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.
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…”
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.
GLUE is a universal resource for the growth and development of EMPOWERment paradigms. This program is certain to develop strong leaders in all ranks of your organization.
The “GLUE Guys” touch on vital issues that reaffirm the connections to the communities and people we serve. Their unique brand of leadership empowerment brings focus on the individual leader and their growth through principled leadership!
I have been following the G.L.U.E. Guys for quite some time now. Their innovative approach to leadership development has the all-access flavor that is necessary in today’s business market. Although I have primarily seen their work in the emergency management sector, I recognize those foundational principles that are the hallmark of successful leaders and organizations.
Transformational Leadership with Fire Chief Reggie Freeman
While attending a community event in the City of New Haven, Hartford Fire Chief Reggie Freeman and I got the opportunity to “chop it up” and discuss his passion with Transformational Leadership. Chief Freeman’s approach to management is crisp and to the point. He has the innate ability to inspire and encourage leaders.
Please give a listen and share this great insight that Chief Freeman has been espousing all over the globe.
Reginald D. Freeman, MS, CFO, FIFireE
On February 1, 2016, Reginald D. Freeman was sworn in as the 37th Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director for the City of Hartford. Prior to the City of Hartford, Chief Freeman served as Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Ft. Worth, TX also known as U.S. Air Force Plant 4. In addition to his duties as Chief of Department to the team in Ft. Worth, Chief Freeman provided international guidance and direction to the Italian and Japanese governments through the Ministry of Defence by providing training and consulting to each nation’s Air Force Fire Department personnel, respectively as it pertains to the F-35 Lightning. Furthermore, Chief Freeman served as the Assistant Chief/Deputy Director of Emergency Management for the City of Hartford, CT as well as Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin in Marietta, GA. (U.S. Air Force Plant 6) where he was named Professional of the Year in 2009.
Chief Freeman served in Iraq as a civilian Fire Chief for the U.S. Department of Defense and coalition allies from 2004 to 2008, providing all hazards fire and emergency services to forward and continuing operating bases throughout Iraq. His last assignment was at their headquarters on Camp Victory in Baghdad as the Chief of Compliance, Safety, & Planning where he helped managed more than 700 firefighters and nearly 25,000 calls per year. He has worked in a number of fire service capacities in his career including Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Fire Captain, Fire Service Instructor, Assistant Fire Chief, and Fire Chief.
Chief Freeman’s educational accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership from Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE. He earned his Master’s Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ and he is currently a Doctoral student in dissertation phase studying Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational Development. Chief Freeman is also a graduate and Fellow of Harvard University’s Senior Executives for State & Local Government program at the Kennedy School of Government. Chief Freeman previously served as the Chair of the Industrial Fire & Life Safety Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and a previous Board member of the Executive Fire Officer Section of the IAFC and Technical Committee member of NFPA 1021 (Fire Officer Professional Qualifications), respectively. Additionally, Chief Freeman serves as the Chair for the Commission on Professional Credentialing via the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. and is also the Director of Training for the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs. Lastly, Chief Freeman is an accredited Chief Fire Officer (CFO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. as well as a credentialed “Fellow” with the Institution of Fire Engineers, USA Branch. Lastly, Chief Freeman serves on the Board of Directors for NFPA.
Chief Freeman is an Adjunct Professor for Anna Maria College and the University of Florida where he lectures in both undergraduate and graduate Fire Science and Master of Public Administration programs.
While attending the 2018 i-Women Conference, I had the most fortunate opportunity to sit down with Ms. Cindy Ell of the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation.
The Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation:
Working to Extinguish Fire Fighter Cancer
Firefighters dedicate their lives to the service of others. The Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation was established in 2004 to provide international outreach, support, and resource assistance programs for firefighters and family members that are stricken by cancer.
The Foundation is creating state of the art programs for cancer education, awareness, research and prevention to ensure the quality of life and retirement of fire fighters around the world.
