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 […]

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 […]

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, or […]

Air Rescue at Sea

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My first article for Firefighter Nation and Fire Rescue Magazine! http://www.firefighternation.com/article/firefighting-operations/rescue-water     A video of Air Rescue North’s open water night hoist to the cruise ship Norwegian Getaway–     Thank you Lieutenant Scott Mullin for the great photos. “Always Ready, Proud to Serve”  

Defiance

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  What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing. You’ve already told her twice.   I’ve heard this joke my entire career. Just about every single year, someone on the job will feel inclined to recite it to me usually in response to domestic abuse that has occurred on a call or […]

Self-Compassion

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I took a yoga class the other day for the first time in a long while. My back has been bothering me and my achilles feels like it’s about to pop (done that before and don’t ever want to go through that again), so I told myself I was really going to take it easy. […]

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. […]

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