Actually I do know why … it's because we've worked our tails off !
Rhett has known for a long time now what works and what doesnt as far as our web sites and social media outlets go. We've shared a vision and ever changing goals and we work every day to reach them.
We've got a ways to yet but I have to tell ya …. so far it's been a great ride!
Those of you who follow us regularly know that we just got back from Nashville and the 2013 CMA's! It was an unbelievable expreience and I'm excited to share it you.
The first thing I want to tell you about is WHY we were able to go in the first place.
Kidde (link) had contacted Rhett and asked him (FireCritic.com) to cover some special events they were announcing prior to the CMA's. Thankfully, he arranged for me to go as well.
Kidde is the worlds largest manufacturer of Fire Safety Products. Their goal is to provide solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. Kidde provides smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and many other fire safety products.
On Wednesday morning, in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame; they announced their Be a Hero, Save a Hero (link) program.If you watched the CMA's on TV, you most likely seen their comercial with Craig Morgan.
The program is based around taking 5 Steps to Safety.
2). Make sure to have a Kidde fire extinguisher on every level of your home.
3). Also place Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarms on each level of your home.
4). Develop and practice an Escape Plan for your family in case there is a fire in the house.
5). Take the Alarm Pledge (link) .
Why Kidde Smoke Alarms? Because they're the best on the market. They are called "worry free" for good reason. They are sealed and contain a 10 year battery. Most fire fatalities occur in homes without smoke alarms or in homes where the alarm didn't sound. The top reason for those alarms not sounding is because the battery was either removed or was dead.
The Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm will help combat these issues and SAVE LIVES!
Why the Escape Plan and Alarm Pledge? Because if we (firefighters) arrive to a house fire and the family has been alerted to the fire by a dependable alarm, activated their plan, escaped to their meeting place and can inform us that everyone is safely out, then our search efforts may become less aggressive, thus keeping our members safer. That's why it's supported by groups such as the NFFF (National Fallen Firefighters Foundation… link).
Trust me … this is a program we ALL need to stand behind and promote.Learn more and find Kidde in the links below.
Like we always do, we had posted about our trip on Face Book. We always get Brothers and Sisters asking us to drop by for a visit along the way and this time, T.J. Giles got on the schedule first.
T.J works for the Oak Ridge Fire Department which is just outside of Knoxville, Tn.
It's known as the "Atomic City" because it's where the Atomic Bomb was constructed.
We learned a little about the City / Department and heard some great stories.
We were met by several members of the Department, including their Union President (IAFF L-1346 link) .
It was obvious from the beginning that the Brothers and Sisters of Oak Ridge "get it".
It was also obvious where they get it from … their Chief, Darryl Kerley .
Cheif Kerley not only took the time to come out and represent his Department by meeting us, he also treated us to lunch. It was a GREAT visit and very refreshing to see a Chief so in tune with his members.
The boys loaded us up with a bunch of Atomic City Swag and we got back on the road to Nashville. Our next stop would be to meet Rhett's parents just outside of Nashville. Believe it or not, I've never met his mom and dad.
I mentioned it in an earlier post and meant to say it just like that … a new DEPARTMENT.
Under the leadership of Chief Erron Kinney (a former NFL player) this Department is literally being built from the ground up.
It was VERY COOL to see some of the PRIDE and TRADITION Chief Kinney and his members are already building into their Department.
The black and gold stripes on their rigs are from the colors of their local high school. The have a Chicago style green strobe on the front as well as Roto Rays! Their name is FDMJ (Fire Department of Mt Juliet) much like FDNY.
The PRIDE his members held for their Department was evident in each member as they gave us the all access tour. Another Chief getting it right …. we knew this was going to be a good trip!
So we left the FDMJ for a home cooked meal and brief stay at Rhett's parents house.Afterwards, we got settled in to the Omni hotel in Downtown Nashville. We were worn out and ready to get some rest just as the phone rang.
