Becoming infectious

While I was just returning from a Strategic Planning session with the  MN8 Fox Fire Team  in Wyoming, Ohio, Rhett had the honor and privilege of hearing Chief Rick Lasky present Pride and Ownership in nearby Lynchburg, Va.

Read Chief Lasky’s Bio HERE 

I have seen some video and heard Chief Lasky speak in the past but I haven’t gotten to see his entire presentation yet…. I plan to. Rhett was and remains pretty STOKED … the Chief is one hell of a motivational speaker.

“Chief Rick Lasky takes a hard look at the fire service and finds it short on the only element that makes it effective: passion. Chief Lasky gives an upfront and honest criticism about the need to reignite the love of the job on every level, from chiefs on down.”

The presentation was put on by the Lynchburg Firefighters, IAFF Local 1146 and the Lynchburg Fire Department.

Lynchburg has been putting on seminars like this for several years now and one of the most impressive aspects (other than the speakers they attract) is the fact that attendance is FREE. These guys are well on their way down the road Chief Lasky is attempting to pave … they “get it”.  Special thanks to Local 1146, the Lynchburg FD and everyone else involved in bringing another great class / presentation to our area!

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Rhett is still excited. He posted his first of what I’m sure will be many installments on his experience over on Fire Critic (or “Cricket” as Dave Statter would say).

This first installment is titled in part “Self Evaluation” … I hope it’s more reassurance and not self doubt because Rhett “gets it” and shouldn’t sell himself short ( door Statter pun intended )

Read his entire post by clicking HERE

It’s no secret that Rhett and I are good friends. We are actually more than that and our bond / friendship is not something you find everyday. It reminds me of a scene from the movie Tombstone …

I don’t have a lot of friends. Despite what many of you see while we’re “on the road”, I just don’t have “that” personality. It’s difficult for me to walk up to folks and “hit it off” from the start. Rhett is different, hes the type who has never met a stranger.

We are almost opposites. With all our differences,  I can’t explain why ( or how ) Rhett and I have become so close . If we had that answer and could bottle it up, we’d be rich! I will say that with Rhett, there’s no guessing … he’s transparent. His emotion, feelings, passion, Brotherhood etc is worn on his sleeve.

I guess that’s in part a piece of the answer.  A firefighter can sniff out bullshit and Rhett is genuine. He didn’t just talk a good game, he “walked the walk” …and  he continues to daily.

We’ve had several instances where his actions have left me honored and humbled and I don’t say that lightly. Yes, we have often used words like honored, humbled and Brotherhood but, on the same hand; we are not just throwing them around.

One moment we shared ( one of MANY) that I carry with me still today is from our 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in Atlanta, Ga. ( our 2nd of 4 climbs! )

The climb was held at Fire Rescue International (FRI) back in August 2011.

For whatever reason, this climb was hard on Rhett. We did 73 stories, non-stop with no water or ventilation. He had began to shed gear and I carried it behind him to lighten his load. He was soaking wet with sweat, beat red and had that “spent” look. He was hurting.

Despite the pain, no words were spoken. We continued to climb in relative silence, honoring and remembering those we came to. Then he stopped. He stopped, turned around and started back down whatever flight we were on.

I thought he was headed back to the last landing to quit. MAN WAS I WRONG ! He simply and quietly, in an exhausted tone; said “I missed one”. He had missed a step … a single step and had turned around to do the entire flight over! We had vowed not only to make the climbs but to also not miss a single step … Rhett held true to his word and did it when it counted most. Talk about PRIDE AND OWNERSHIP !

Read the entire story of that climb by clicking HERE

Also read Rhett’s take on the climb by clicking HERE

I have many more examples just as humbling.

Sometimes, it just the “little things” that define a man and Rhett seems to understand that. We live it, or at least try to live “by it”.

We recently had what we call “Brotherhood Chips” designed and on the edge included 5 simple words ….

“Brotherhood, Pride, Honor, Tradition and Respect”.

“Simple” words yet so powerful when understood. For us, they define a lifestyle .. our way of life.

Get your Iron Firemen / Fire Critic Brotherhood Chip HERE 

The point I’m working towards is this. I think that together, Rhett and I have a pretty good grasp / understanding of Pride and Ownership ( and know all to well that it takes more than a few Memorial Stair Climbs or our face on a coin).  Now, all we have to do is to figure out what to do with it. Actually, that’s not 100% correct either … we know what to do with it … that’s part of owning it.

Now, we’ve reached the point where it’s time to start sharing it … spreading it around… we want and intend to “infect” you with it .. with Brotherhood, Honor, Pride, Tradition and Respect!

2012 is looking like it may be our best year yet.  Our plan builds upon and continues many of the things we accomplished in 2011 and will as take us in many new directions as well!

Like last year, in 2012; we will attend at least the 3 major Trade Shows .. FDIC,  Firehouse Expo  and  FRI . If you’re planning to attend either of these shows, be sure to contact us and plan to meet up. We will buy you a beer and promise to drink all you buy us!

You will continue to see us involved in the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation  in 2012. You will find us at select  9/11 Memorial Stair Climbs  as well as at the Memorial Weekend  in Emmitsburg, Md.

New for 2012 you will see our presence at  Hero Rush events … exciting details to come. You will see our involvement in charitable organizations that so proudly give back to our Brothers and Sisters .. the Fire Service.

We have a few new Web Sites to launch that we are sure you’re gonna  LOVE ( yea… details coming soon ..can’t let “the cat out of the bag” yet but it’ll be worth the wait)

We have also expanded our teaching curriculum beyond “Social Media” to include many desired topics as well as “Motivational Speaking” . As early as the end of this month, Rhett and I will speak at an Awards Dinner for a Department just north of us here in Va. WHAT AN HONOR ! (more details to come soon).

If you’d like us to teach, present or speak for your Department, CONTACT US HERE

So I’m just as excited as Rhett right now. We have a GREAT 2012 planned and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!  Wherever we are, you can bet that we will be promoting PRIDE AND OWNERSHIP just as we have all along. We get it and we want to give it to you … I hope you come along for the ride !

Stay Safe and in House!

Captain Wines