Now don't think "Mrs.G" just sits around as
a bored Senior Citizen all day...no way. "Mrs.G" is an active Senior Citizen
in Palm Beach County, Florida who swims each and every day (18 full laps
a day-no kidd'n...her only issue is that the "old" people keep the pool
water way too warm), gets involved with committees in her Condo Association
(but gets annoyed at the old, cranky people who just wanna complain about
anything while sitting around eating bagels), is completely independent
and is on the Internet daily-with the primary purpose of communicating
with her 3 grandkids. My 3 kids are the primary focus of her life and she
feels very sorry for them..."Mrs G" is significantly worried about them
being around me too often-so she provides them with some contact from the
"real" world by phone and the www.
Chief Billy Goldfeder
If you are from the Southern Central or
the Mid-West States, you know the weather has been horrible. According
to my Mom, "Mrs. G", the weather problems have gotten much worse since
"they starting sending all those rockets into space...it messed the atmosphere
up"...Her point was well taken as just last week the crew landed back onto
earth from another space flight-and then the tornadoes kicked in. We all
have our opinions.
Anyway..."Mrs G" usually "calls 'em as
she see's them" weather it be NASA screw'n up the weather, sports (she
is an expert) or believe it or not-the fire service. She is one to SPEAK
UP on issues she believes in, on the important stuff that effects her-and
others-and isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers....and she doesn't go
away until "it" gets take care of...whatever her issue is. Just ask the
folks in her Condo Association how she feels about the pool water being
too warm. "Mrs. G" is simply not going anywhere and won't give up until
the pool water is cooled off....warm water is NOT refreshing or healthy.
It is just that simple.
So many folks in our business say they
are gonna speak up...but then check their "manual for political correctness"
to see who on that checklist they might offend....or, are worried how it
could effect them and their personal agendas....and then not much gets
said. You know who they are-they yell and scream while at the firehouse
but when it comes to speaking up...they become "heroically" silent. Every
once in a while, we just have to speak up if you really and honestly believe
in something and to hell with the outcome. Yeah-I know ya can't "spout
off" on everything...but some stuff is important and worth the risk. And
sometimes, when we do go out of our way to support an issue-those involved
may come back to help you. Then again, sometimes they won't...so you speak
up and take action on stuff w/o ever expecting a payback...ya do it cause
deep down in your heart-you know it's right.
Recently-the "FIRE SERVICE" spoke up "loud
and clear" to the Federal Government regarding their plans to royally screw
up the FIRE ACT GRANT, the FIRE Administration and The NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY
classes. That's good-we needed to. They had us over the BARREL and them
damned cross eyed "DELIVERANCE" banjo play'n boys were warming up. WHY
WAS IT STOPPED? WE SPOKE UP....some together, some individually as well
as through our numerous Associations-at all worked.
And although we claimed it as a "Major
Victory" we have to watch them to make sure they don't start warming up
again...because they will. Actually, those who "lost" the wanted changes
and cuts are planning a new strategy right now...we promise. WHEN you see
your Federally elected officials in the coming months at your FD and Community
events, fire conventions etc...REMIND them how ya feel.
NOW...another group of your friends are
in trouble and they need help. This group is one we all reached out to
before and they would do the same for us. Who? FDNY. As you have probably
read, New York City Mayor Michael Doomsberg is attempting to slice and
dismantle the FDNY. Now, I don't really care if you think it's his fault,
Rudy Giuliani's fault or whatever-the fact of the matter is that NYC was
attacked, the only reason so many LIVED is because of FDNY...and it just
seems that the LAST thing that would be cut would be the FD "operations"
side. Sound familiar? Yeah-the brain surgeons running your town sometimes
think the same way...after all, all we do is "sit around all day"....
We wrote a piece a year and a half ago
called "Train To Honor Their Memory" and we said that the BEST way to honor
firefighters who were killed in the line of duty is to TRAIN in their memory....simply
put-training minimizes risk. Yep-buy the t-shirts, display the flags, attach
the stickers...and ALSO train. With everyday being a training day.
HERE IS A 2nd way to show support: The
FDNY needs your help again...check out:
WWW.NOFIRECUTS.COM and be sure to review
the "reality" page reporting on the City Council hearings on the "Blue
Ribbon Commission." Take some time to read the site and send an e-mail
etc. Understand that numerous large corporations have offered to "sponsor"
FDNY companies and projects-and the Mayor has said no. Why is this such
a big issue?
#1-It could be your FD next.
#2-Well-same as the USFA, the ACADEMY
and OUR Fire Act Grants...we continue to be targets.
Of course, it doesn't effect everyone all
the time, but we need to kick and scream as loud as a new intern in Bill
Clinton's office...when we think something just ain't right for the FIRE
SERVICE. Without a doubt-the "squeaky wheel" system is the only thing that
seems to work when we are over the barrel. Or at least we need to keep
this up until "The Fire Service Speaks As One Voice".......Actually, sometimes
we are not so sure that "one voice for the fire service" IS the right answer...."one"
voice can result in limited information, limited opportunities, limited
communication and narrowed opinions. So, until that gets figured out, when
ya go to your summertime Fire Conventions, Conferences and related fire
activities-REMIND the politicians WHAT is important to you. Just like warm
pool water and the space program mess'n up the weather, the more voices
they hear-the better.
Make sure they hear YOUR Voice..speak up,
loud and clear.