Cindy is a wealth of information and showed us many of the products and information packs that they have developed to help educate Fire Fighters and their families. We had the chance to talk about Cancer, as it relates to the work environment and the impact it has on first responders and our families. It was one of the most uplifting discussions I have had on this subject. Cindy is a driven advocate for healthy Fire Fighters and their families.
There was such a wide range of topics and programs that we encourage you to visit their website at: www.ffcancer.org
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.
The first time I met Captain Vincent Julius of the FDNY and Vulcan Society of New York was in Buffalo New York in 1986. I had only been a firefighter for 16 months. He made an instant impression on me; through his care for detail and organization; his love of the fire service; his love for our culture; and his unapologetic demeanor.He was great friends with another of my mentors Fire Fighter Eddie Dawson of the Jersey city Fire Department. The two of them would pal around all of the time, on Vinnie’s boat. Capt. Julius sailed on his boat the Red Martha to many of our conferences on the East Coast. He was a well educated man. A man of discipline and substance. He and I would quote the poem Invictus back and forth to each other and the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.INVICTUS…
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
He was a great friend and taught me much about our organization. He was steadfast to the end and he will be sorely missed. I will remember my friend every time I see the sun’s reflection on the water or a sailboat sway in the sunset.Fair thee well, Fair thee well, fair thee well….THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE ARTICLE WRITTEN IN THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, BY GINGER OTIS ADAMS…Retired FDNY Captain Vincent W. Julius, one of the department’s most high-profile African-American firefighters during the city’s “War Years,” died Sunday after a long illness. He was 88.
Julius, born in New York in 1927, was the younger brother of Reginald Julius, who also became a firefighter.
The two men, both WWII veterans who served overseas — Reginald in the Navy and Vincent in the Army — were among just a handful of black firefighters who served in the city’s outer boroughs during the unrest of the 1960s and ‘70s.
Julius became a captain of Ladder 112 in Bushwick in the late ‘70s, where fires bigger than three alarms were called a “Bushwick Sunrise.” He retired in Feb. 1985 after a distinguished career.
“You go into a burning building, down a hallway, you see what we call the red demon, and that red demon’s fingers are reaching out for you, and they’re saying, ‘C’mon. C’mon. I’ve got something for you. C’mon.’ And you put your head down and you keep moving,” he said in the book.
Julius lived his life as he fought fires — with an eye always turned toward progress.
He was an active and vocal member of the Vulcan Society and served as president of the organization in the 1970s, helping to buy its current headquarters, a brownstone on Eastern Parkway.
Julius was also a co-founder of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters in 1969. The group had its first conference in 1970.
An ardent supporter of Civil Rights, Julius played a critical role in getting the city’s fire unions to denounce the fire departments of southern cities who turned fire hoses on peaceful marchers and protestors.
In 1963, Julius — by then an officer — asked the Uniformed Fire Officers Association to write a resolution condemning the use of hoses on civilians, especially children.
The UFOA’s all-white executive board agreed — but when it presented the resolution to the membership, it was voted down, Julius said.
Even though he was one of the few black officers in the union — and a new member — Julius spoke up, and forced the board to pass the resolution anyway.
“I’m very proud of that,” Julius told Birmingham NPR station WBHM last year. “It was a good move, a tough move. I took some brick bats for it, but who the hell cares? Life is made to take adversaries.”
He was the first black firefighter appointed to the FDNY Honor Emergency Fund, which gave out financial assistance to needy families of fallen smoke eaters.
In the turbulent 1970s, part of the FDNY’s busiest stretch known as the “War Years,” he was the department’s community liaison to underserved neighborhoods — places where the fires burned highest and firefighters often found themselves pelted with rocks and garbage from tenement rooftops.
When women moved to join the all-male Bravest in the late 1970s, Julius was their most outspoken champion, said his longtime colleague and friend, James T. Lee.
“He was an organization man, he did a tremendous amount for every organization he joined,” said the 85-year-old retired FDNY firefighter.
“Vinnie always kept the fire burning for justice,” Lee said.
A viewing and funeral will be held Monday, May 16 at 10 a.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, at 75 Pine Lakes Parkway South in Palm Coast, Florida.