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Trigger Warning

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“There are things that upset us. That’s not quite what we’re talking about here, though. I’m thinking rather about those images or words or ideas that drop like trapdoors beneath us, throwing us out of our safe, sane world into a place much more dark and less welcoming. Our hearts skip a ratatat drumbeat in […]

A Manifesto of Fire

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Triple F—A Manifesto   Manifest discipline—emotionally, professionally, morally and intellectually. Let your discipline be revealed in the way you dress, speak, walk, work, and comport yourself with co-workers and the public. Develop attention to detail. Start small and work up.  Take pride in the little things.  Kick ass on the big things.   Embrace compassion […]

Teenage Girls & Inspiration

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Lately, I have been immersing myself in the life of the Brontes because I am in love with their books (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) and also because Charlotte, Emily, and Anne amaze and inspire me.  These young women lived through incredible loss and hardship, (that’s a whole other blog), and still […]

“Heroes”

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    Every hero doesn’t go do this great big hero thing.  They do the simple thing over and over and over.  And they have the persistence and they stick to it.   * No matter how much technology has evolved, it comes back to human will, human chutzpah, human resilience.         […]

Freedom

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Freedom and security do not coexist.  One must choose between a life of freedom or a life of safety.  Often we feel the threat to freedom is Out There, external–the Taliban, ISIS, Communism, etc.  But the true threat lies within–our own government, society’s expectations, and the limitations we place on our imagination about what is […]

No Excuses

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The women of Miami Dade Fire Rescue are on a roll. This October Flight Medic Susana Oatmeyer performed an open water hoist in Florida Bay to retrieve a victim from a capsized boat; Rescue Diver Brandy Paternoster and Sal Hernandez rescued a truck driver trapped in a canal; and TRT Firefighter Maggie Castro placed 1st […]

Fire Warriors

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Firefighters–Do We Have the Right to Call Ourselves Warriors?   In the elite world of Military Special Ops, anger and frustration has been expressed at society’s casual entitlement to the word warrior.  It seems everyone from businessmen to vegan yogis are embracing the term.  Loren Schofield, a 16-year veteran of Special Forces, writes in Big […]

Peace & Chaos

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It’s Sunday morning in Dade County, Florida.  I’m working on Engine 66 and so far, before noon, we’ve run on a woman suffering from delirium tremens due to alcohol withdrawal, a “male having a breakdown”, threatening to kill himself and his wife, and a sweet 93 year old lady born in 1921.  So much for […]

If You Want to Change the World

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I’m a sucker for commencement speeches.  I love them.  And this one by Admiral William McRaven at University of Texas, Austin, is one of my favorites.  There is so much deep wisdom here.   As Navy Times puts it, “Adm. Bill McRaven is a badass — and fount of good advice.”  He’s been a Navy Seal […]

Old School Survival

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I’m reading Dirty Work by one of my favorite writers, Larry Brown, a Captain from Oxford FD.  In this excerpt, a boy has been beat up by a bully.  When the boy returns home and his mother sees what’s happened she shows him no pity and instead gives him a piece of her mind.  This […]

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