Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio about MAYDAY Incident

In case you missed it here is the Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Traditions Training Tuesday where we talked about the fire at #87 Herrington Drive in PG County Maryland that put my friend Danny McGown in the burn center. Listen in as those who were there go over just what went down, step by step, and hopefully it will help you prepare incase you are placed in that position, God forbid.

Listen to internet radio with fireengineeringtalkradio on Blog Talk Radio

Also, here is the Radio Transmissions from that fire:



The 30th year of the National Run Survey from Firehouse Magazine highlights many categories within the fire service including busiest Engine, Ladder, Rescue Squad and more. Departments from around the country submit their run totals to be ranked among their peers across the US and Canada. Only the top unit in each class from each department is included in the results listing published in the August issue of Firehouse Magazine. The District of Columbia made a strong showing again this year and the members of “The Heights” are proud to announce their inclusion in the fabled “list”. For the year 2010, Truck Company 17 was the 2nd busiest ladder company in the Nation, responding to assist the citizens of the “East End” 4,496 times last year. “The Heights” complement of Engine 30, Truck 17, Ambulance 30 and Medic 30 again took honors as the 2nd busiest station in the Nation with the 4 units recording a total of 18,531 responses. The Battalion Chief responsible for the East End crews, BFC 2, recorded a 19th ranked 2,062 runs in 2010. The Officers and Members of “The Heights” are extremely proud of the recognition from Firehouse Magazine for their long nights and proven dedication to the citizens of DC and thank them for the honor.

Floating Island Partners Hard at Work in Midwest! Cool Videos from Minneapolis.

Reposted from our blog at Patriot Land & Wildlife:

Here are 2 cool videos featuring our working partners in conservation Blue Wing Environmental Solutions & Technologies as they along with Midwest Floating Island and American Society of Landscape Architects show what impacts one group of regular citizens can have on their own water quality issues. These videos are of a Floating Island launch in Minneapolis as part of an effort to help solve a local lakes water quality issues. Contact Patriot LWM orCLICK HERE to learn more about Floating Island Technology!



So I bought 4 tickets to this race from the QDMA National Convention live auction. I am raffling 2 one of a kind tickets to benefit the WCWB. Get your ticket today and you can meet Tony Stewart with me!

Repost from our Patriot LWM Outdoors Blog:

Patriot LWM Outdoors is proud to announce that raffle tickets for

the Western Chesapeake Watershed Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association NASCAR package are available for purchase from our online store!BUY YOURS HERE! All proceeds go to the Western Chesapeake Watershed Branch!

Talladega NASCAR Race Package for Two
This unique NASCAR package includes two premium tower seats on the finish line for the Talladega Superspeedway race on October 23rd, 2011, two “Talladega Experience” pre-race pit passes, and signed memorabillia from racing legend and QDMA member, Tony Stewart. There’s also a great chance you will get to personally meet Tony prior to the race (subject to schedule). See sparks fly as the best drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series jockey for position in the Chase for the Championship on one of the fastest tracks in the nation! 100% of proceeds to benefit WCWB-QDMA.


Here is a little video we made about beavers…

Reposted blog from  Patriot Land & Wildlife Management.

In an effort to better educate our customers and let them see into our world, Patriot LWM will begin to release video blogs outlining projects we have been working on and things on the horizon.

Here is a short clip of a beaver management technique for a property where the owner decided to utilize trapping as a damage mitigation technique. Beaver damage was experienced on many trees in the property’s creek watershed area which allowed waters to rise into the neighboring agricultural fields.


Another repost from my Patriot LWM Outdoors Blog:

Check out some members of the Patriot LWM Crew as they volunteer their time as part of the Western Chesapeake Watershed Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association. 2 seperate events were mentioned in the June / July 2011 issue of Quality Whitetails, a publication of QDMA.  One being the first WCWB Lecture Series and the other being the 2011 Maryland NRA Show, both spreading the message of Quality Deer Management.

Patriot LWM Outdoors Article in May issue of Woods & Waters

This is a repost from my Patriot LWM Outdoors Blog:

Check out this article about warm season food plots from Patriot LWM Outdoors own Joe Brown as seen in the May 2011 issue of Woods and Waters Magazine.

A Lesson in Personal Responsibility from Kenny Powers and Elbert Hubbard

Without beginning a rant I really have no time for today, I will simply start this blog post as this – people are bitches. Now is this everyone? No of course not, but the number of people in todays society that are and/or act like one grows with each passing day. They bitch about everything yet do little or nothing to change their position. The slogan “Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution” appears to have been replaced with “Handouts, self entitlement  and complaining for all”. This rant could go on and on in my world as I am sure it could in yours, but what can I say that Kenny Powers hasn’t already said in this video below. I’d work for him.

A friend who knows all to well my personal gripes with the talent level in today’s society passed this next little gem along to me and thus I to you. Some of you may have seen this before but I like to pass on things I find helpful to my growth as a man and member of said society. The essay first appeared in 1899 as a filler without a title in the March issue of Philistine magazine (wikipedia). The messages in this letter are very clear, and have implications from all aspects of society, from the fire service to private business. If you can’t understand what Elbert Hubbard is talking about, then you better take a good long look in the mirror, because it’s probably talking about you. Expect success and drop all the rest, you owe it to society not to be a load and not to turn a blind eye to those that are.

A Message to Garcia

Elbert Hubbard

IN ALL THIS CUBAN BUSINESS there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba — no one knew where. No mail or telegraph could reach him. The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly.

What to do!

