Category Archives:

“Game of Fire” by DeShon and Haff for FireRescue Magazine

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Jennifer DeShon and I wrote a piece for Fire Rescue Magazine about My Lost Brothers by Brendan McDonough and his account of being the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Crew that perished in 2013 when a brutal wildland fire claimed 19 men. This was an exciting, fascinating, and incredibly tragic story about a lost young […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool

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Nerve is an entertaining and fascinating read. Taylor Clark is able to distill scientific research and convey it with a storyteller’s flourish.  Here’s the publisher’s description: Nerves make us bomb job interviews, first dates, and SATs. . . . It paralyzes seasoned concert musicians and freezes rookie cops in tight situations. And yet not everyone cracks. […]

Safelight: A Novel by Shannon Burke

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Safelight is the spare, haunting story of Frank, a young paramedic and amateur photographer working the streets of New York in the 90s.  It is a time of crack wars and blazing neighborhoods, and Frank responds to a constant stream of carnage with disconnected apathy, shooting meticulous pictures of the injured and dead while his […]

Navy Seal Training: Self-Confidence

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The most effective way to engender transformation is by addressing all aspects of our being: physical, mental, and spiritual.  One reason I am drawn to Buddhism is that for 2,500 years, Buddhist monks have been systematically studying the mind and developing a system for transforming consciousness through physical, mental, and ethical steps.  The Buddha’s 8-Fold […]

Population: 485; Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time

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If you want to read a literary book on firefighting or small town living then this is the book.  Population: 485 is a hilarious and moving collection of essays written about New Auburn, Wisconsin; a town of, yes, you guessed it–485 people.  Not only is Michael Perry a skilled writer, he is also a volunteer firefighter/emt, and […]

The Combat Position, Book Review, Part 1

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I am only halfway through The Combat Position, Achieving Firefighter Readiness by Christopher Brennan, but I thought I would share my thoughts since there is so much to say about this fantastic book.   The Combat Position is a fluid read that addresses the mind, body, and spirit as it applies to firefighting warriorship.  The […]