All posts by John Alston

John Alston has been a member of the Jersey City Fire Department for 31 years. He is a published author and trainer, #fireofficertrust. Since the age of 4, John has wanted to be a Firefighter. In the Jersey City Fire Department, John commands the First Battalion which covers the middle third of the City. This assignment includes the Holland Tunnel, the PATH Rail System, Ellis Island, Liberty Park, City Hall, 5 fire Stations, 10 Fire Companies, the Safety Officer; Mask Service Unit, the C.B.R.N.E. Fire Boat and the High-rise / Tunnel Unit, the Rescue Company and Squad 4.

A Discussion on Race in the Fire Service – from the MikeyG and MikeyD Radio Show

“I want to thank Mike D, Mike G and my fellow panelists, for their courage, forthrightness, and professionalism in this endeavor.  They rose to the occasion out of love of country, our fellow firefighters, and our noble profession.   – John Alston

Join Capt. Mike Dugan (FDNY) and Capt. Mike Gagliano (Seattle Fire) for a discussion on starting a conversation about issues related to race without getting into conflict.

In particular, we will focus on the likely conversations that will occur in the treatment of the black community in our country and the fire service. To help give insight on doing so successfully, we will be speaking to:

Fire Chief John Alston, New Haven Fire Dept.
Capt. Larry Conley, St. Louis Fire Dept.
Capt. Jon M Goins Jr., Seattle Fire Dept.
Lt. Terri Reid, Baltimore County Fire Dept.
FF Mike Washington, Seattle Fire Dept.

Any perusal of the current stream of news or social media chatter makes it very clear that having conversations about racial issues can be very challenging. Events of the past few weeks make it inevitable that these conversations will be happening amongst your team in the firehouse. While we typically try to minimize these types of discussions at work, the simple fact that we live and work together makes simply ignoring or avoiding the issues impossible.

To provide some tools and tips for firefighters/company officers in how to initiate and have productive and thoughtful dialogue is the goal of our show. The more we can speak to each other in ways that create understanding, even when we strongly disagree with what is being said, the better chance we have of maintaining team unity, operational effectiveness, and relational understanding.

We are not attempting to answer the larger questions and issues being discussed in our society today. A radio show with short segments simply does not allow for the fuller development of ideas needed. But we feel hearing from some of our finest firefighters in the nation discussing how they have had success talking about these difficult areas may provide you with strategies/tactics to use in your own firehouse.

FDIC2020 You Can Get There From Here

Had it not been for the COVID19 outbreak and life continuing on its merry way, I would have been at #FDIC2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana (God-willing).

I was honored to be invited to give the Opening Ceremony Speech, this year.  But that was not to be.  I want to thank Bobby and the Committee for that honor.  I was, however, rewarded with another honor because of this crisis.  I got to see my department the New Haven Fire Department ramp up and stand up to this pandemic.

I could not be more proud as a firefighter and Fire Chief.

Even though my speech was written for a different time and different place, the values still hold true. 

You Can Get There From Here.  Find the positive.  Don’t feed the negative. #PatienceNotPanic 

There is a new normal forming and we have to be a part of it or be out of step.  The difference between dinosaurs and crocodiles is that one of them adapted to their environment and the other became extinct. 

Take care of yourselves and your families. 

Learn to Lead Through Crisis and I’ll see you on the other side.

2019 DATELINE New Haven: WNHH Interview

Interview with New Haven WNHH Station Owner Paul Bass

Thanx for the opportunity to highlight the great work of the #NHFD. I hope we can do it again, I feel the interview focused a lot on me. I am more interested in the work that we are doing in the City of New Haven and the incredible job done everyday by the proud men and women of our organization. Thanx to all of the folks who tuned in and for your words of encouragement.

No one gets anywhere on their own. Someone aids, helps, assists or “drives” them to the next level. I appreciate every experience and encounter that I have had. “The Good, The Bad or Indifferent…”

2018 Opioid Response Strategy Symposium

Day 1 has been great, with presentations from the full gamut (i.e. Law Enforcement, Medical Professionals, First Responders, Academia and Government. We are all focusing on an International Problem.

FRI2018 – Diversity: Moving from Culture to Caring

I want to thank the members of the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ HRC committee for allowing me to speak on the matter of Diversity.

It is my hope that we can move the discussion from “Culture to Caring ” and from “Diversity to Inclusion”.

 

 

FOTRUST – Interview with Captain Tiffanye Wesley

Captain Tiffanye Wesley and her team guard the U.S. Pentagon.  Along with this trusted position, she is an author, leader and continues to inspire others. She speaks about her challenges and her perseverance.  I continue to see her on the national stage and she is always willing and able to support others and share.

Tiffanye S. Wesley is celebrated as a leader and trailblazer. The leadership trainer and inspirational speaker is also a Fire/EMS Captain II with the Arlington County Fire Department in Arlington, Virginia – the first African American female to be promoted to this level of leadership in the department’s 71-year history.

A 24-year veteran of the Arlington County Fire Department, Tiffanye has served in numerous positions. The most notable positions include Nationally Certified Bomb Technician and Bomb Commander, Station Commander for the largest and busiest firehouse in Arlington and most recently Acting Battalion Chief where she is responsible for effective supervision, management and coordination of emergency scene operations, as well as; daily operations of a battalion (5 fire stations).

Though known for putting out fires, she also ignites audiences as a leadership trainer often focusing on leading with integrity and respect.

http://tiffanyewesley.com/

Tiffanye also recently released her published work in the book anthology, No More Chains. Her story is also profiled in a 2017 documentary by the same title.

Admiral William McRaven – Make Your Bed

A true inspiration, SEAL Admiral William ?. McRaven addresses the 2014 graduating class of the University of Texas.  His impassioned and caring message will be forever remembered for its focus and clarity.

After having a great week at FRI2018, I thought I would share this with the #fireofficertrust crew.