Category Archives: Firefighter

Happy 65th Anniversary Gong Club

GongClub

2015 OFFICERS:
Chief Conni Spellman
Deputy Chief Pat Spellman
Treasurer Paul Schaetzle
Secretary Bob Scollan

gongclub@comcast.net

The Gong Club is a non-profit canteen unit that provides rehab to Jersey City firefighters and those in the surrounding towns of Hudson County.  The Gong Club has also been an integral part of providing refreshment and rehabilitation to the community and Emergency Management, during a variety of events.  Their selfless acts of service and dedication are greatly appreciated by our us.

Gong Club Members
Gong Club Members

Their members are all volunteers.  They are on-call 24 hours a day and year-round.

The Gong Club responds to fires in Jersey City which are 2nd alarms or larger.

They are also their lend a hand during firefighters funerals and memorial services.

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Member of Rescue One

They also respond to larger fires throughout Hudson County.

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JCFD Members “Rehabbing” at the Gong Wago. There are mutual aid agreements with canteen clubs in surrounding counties as well. They have responded to other towns when called.

Throughout the year they also assist at several community events, such as walk-a-thons and runs, including the March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes and the Carlos Negron Run. The past 2 years they have served riders during the Police Unity Tour.

They also respond when called out by the JCPD.

During this year’s recognition of their 65 years of service, Deputy Director of the United States Fire Administration, Dr. (Chief) Denis Onieal read and presented a Proclamation from the FEMA, recognizing the many contributions of the Jersey City Gong Club.  There was also a presentation for three members, recognizing them for 25 years of continuous service to the club and fire service.

The Gong Club is a member of the International Fire Buff Association (IFBA) and and the Fire Buff Association of New Jersey.

They have been in the same address, on Bay Street, for over 50 years, but have been around for 65 years! 

GongClubPrez

Congratulations Gong Club Chief Connie Spellman and members.

We celebrate and honor our friends in the Jersey City Gong Club!

Are You Still Thinking From The Jumpseat?

Some people say that the toughest change or transition for them is from firefighter to officer; it would be the same in any profession or industry, when you move from worker to supervisor. Just as in the private sector the move and transition is task, role and responsibility specific.  In some cases it is even physical…

In most professions, a promotion is seen as a reward.  In our industry it is more function specific.

You may go from driver to the other front seat with no controls; driving in a vehicle all alone or be driven by an aide. I have ridden in all of them.  Each has its place  and each has its own unique perspective.

In my profession people say that the toughest change or transition for them is from firefighter to officer

They may be right if:

 – You weren’t serious about the job or your responsibilities, to begin with.

– You didn’t make the investment in yourself to study and become proficient

– You don’t like people (the ones you serve or the ones you serve with)

– You are one of the guys/gals and can’t distinguish between leader / follower

– You lack the courage to change yourself and circumstances when needed.

I don’t want you to think that I am bashing anyone or being cruel. I’m not.  Some Officers are honest and tell me that they went for the higher rank, solely, for the higher pay.  (To me, that’s wrong… although not criminal…and now I’m off the soap box)

There are other reasons for this.  I have had the pleasure to work with and speak to hundreds of fire officers in the last thirty years.  Each of them brings something unique to the office and many bring the same thing.  I am finding more and more that they are tool and task focused, as opposed to the overall operation or mission.

When you make the change, there must also be a transition.

You must understand your role and responsibility.

So, if you are a person aspiring to be an officer or manager:

  • Learn your job well, first
  • Study and train for the position you seek
  • Network with incumbents who have been there, done that and have been successful
  • Select and establish rapport with a mentor or role-model
  • Focus your efforts with a positive attitude

If you are already that person and not sure:

  • Perform a self-audit:“Ask yourself, am I doing all that I can?”
  • Study and train to maintain your optimal level of proficiency and knowledge

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Watch “The National Anthem” on YouTube

UPDATE: Retired PG County Deputy Carla Blue Killed

Funeral Services Set for Retired Deputy Fire Chief Carla D. Blue

The Prince George’s County Fire Department has released funeral service information for Carla D. Blue, a retired deputy chief killed in a weekend car accident.

Viewing will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Mount Ennon Baptist Church, 9832 Piscataway Road in Clinton.

The funeral service will follow the viewing at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Burial immediately following the service will be at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery.

http://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2015/09/retired-pgfd-deputy-fire-chief-killed-in-early-morning-crash-saturday/

It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Retired Prince Georges County Deputy Fire Chief Carla Blue. I met Chief Blue through the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute; first as a student and then as an instructor.

I was always impressed with her professionalism and passion for people. She had a great caring spirit. She reminded us, firefighters, to remember to be human. We will miss her tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends an d co-workers.

9/11 Memorial Speech Oceana NAS 2014

Fire Service Cancer Epidemic

Great job Fire Engineering and especially PJ Norwood.  Stay safe!

The National Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial Weekend 2015

34th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend: October 3-4, 2015

Every October, the Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. Thousands attend the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend.

For additional and up-to-date information, please visit:

http://www.firehero.org/events/memorial-weekend/

@NFFF thanks for all you do!

Charleston is Hiring!

http://charleston-sc.gov/index.aspx?nid=1342

 

South Africa Fire Visit

It is always great to talk to Fire Fighters and Fire Officers, no matter where in the world I find myself.  It was one of the tremendous highlights from my recent trip to South Africa.

_DSC1115Thanks to the fire fighters of Johannesburg and Durban for sharing keen insights into their departments and operations.  It was a great exchange.  There are so many similarities to Fire Fighters and Fire Stations all over the world that they are too numerous to mention (including the mop bucket, lol).

_DSC1502Got to see their equipment and discuss  issues.  Many of the same things that we struggle with in the USA are there as well.  Pre- and Post- Apartheid Firefighter selection, staffing and training mirror some of the departments in the USA.  I say that in terms of our own attempts at equal opportunity employment, post the Civil Rights era.  A different scale and yet the same issues.  We were able to discuss Officer selection and development; strategies and tactics;  the attitude of the population, as it relates to Public Safety; and the future of department goals and objectives.

_DSC1105I felt right at home with this Pierce Attack Pumper, until I climbed into the cab and realized that the steering wheel was on the “wrong side” and that I had to do my pump calculations in the metric system.  The “Rule of Thumb” still applies.  It was nice to tour the city in the Operations Vehicle (equivalent to my Battalion Chief’s SUV,  at home).  The only difference is that theirs is a Mercedes SUV.  It was then on to one of the Ladder Trucks.

_DSC1500The equipment was great to review and compare, yet we all agreed that the equipment is nothing and ineffective without proper human resource management.

I want to thank Thato and Trevor for a great time with the South African Fire and Emergency Services Division.  Stay safe and hope to chat again soon.

ProBoard Adds “Vets”!

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The National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board) is pleased to announce an initiative to assist the men and women of the Department of Defense (DOD), especially VETERANS RETURNING FROM SERVICE OVERSEAS in finding career and employment opportunities in the Fire Service when retiring out of military service.

Continue reading ProBoard Adds “Vets”!

A Place for Fire Officers and those who aspire to be…

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