3 hours to rescue a little kitten who had wandered away. ->Heroes
 4. At our bi-annual meeting with the city's Human Resources to discuss our next contract, we ask for a 1.2% pay increase and an additional 2% increase in the retirement account. ->LOSERS & TROUBLEMAKERS
5. At a meeting with the villages Fire Commission, we explain that our 1989 engine has become a money pit. It's old, breaks down often, and has a bad pump. It's time we replace it with a new and technologically advanced unit, to help us perform our most important job - saving lives! ->LOSERS AND TROUBLEMAKERS
6. The newspaper writes an editorial stating that we have one of the "cushiest" and easiest jobs in the country. We're paid to sit on our asses and wait for the bells to ring. We're paid to sleep on an overnight sleep, and most of the time, we knock off a full eight hours, because there are no calls. We always have our hand out for more of something. No, we don't mean when you have your "Fill the Boot" campaign for MD. We mean you firefighters are always asking for more money, when you're overpaid already. Add your extra shifts, overtime, etc. and you folks earn much more than people who work much harder than you do!

Yes, all three examples in numbers 4, 5, & 6 are true in some form. However, how aware of those views were you. Right after the horror, trauma and tragedy of 9|11, we were heroes. Yet, just a few months later, when our FDNY brothers tried to get better medical care for those suffering severe respiratory problems and PTSD, we were castigated for always asking for more. I personally saw in various publication, accusations to the effect of, "We just knew that the firefighters would use this disaster to get more for themselves."

Why? Why does the public think this way? Why? For the same reason that your six-year-old is not scheduled to perform brain surgery tomorrow morning. The answer is EDUCATION! Take the great idea of "Firefighting 101" classes that more departments are trying to promote. Bring the politicians and news reporters, dress them in our turnout gear and put them through the ringer. When they emerge, sweaty, with soot covered faces, they suddenly have a new view of our jobs.

All of the above will be integrated into our show, "CAUSE & ORIGIN." Our show is about a real, big-city fire department, not from a small, "Mayberry-type" village. Our show deals with many of the most important issues that many of us face every day, from the moment you show up as the new "probie," to trying to get accepted into this houses tight group. We deal with the stresses of our lives; not just the calls we respond to or the training we have each shift, we deal with the family crisis, a family that no longer can live like the "perfect" American life, where Daddy goes to work and Mommy takes care of the kids. Today, many of us work two, sometimes three jobs. Our spouses or significant others work at least one full-time job and often wind up picking up an additional part-time job to help keep the home on an even keel.We'll also deal with the problems of attrition and retention. Oh, and don't forget how some of the "youngsters" of this "ME"-society we now live in, just starting out, and who don't share the same work ethic. 

So, what does it boil down to? We need your voices. That's all we're asking for. Your voice. 
Start your own email campaign writing to the networks that you're tired of all the law enforcement shows, you want to see a show about firefighting.

You can write a comment here and say, "Thank you, guys. You're right!"
You can send us an email at and we'll add that to our portfolio to show at our meetings with TV execs. 

Can you imagine us walking into one of these meetings with over 500,000 emails, comments etc.? They'd be flabbergasted. Let's do it!

We don't mind being the leaders here. We'll be the cheerleaders to! Just speak up. 

Stay Safe - Make sure everyone goes home!

Podcast coming this week!


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