Our presence was requested to meet some of the folks who were responsible for bringing us down. Little did we know we'd be meeting some of the TOP EXECUTIVES from ABC and Kidde. Yea …. that ABC … the American Broadcasting Company (link)…. you know … the ones broadcasting the CMA's.
At the end of the night, we were politely
asked told to be in the hotel lobby at 6:30am.
LOL … they invited us to attend a live concert by Luke Bryan that was airing on GMA (Good Morning America .. link).
We were ushered right up front and treated to an AWESOME show!
The place was packed and the crowd was pumped!
Luke even had Rhett dancing and singing along …. ok … he was 2 lines behind and trying to sing along … LMAO.
We were standing in a roped off area next to the Dodge Truck up by the stage.
They interviewed Easton Corbin for teaming up with Dodge Trucks to celebrate the "Year of the Farmer"
It's all about the "blue jacket" and assuring that some less fortunate kids have the opportunity to wear one.
The only way it could have gotten any better is if Corbin had played as well. We were on cloud 9 and haven't even had breakfast yet! Here's the video from the interview / broadcast…
Craig Morgan and Kix Brooks (of Brooks and Dunn) were both on hand for the big announcement.
NFFF Executive Director, Chief Ron Siarnicki was also on hand to share the NFFF's support.
Chief Siarnicki even presented both Morgan and Brooks with a NFFF Challenge Coin!
WHY Craig Morgan? Because he's one of us. Not only was he a volunteer firefighter, he's actually made a couple of grabs and put in some solid work (from his tour bus even).
WHY Kix Brooks? Because of Kix Brooks Radio (link) and all of his support for us.
The two make a GREAT FIT for both Kidde and the Fire Service and it was an honor to shake both of their hands.
Afterwards, Kix even hosted us for lunch at The Standard at The Smith House (link)!
How AWESOME is that??? We ate lunch with Kix Brooks!
I wasn't sure the trip could get any better but it did.
We got a short break before we had to head out to the CMA Corporate Pre-Tel Reception . Yea …. we were invited there as well!
These folks obviously didn't want us attending the CMAs hungry or thirsty.
I guess it all goes back to the saying about the people you surround yourself!
Speaking of that, I forgot to mention that Prince Georges County (link) Chief M. Bashoor was there as well.
Rhett and I have had the honor of hanging out with Chief Bashoor on several occasions over the past several years. He's another Chief who obviously "gets it" and it's always a pleasure spending time with him.
So we got plenty to eat / drink and shared more good conversation before heading across the street to the big show.
Again all I can say is WOW! …. We were at the CMA's!
Well, that answer is simple. We were there representing the Fire Service. We had been to fire service related events all day. In the end, it came down to renting a tux, wearing our kilts or keeping our Class A's on.
Obviously we elected to keep the dress uniforms.
Having them on also gave us the chance to explain to those who asked WHY we were there. Even with the cowboy hat, it was professional and represented us well.
We DID however wear our kilts to the after party and they were a HUGE hit! Who would have ever guessed that kilts, uniform shirts and cowboy hats would draw so much attention..LOL.
So the show was better live than I would have ever imagined. There were so many GREAT performances. The George Strait / Allan Jackson Tribute to George Jones was AMAZING. Then George Strait walked away with Entertainer of the Year!
Although there were many highlights, my favorite was Allison Krauss joining Taylor Swift and Vince Gill to perform Taylor's hit song Red.Here's the video ….
Like I said, we wore our Kilts to the after party but that's all that I'm allowed to discuss at this point. What happens at the CMA After Party stays at the CMA After Party … LOL.
The post is getting a little long (can you tell I'm excited) so I'll wrap it up here. The short version of the remainder of the night is that we stayed out WAY TOO LATE and had a BLAST. I think I danced with every woman and half the men in Nashville LOL.
THANKS for sticking with me this long and please, keep checking in on us because you never know where you'll see us next or exactly what we will be into!
Stay SAFE and in House!