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 […]

A Fine Line

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One of my favorite writers, the late Oxford FF Larry Brown, talks about writing in this short clip, but I think his words apply beautifully to firefighting and EMS, not to mention life in general.     And, that’s Larry Brown.  Brutal but honest.    

A Motto of Defiance

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Live with courage. Be loyal and kind. Love fiercely. Whatever comes, take the hit and refuse to ever fucking surrender.

Provinces of Night

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William Gay was the son of a sharecropper from Tennessee with an ear for language and love of literature. A blue-collar worker with the soul of a poet, Gay read Thomas Wolfe, Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor when he wasn’t painting houses or hanging drywall.  Although he wrote for most of his life, his work […]

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 […]

Vulnerability

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“What a profound thing it is to call for help.  How astounding, the number of people fate allows to float through this life never once confronting their own mortality.  One of the benefits of the fire and rescue business, if you will have it, is a near-constant sense of vulnerability.  A recognition that at the […]

Strong is Beautiful

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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 […]

Fight Like A Girl

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  Know What To Do.  Do What You Know.   A favorite partner of mine once gave me really good advice.  He told me, “Do what you know works for you.  Don’t do it the second time or the third time.  Do it first, no matter what everyone else does.”   Being significantly smaller than […]

Blood & Fire: Vendetta by K.M. Bozarth

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Blood & Fire: Vendetta by Firefighter K.M. Bozarth is a rip roaring read.  It’s about Sam, a rookie female firefighter learning to survive on the job, emotionally and physically, while holding her young marriage together.  On duty, Sam struggles to prove herself and gain acceptance from the guys, which doesn’t come easy.  At home, she tries […]

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