Author Archives: gea

Station Ready Rookie

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The Station Ready Rookie; Firefighter Preparation Beyond the State Skills Test is a slender gem of a book.  Simple.  Concise.  Direct.  And yet it is chockfull of wisdom and common sense.  It lays out practices essential for anyone who wants to excel in the fire service.  If firefighting is just a paycheck and an ego […]

Free Book Giveaway for Smokejumper by Jason Ramos –ends August 18th!

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I was super excited when I was offered a free copy of Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters with the request that I review it and give a copy away.  And then I was even more excited when it turned out that I loved the book!  That review was easy to write and […]

Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters

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I absolutely loved this book. Smokejumper by Jason A. Ramos and Julian Smith is a whip fast, fun, and fascinating read. It is also, at times, deeply sad. As a firefighter myself, I’ve always been intrigued by smokejumpers–the fittest and most elite of wildland firefighters. Not only do they parachute out of planes to get […]

Jedi Mind Training

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Jedi Mind Training.  That’s what I keep telling my crew we’re doing.  Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi Knight?  But to be one takes focus.  Concentration.  Attention honed to a blade-like sharpness.  And frankly these skills in the fire service have been sliding away the last six or so years like blood down a […]

Moral Courage

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  The fire service abounds in physical courage. Firefighters will walk into burning buildings, dive into frigid waters, and enter crack houses in the dead of night. Courage is a given. The physical kind, that is. We don’t even think about it much; it’s such a day to day part of our job. Toxic spills? […]

Reflections by Jennifer DeShon

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  It’s dark, hot, and the desert air feels unbelievably dry. Three A.M. in late September, and the temperature is still about 90 degrees. I’m already starting to breathe a little harder as I hop down off the second parapet wall on the roof of an old nightclub. I’m wearing and carrying 70 pounds of firefighting […]

Spartan, Sloucher or The Middle Way

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Lately, the fire service seems to contain two extremes of fitness:  exceptional or non-existent.  On one hand, it is full of incredibly fit people whose workouts resemble a Spartan special forces team and whose bodies look like someone out of Muscle and Fitness magazine.  On the other hand, we have our out of shape, overweight […]

Come Hell or High Water

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An article I wrote for Fire Rescue Magazine and Firefighter Nation about an incredible rescue attempt by MDFR’s Fireboat 1 http://www.firefighternation.com/article/firefighting-operations/come-hell-or-high-water   By Gea Leigh Haff Published Wednesday, April 1, 2015 | From the April 2015 Issue of FireRescue “Surely it would be every firefighter’s worst nightmare to watch a young couple burn to death only feet away while […]

Air Rescue Coast To Coast By Jennifer DeShon

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At 6 AM on a gorgeous spring day I woke up on the wrong coast in a supremely comfortable hotel bed. I had a private room in a Spanish style hostel just south of Fort Lauderdale. A cool breeze rustled the palms outside my window as it wandered in through the screen. It was my […]

What The Walking Dead & The Fire Service Have in Common

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      1.Get strong or die.  There is no room for the weak.  The weak endanger the strong.  The weak put everyone at risk.  Get strong and stay that way.  Your strength may look different than the guy in the seat next to you, but everyone must bring their own strength:  man, woman, child, […]

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