Category Archives: EMS

International Women in Fire 2020

Women In Fire 2020 International Conference from SpokaneFire on Vimeo.

Hope for the Helpful on Amazon

Hope for the Helpful on Amazon

Hope for the Helpful

Not all superheroes wear capes.

Some of them are firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, active military personnel or anyone involved in saving lives and helping people overcome tragic events.

The sad thing is that you are caught in the middle of everything. You experience so many emotions at the same time and you often have no idea how to put yourself back together. You refuse to open up, because everyone sees you as the hero and if the hero appears to be weak, what hope do we have?

This book is dedicated to our silent heroes who stake their lives every day for our sake. You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. This book will help to open up your emotions and offer you tips on how to overcome the internal struggles in you face.

Don’t give in. Don’t give up. We’re counting on you!

Thanx all, for supporting the Amazon launch.  What started as a blog post and chapter for a buddy’s book turned into an ebook and short paperback.  It is my fervent hope that it helps someone.  Share it with you co-workers, colleagues friends and loved ones.

Stop suffering in silence.

A Conversation with Battalion Chief Katherine Ridenhour (Ret’d)

Katherine Thais Ridenhour, retired Battalion Chief, Aurora Fire Department (CO), is passionate about teaching competent and confident leadership on and off the fireground. Her classes include strategy/tactics, command, conflict solution/problem solving, leadership and promotional preparation.

Katherine’s experience spans 25 years in Tech Rescue, FEMA/USAR, EMS, Training Division, Diversity Board and past President of Women in the Fire Service. She also spent 5 recent years after retirement as a volunteer firefighter and feels privileged to understand the rural side of the fire service. Her passion for presenting exceptional teaching methodologies has earned her multiple requests to teach at various departments, and she is proud to serve the volunteer side of the fire service in that way. She also has extensive teaching at various Department of Defense bases including the United States Air Force Academy, Tyndall Air Force Base and the entire Northwest Navy Region.

Katherine has taught nationally for years at such conferences as FDIC, FRI, the IAFC Metro Chiefs, the IAFF Human Relations and Redmond Symposium, as well as various state conferences.
Despite being retired, she is an avid student of the fire service and keeps current with all the latest trends. She has mentored at least 1000 firefighters to assist them getting promoted to various positions, including Chief of Department and is still sought after for those and her teaching abilities. She is grateful to have had a great career and the opportunity to teach around the nation in order to give back to the fire service.

I had the distinct honor of talking with Chief Ridenhour about her experiences in the Fire Service.  Her work on exposing the practice of “Bullying” in our industry is well known, as she is a sought after lecturer and keynote speaker.

Take the time to listen to this in-depth episode that focuses on several issues in our workplace.

2018 CT Fire-EMS Caucus Regional Fire School Funding

Thank you to Connecticut State Representatives Pat Boyd and Brian Ohler for your Co-Leadership of the CT Fire-EMS Caucus.  Your valued support for the safety, operations and well-being of First Responders in the State of Connecticut has not gone unnoticed.

We had the chance to testify at the State Capitol to solicit support for the proper funding of the Regional Fire Schools.

Special thanx and shout out to the Connecticut State Fire and EMS Caucus for granting time to hear the concerns for adequate funding of the regional fire schools.  The Caucus was fully supported by the CT Career Fire Chiefs, the IAFF and our surrounding partners in Public Safety.

Women Leading the Way in Service

From military service to public service, women have led the way. In this segment, a window into the life of Virginia Hall, the Maryland woman who helped the U.S. win World War II. And, we talk to some of the first women to join the ranks of the Baltimore City Fire Department.

FDIC2016: Kaizen & the 7 C’s

How do you improve on improvement? How do you make improvement part of an on-going process? This short clip is a session wrap up. It concludes with the theory of “Kaizen”; small incremental changes towards the greater good. Utilizing input from all areas.

‪#‎FDIC2016‬ Only 3 days before the largest Firefighter Conference in the world. (Over 30,000 FF’s and Instructors)

I hope you can attend but also hope you find time to stop by my workshop on Leadership. My session is April 19, 2016, 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Room 134-135 on the main floor. ‪#‎fireofficertrust‬

Happy 65th Anniversary Gong Club


Chief Conni Spellman
Deputy Chief Pat Spellman
Treasurer Paul Schaetzle
Secretary Bob Scollan

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.

Member of Rescue One

They also respond to larger fires throughout Hudson County.

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! 


Congratulations Gong Club Chief Connie Spellman and members.

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

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.

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.

AEDs Removed From Calif. Department’s Rigs

IMG_20150708_180618Ben Welsh On Jul 7, 2015
Source: Los Angeles Times     

Most fire trucks and ambulances run by the Compton Fire Department have been stripped of defibrillator machines, a crucial lifesaving device that rescuers use to deliver a shock and try to restart the heart of cardiac arrest victims.

County regulators ordered the department to remove the devices last week after fire officials were unable to produce documentation showing Compton firefighters had been properly trained to use the equipment.

The action comes after The Times disclosed in March that nearly one in four city firefighters lacked a permit to perform emergency medical care, a key credential required by other local fire agencies.

“If they aren’t going to follow directions and it’s not going to be a safe use of the equipment then you have to put a stop to the program,” said Cathy Chidester, head of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, which oversees 911 service in the area.

Officials say it may take several weeks to train the firefighters or verify their credentials. In the meantime, some units that arrive first at the scene of a cardiac arrest could be limited to providing CPR until highly trained paramedic rescuers arrive to deliver an electronic shock.

Continue reading AEDs Removed From Calif. Department’s Rigs

FF Love or All-Hazards Response?

A slight departure for a good laugh or, at best, a smile…

Found this clip of “youtube”

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

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