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 […]

Career Day

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A few weeks ago, I and my fellow friends, Susanna Oatmeyer and Kalynn Cresse attended Career Day at Kendall Lakes Elementary in Miami, Florida.  Although we are all certified firefighters with MDFR, we appeared in the garb of our different roles:  Firefighter, Special Ops Helicopter Pilot, and Special Ops Flight Medic .   We staged […]

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 […]

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