24/7 Non-Stop Community Service

My favorite kind of two-hatter was featured in the most recent edition of the National Guard’s GX Magazine: Those who wear both a soldier’s helmet and a fire helmet.

The featured Guardsman is Specialist Rob Fox — a Soldier in the California Army National Guard’s 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and firefighter with the San Diego Fire Department.

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“Hire a Hero” Event Reinforces Opportunity to Recruit Vets

You don’t need to look hard to read between the lines of this Buffalo News article to see that it reinforces the tremendous opportunity for the volunteer fire service to embrace and welcome home returning veterans by recruiting them into our ranks.

As Buffalo News Reporter Gene Warner refers to “That challenge — how to convert military discipline, teamwork and even combat experience into a successful job search…” could be answered with the opportunity to serve in the volunteer fire service. All we have to do is open our doors and our hearts to these special people who have already done so much to protect their country and their community.

I first became aware of this event thanks to my good friend and SoldierFirefighter Dan Frontera who is in charge of veteran services for Erie Community College. I happened to catch this flyer on his door while taking a class at ECC’s Oak Street Campus.

Read the complete article and take heed of the challenges these service men and women face. We in the fire service hold a unique and much-needed resource in allowing them to re-connect with their community and its people by continuing their legacy of service.

http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/buffalo/article758092.ece

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Fire Service Related War Death

As a means of recognizing those who serve both our country and our community, we share this unfortunate story of a firefighter who lost his father serving in Afghanistan. When one of our families hurts, we all hurt. This information is provided courtesy of The Secret List from www.FirefighterCloseCalls.com.

FIRE SERVICE RELATED WAR DEATH:

We regret to advise you that Major Robert Marchanti of the US Army National Guard was recently killed in Afghanistan while serving our country. Major Marchanti is the FATHER of BALTIMORE CITY FF Aaron Marchanti of Truck Company 1.

PLEASE READ MORE HERE ABOUT THIS OUTSTANDING HERO:

http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/community-remembers-marchanti-as-a-gentle-giant#photo-9236899

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-marchanti-fire-flag-20120228,0,6751413.story

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-heroes-van-consolation-20120229,0,2671787.story

Take Care-BE CAREFUL.

BillyG

The Secret List 3-6-12 / 1053 Hours

www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com

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Soldier|Firefighter Debuts in Fire-Rescue Magazine

Citizen-Soldier-Firefighter Don Keuck is a firefighter with the Doyle Hose Co. 1 in Cheektowaga NY and a Sergeant with the NY National Guard. Photos by: Tiger Schmittendorf - Editing Courtesy of: Fire-Rescue Magazine

The full story behind Soldier|Firefighter was revealed in an article I wrote for the March-2012 edition of Fire-Rescue Magazine.This link to the story on FirefighterNation.com — the magazine’s online home — shares my belief that we have both an opportunity and an obligation to connect Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors, Guardsmen and Coasties with the fire service as a way of welcoming them home and recognizing them for their sacrifices in protecting our nation and the nations our country protects.

Check it out and leave your comments here, on FirefighterNation.com or on Facebook. I’m hoping that this article’s debut in both the print and online edition of the magazine will spur interest from the military, the fire service and the general public in strengthening the bond between these brothers. Continue reading

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365Vets Sets Out to Share Soldiers’ Stories

Like my RuntotheCurb and FirefighterStorytellers sites, the goal of the 365Vets blog is to share the story of a different veteran, 365 days a year, with 365 stories a year.

Started by two moms (Tina & Jennifer) who are on a mission to honor a Veteran a day, every day of the year through their stories told in their own words. And, like Soldier|Firefighter, they too want to honor our heroes, raise awareness about the issues veterans face every day, and preserve veteran’s stories for future generations.

Check them out, subscribe to their blog, and if you’re a veteran too, share your story with them. You’ll be glad you did.

Tiger Schmittendorf

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Recruiting Veterans Can Help Your FD get “SAFER”

It appears that even the Federal Government has caught on to the Soldier-Firefighter concept.

Building off President Obama’s urgency to provide rewarding opportunities for returning veterans, the US Department of Homeland Security has included language in the recently released FY2011 SAFER Grant Program Guidance that encourages the recruitment and hiring of men and women who served in our nation’s military post-9/11:

“FEMA strongly encourages applicants, to the extent practicable, to seek, recruit, and hire post-9/11 veterans to increase their ranks within your department in order to take advantage of the provisions of the VOW To Hire Heroes Act of 2011. More information on the Act can be found at http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/vow.html.

In FY 2012, FEMA anticipates a preference for all SAFER applicants to have a policy in place addressing their intent to implement strategies to support this Act and to have recruiting efforts aimed at post-9/11 veterans.”

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Welcome Home Soldier!

The Erie County Department of Emergency Services has launched a recruitment effort titled “Welcome Home Soldier!” as a means of inviting returning veterans to join the ranks of the volunteer fire and emergency services in their community.

“Seeing Red” is an alternate label for the campaign, offering soldiers the opportunity to trade their green camo for the opportunity to ride red fire engines and continue their legacy of service to their country and community. The program builds on the fact that both institutions share a common set of values and that the volunteer fire service offers returning troops the opportunity for a smoother transition back into civilian life following their combat duty.

Active duty, reserve, retired and National Guardsmen are ideal candidates for today’s fire service in that we don’t have to teach them discipline, respect, teamwork or the chain-of-command. Welcoming them home offers them the camaraderie, sense of belonging and purpose that they miss.

The Erie County Volunteer Fire Service says, “Welcome home soldier. We’ve been waiting for you.”

If you’re a returning veteran and think you might want to get involved and see what the volunteer fire service has to offer, please complete the connection form or contact the Erie County Division of Fire Safety at 716-681-7111 or fire@erie.gov and we’ll connect you with the appropriate fire department in your neighborhood.

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President Urges Hiring, Recruiting of Veterans

According to this article posted on FirefighterNation.com: “Let’s get more cops on the beat, let’s get more rangers in the parks, let’s get more firefighters on call, and in the process, we’re going to put more veterans back to work,” Obama said Friday (February 3, 2012) at a fire station in Arlington, Va., that was one of the first to respond to the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Furthermore, in its guidance document for the 2011 SAFER grant program for hiring career firefighters and recruiting volunteer firefighters, FEMA “strongly encourages applicants, to the extent practicable, to seek, recruit, and hire post-9/11 veterans to increase their ranks within your department in order to take advantage of the provisions of the VOW To Hire Heroes Act of 2011.”

These statements certainly reinforce the necessity, and the benefits of connecting soldiers and firefighters and back it up with support from our “commander-and-chief”

REFERENCES:

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Soldier|Firefighter

Welcome to Soldier|Firefighter. This site is dedicated to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who serve our nation in protecting our freedom every day.

The goal of this effort is to create and strengthen the connection between those who serve in the military and those who serve in the fire service as a means of bolstering both their ranks, their morale and their respect for each other’s work. We have plenty in common.

Whichever challenge you choose: Serve Your Country. Serve Your Community.

Watch this promo and take the challenge!

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