Thank you to all who made this moment possible. I do not take it lightly or for granted. Hope you enjoy this little talk.
More to follow…
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 17, 2018
Listen in on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 6:30 PM CST/ 7:30 PM EST.
Leadership Development Concepts, LLC is dedicated to improving lives through personal development and building a path to personal leadership.
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.
Whether in a large department or a small, we all experience the same issues around officer development. This workshop draws on several disciplines to aid participants in identifying the key characteristics of successful officers and managers. Through discussion and activities, the participants will be introduced to seven traits critical to professional growth. Among the issues covered will be barriers that hinder cultural change, transforming from firefighter to fire officer and shaping the future.
(Pictured below is the first crew under my command as an assigned officer. They taught me more than I could ever learn from a book – Thanx Terence , Al, Flo and Mike)
Through the use of dialogue we will share the traits that are commonly associated with good officers and successful leaders. Drawing on elements of the National Fire Academy course, ” Shaping the Future”, participants will exchange ideas and insight for the past, current and future Fire and Emergency Services Culture. We will identify the elements of change in a non-judgmental way.
Hope you can make it out and join me. The best lessons are always shared. Stay safe!
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
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.
Julius decided to become a city firefighter after receiving an honorable discharge from the Army as a Staff Sgt. in 1946.
He applied at a time when black firefighters were still scarce — numbering around 50 out of a force of more than 6,000.
Julius joined the Vulcan Society, the association of black firefighters that exists today.
He fought for more inclusion for black firefighters — who at times were ostracized by colleagues to sleep in “black beds” in the firehouses.
Julius was profiled as part of a 2002 book, “So Others Might Live,” detailing the extensive history of the FDNY.
“It’s all about ordinary people who have found a calling over and above what the average person does,” Julius told author Terry Golway.
“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.
Being Chief has nothing to do with your title. It has everything to do with your choices—those that bring out your best and the best in people around you. Anyone can be Chief.
Rick Miller is a confidant, author, and speaker who can help you unlock your potential and the potential of everyone in your organization. He has a track record of working with Chiefs of all levels doing just that.
Rick Miller describes how Chief titles are widely used today for people with power, but don’t accurately reflect what it means to be a Real Chief. Rick asserts that Being Chief is about making a choice rather than gaining a title. Learn how to unlock your power and be a Real Chief. www.BEINGCHIEF.com
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Great message by Rick Miller who gets it. One of my firefighters sent this link to me and said that it reminded her of me, in some ways. I am honored and wanted to share this link with others. So many people have the title Chief and that’s all that they have.
I hope that I embody and represent some of the traits that Rick speaks of.