Looking back On Baltimore. Firehouse Expo 2011


You should all know by now that Rhett (Fire Critic), Kevin Totten (Salem Fire/EMS) and I spent the better part of last week in Baltimore, Md at Firehouse Expo 2011.

We had a GREAT time surrounded by friends, fans and Brother and Sister firefighters from across the Country.

Rhett and travel a lot together but this trip in particular had several objectives.

I think our main objective was to participate in and complete the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. WE DID !

It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  A highlight of my career.  I’m still emotional about the experience and will never forget what I found in that stairway. If you haven’t, read my post following the climb  HERE  . Rhett also posted of his feelings following the climb. I think it’s his best post ever. If you’re on the job and can read it with dry eyes, you’re tougher than me. Read that post over on Fire Critic  HERE .

Another objective of our trip was working with Firefighter Netcast.

I have been working with / helping Rhett and John Mitchel  for some time now. We always have a good time and get to hear some  great discussions / interviews.

Turns out, I didn’t get to do much work for Firefighter Netcast this go round. Our good friend Zach Green from Fox Fire / MN 8 Products  found himself in a tight spot.

At the last minute, his  “Illuminating Goddess”  and sales gal couldn’t make the trip. Rhett and John had things well under control in our booth so I moved across the isle to lend Zach a hand. WOW ! We were non-stop every day of Expo. I’m not sure how much we sold over the 3 days of exhibits but we did well. Someone said that I could sell ice cream to an Eskimo. I’m not so sure about that but I will say that selling Fox Fire is easy … it sells itself. All good products do.

It also helps that I use and believe in the Fox Fire products. I wear the helmet band and have the tools on our rig pained or wrapped. I didn’t have a  “sales pitch” … it was a testimonial from a fireman who uses the product. See my previous FOX FIRE  PRODUCT REVIEW .

Zach was very thankful for the help.

See Zach’s take on the 2011 Firehouse Expo HERE

We (Zach, Rhett and I) always hang out together on these trips but this time, he took it up a notch!

He wanted to celebrate our success over dinner. Not just any dinner mind you … he wanted the best steak in town and a bottle of champagne.

Mortons Steakhouse!  Talk about classy … WOW. It was one of those places where you had 4 or five forks to choose from. It must be one of those  ADA things because our first course was seafood and Rhett used the little baby fork. I seen a big dude across the way using the big fork so I just went middle of the road.

I ate things I cant even pronounce. The appitizers were more than a meal but the food kept comming. The steak ??? UNBELIVABLE !!  I think they may have been a little worried about their wine storage because they wanted you to smell it before you drank it but anyway, it was a GREAT meal even better company … THANKS  Zach!

A 3rd objective on our trip involved Rhett and partner Jeff Harkey unveiling their new company .. Daily 911 Deals.com

This is going to be HUGE !

It’s basically a collective purchasing site for Fire, EMS and Police!

Rhett has the full details over on the Fire Critic  … CLICK HERE .

So, as you can tell; there is a ton of work to be done while we’re on these trips. We spend all day on our feet (concrete floors)  selling, talking and networking with folks.

Like Zach, Rhett and Jeff left Baltimore with a smile on their face.

We had a good week on the floor. And yea … they’re my friends but I also now a good deal when I see it. Be sure to hit the link above and register for the Daily 911 Deals … it will save ya money on some great products!

So, that was a look at the work end of the trip but with me and Rhett, you know there was  a little play involved as well. Play on the side and some fun rolled into the work as well.

Obviously, we met and spoke with hundreds if not thousands of people this week. The really cool thing is that several of them actually came up to us in the booth and introduced themselves as readers / fans of the site!   WOW !  I always joke and say “so you’re the one” but, in all honesty; I’m honored and humbled every time it happens. I was so busy in the booth that I didn’t have the chance to get a shot with every one of them but here are a few …..

I know you hear people saying it all the time but you guys .. the readers / fans REALLY are the ones who make this site a success. Thanks to all of you for the following and continued support. Special thanks to all the readers who took the time to drop by the booth to say hello and offer a hand shake … it was MY honor.

Beyond the fans, I also had the privilege of meeting a few folks I have wanted to for some time as well as the chance to get together with old friends that I truly respect and admire. Here are a few shots ….

If ya didn’t hit the pics for descriptions etc. the top photo his of me and Captain Liam Flaherty of FDNY’s Rescue 2. The center pic is me with Fire Geezer .. we had never actually met until this show. The last pic is me with the author of the book They Come In Threes  Dave Houseal. As soon as I’m done with the read .. I’ll have a review of the book for ya.

We also caught up with some old friends and fans at the Fire / EMS Blog Network “Meet-up” at Uno’s restaurant. Big Nick, Little Nick, Mike Ward, Bill Carey and many others were in attendance.

Thanks to Dave Iannone, Chris Herbert, their crew from Go Forward Media and Wall Shields for sponsoring the event .. I’m the one in the cowboy hat … Statter is the one taller than Rhett..LOL

Oh yea … Statter was there as well. Dave does a TON of work for the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation and played an intrigul role in the stair climb.

Firefighter Netcast was actually set up in the Statter and Fire Geezer booth.

Rhett, Firefighter Netcast and I try to help Dave as much and often as possible. We spend a lot of time together on these trips. Despite all the fun back and forth on our sites, we are actually all  good friends and always have a blast.

Dave teamed up with Go Forward Media and invited a group of us out for dinner Saturday night following the Expo…. Maryland Blue Crab and cold beer! Afterwards, Dave treated us all to an Orioles game … here are a few shots …

YEA … That’s the Fire Critic and Dave Statter in bibs !

I have several more pictures and a few good stories to share but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow. The best news about the trip was that we all made it home safe and the Buckaroo was on the porch waiting for me when I pulled in. Today has been busy catching up on the farm … we have a busy day tomorrow as well but I’ll try to check back in.

Until I get back to ya … Stay Safe and in House!

Captain Wines