Someone said to the President, “There is a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How “the fellow by name of Rowan” took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and having delivered his letter to Garcia — are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is he at?”

By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing – “Carry a message to Garcia.”

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands are needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man—the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook or threat he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant.

You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office—six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: “Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio.”

Will the clerk quietly say, “Yes, sir,” and go do the task? On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye, and ask one or more of the following questions:

  • Who was he?
  • Which encyclopedia?
  • Where is the encyclopedia?
  • Was I hired for that?
  • Don’t you mean Bismarck?
  • What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?
  • Is he dead? Is there any hurry?
  • Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
  • What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him find Garcia—and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course, I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average I will not.

Now, if you are wise, you will not bother to explain to your “assistant” that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile very sweetly and say, “Never mind,” and go look it up yourself. And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift— these are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?

A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting “the bounce” Saturday night holds many a worker to his place. Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply can neither spell nor punctuate — and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia? “You see that bookkeeper,” said the foreman to me in a large factory. “Yes, what about him?”

“Well, he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him uptown on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street would forget what he had been sent for.”

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the “down-trodden denizens of the sweatshop” and the “homeless wanderer searching for honest employment,” and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long, patient striving after “help” that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away “help” that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues: only, if times are hard and work is scarce, this sorting is done finer—but out and forever out the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best—those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to anyone else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He can not give orders, and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, “Take it yourself!”

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular firebrand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled Number Nine boot.

Of course, I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold the line in dowdy indifference, slipshod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a- slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds—the man who, against great odds, has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it nothing but bare board and clothes. I have carried a dinner-pail and worked for a day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the boss is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long, anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks will be granted. He is wanted in every city, town and village—in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed and needed badly—the man who can “Carry a Message to Garcia.”


Here is an interview that demonstrates the pure love of the job that helps bring the true spirit of the fire department back to light for me as it should for everyone else. You didnt hear any “we shouldn’t have been in theres'”, any bullshit about “victim survivability profiling”  and you sure as shit didn’t hear any Monday morning quarterbacking about whether or not we should search vacant homes. To me it simply says, “It is what it is and we’d do it again”. These 2 men exemplify what it means to me to be a fireman and I’m proud to work in a department full of them. Watch and learn.

“I’m no hero, but I served in a company of them” – Major Dick Winters, Easy Company.

Injured Firefighters Talk of Road to Recovery:


As another 4th of July comes to bear, seeming to arrive even faster than the previous, it is often hard to find time to pause and reflect. As the rains moved into the East End tonight and the men rushed to the flag pole to keep the high flying red, white and blue from feeling a drop of water, I found myself in a rare moment of reflection. From previous entries it is pretty apparent where I stand on military appreciation and their role in what freedom we experience today. Although in the military, much like the fire department, you have those that do and those that wear a shirt that says they do, its a fairly safe bet that if 235 years ago a group of men hadn’t gotten tired of societies bull shit we wouldn’t be where we are today. I often find myself wondering, as I listen to the daily gripes of modern societies simpletons, if we could endure a similar struggle and come out on top. Could our politically correct world of “everybody gets a trophy” (Courtesy of Scott Kraut) and the “Job Corps” that has become government employment weather the storm of individual hardship without a finger to point blame or someone to listen even if you did? 

When feeling particularly cinical and unmotivated I like to play a certain scene from “A Few Good Men” as a pick me up.

This clip always seems to lift my spirits, that is until I realize that 95% of society side with Tom on this issue, while I on the other hand side with the decorated Col. Jessup. But as a society we have accepted mediocrity from our members despite how many other lives that impacts. But that’s another topic for another day.

Here is a short story I wrote for of which I am particularly proud to have been a part of and always brings the reality of this great Country back to my mind.

Camp Leatherneck and the East End DCFD

On November 10th, 2010 on the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corp and with Veterans Day approaching, the members of Engine 30 and 17 Truck received a very fitting email from our troops overseas. A little over a month prior the members of “The Heights” sent over a little “sign” of support for 9th Engineer Support Battalion of the USMC as well as all of our troops fighting for our Country abroad. The sign (shown below) included the company patches of the proud East End crews as well as the formally recognized patch of the District of Columbia Fire Department. The sign was sent to Cpl. Stephen J. Fennell, son of Truck 17 # 1 Lieutenant Stephen Fennell, and his fellow Marines on the grounds of Camp Leatherneck in Helmond Province, Afghanistan. See the attached picture of the brave Marines sporting the sign of support. The sign was hung in the weight room of Camp Leatherneck for the remainder of their deployment. The banner served the men as a constant remainder of the world they were protecting and the pride the crew from the East End and the rest of the DCFD has in their efforts to protect our freedom. Thankfully, the sign returned home along with the unscathed Cpl. Fennell and the rest of the 9th Engineer Support Battalion. One of the 1st stops Cpl. Fennell made when he returned stateside was to the quarters of Engine 30 to express his gratitude for our support and to share a well deserved meal with the crew. To all the members of the US Armed Services proudly serving our Country home and abroad, the members of “The Heights” and the entire District of Columbia Fire Department, we extend our deepest gratitude for your service. Semper Fidelis.

Cpl. Fennell safely home again

Regardless of individual struggles with society each of us may endure on a daily basis, it is the fine men and women of the Armed Services like Cpl. Fennell and Cpl. Kirk J. Bosselmann that have afforded us the right to worry about small issues that seem so big from under the blanket of freedom. Just say thank you and be on your way, otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post!

Happy Independence Day!