The beautiful and very talented Mary Arnold, owner of Box Alarm Leather, visited Booth #743 at the Baltimore Convention Center on Thursday. Mary brought two things with her, her husband Andrew (not as beautiful and talented, but a great guy) and a surprise gift for the publisher of this rag you are reading. The present is in the picture above and the Arnolds are in the one below.
Apparently Mary must be familiar with someone who is a Keyboard Incident Commander (KIC) at STATter911.com. So, now that we have a shield for KICs we need to work on certification and continuing education. While at Firehouse Expo I was engaged in discussions with some of the top fire service educators in the nation about providing the courses. I don’t have a lot of details yet, but the one thing I am certain about from these talks is that whatever we come up with will involve sending me a lot of money. That’s something we like at STATter911.com.
If you are not aware, Box Alarm Leather specializes in handcrafted custom leather fire helmet shields and firefighter radio straps. Please check them out. An exceptional product from exceptional people. I still haven’t stopped chuckling over this.
Thursday’s NFFF 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb was, as always, a joy to witness. If you missed it, there was a lot of news coverage. You can read and watch those stories here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
One of the other high points for me at Firehouse Expo was the Chief’s Leadership Forum on Wednesday. Thanks to all of those who were at the session and helped further the discussion on handling bad news.
Back to the convention floor where there were a lot of other comings and goings at Booth #743 from Thursday to Saturday. As usual, we were part of Firegeezer Bill Schumm’s booth. We were also joined by firefighter and author Will Wyatt (buy his book ”And a Paycheck, Too!” … very funny) and Helge “Hagar” Nordtveit who told everyone about Dr. Frank Field’s video for middle schoolers, “Fire Is!”.
Documenting the booth’s visitors, as usual, was Mike Legeros of Legeros Fire Blog fame. Mike shows up each year just to take pictures of old broken down firefighters to go along with the many photos he has of old and broken down firehouses.
But Mike went for the younger crowd too with his visit to the MN8-Foxfire booth. Each time we stopped by, MN8-Foxfire President Zach Green begged me to take THE Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz back. But all the geezers at the Firegeezer booth said no. They were enjoying not having the disruptive environment of a teenager under foot as in previous years. The only way they would take Rhett back is with his guardian IronFiremen.com’s Willie Wines Jr. to provide adult supervision. Zach was not about to give up Willie. Willie is way too valuable to the MN8-Foxfire operation (read Fireboy’s somewhat fictional account of Expo).
Below is a complilation of Mike’s pictures from three days embedded with the Geezer Gang (which includes actual geezers and geezers in training). Missing from the booth this year was our friend FossilMedic Mike Ward who couldn’t join us because of business obligations. It just wasn’t the same without you Mike. Notice I didn’t say it was worse Mike. Just not the same.