Getting high and rocking Fire Rescue International (FRI) 2012

“High” as in a mile high … as in Colorado high …as in Rocky Mountain high.

Rhett and I just returned from FRI 2012 ( Fire- Rescue International) in Denver, Colorado and WE ROCKED IT!

You should have heard Rhett banging out John Denver tunes on the street pianos of downtown Denver…. LOL

It was another GREAT show and experience for us. We have a good time anywhere we go but this trip was AWESOME! If you didn’t make it, start planning now to join us in 2013 back in Chicago.

Once again, we traveled as Team MN8-Fox Fire along with the Prez Zach Green and the lovely Kelly. This trip,  we also had   Chief Robert R. Rielage (Wyoming, Ohio Fire Department) Bryant Davis (Captain, Wyoming Ohio Fire Department) and Paul Dykena (firefighter Kirtland Air Force Base) along for the ride.

We made an awesome team!

Once again, the MN8-FoxFire booth was the center of attention.

I truly believe that we currently  have the best product on the market when it comes to firefighter accountability. In my demo/ product presentation, I talk about visibility, accountability and orientation ….. this product offers all 3!

If you’re not using our product, you should be. Zach is honoring the “show price” for the next few days so be sure to check us out asap and start “Illuminating” your Department!

Buy MN8-FoxFire HERE

When we got into Denver, Rhett and I had the day to our selves.

We had decided that there was no way that we could be “that close” to Colorado Springs and the IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial without stopping in ….

we rented a car and struck out!

It was an AWESOME ride with unbelievable views!

I had been to the Memorial 20 some years ago as a Rookie Firefighter. I traveled out with good friend and Brother Randy Smith (now 1st Lt of Ladder #1C).

The trip and the names on that wall made an impression on me … one I’ve never forgotten.

Two of the names on that wall came from my Department and Local  (IAFF Local 1132)…. I remember their deaths.

Robert G. Cassell and Harvey H. Helm were killed by a drunk driver on November 1, 1985.  We’ve since had 2 “medical” LODD’s while no others have been lost while on scene of an incident.

In the picture to the left, I’m standing in front of the 1985 section of “The Wall”…. obviously, we took the time to find Helm and Cassell.

It was a somber moment … humbling.

We were there alone and never spoke a word …. quiet. Each knowing what the other was feeling / thinking, we said a silent prayer for all of the names before us. I hope they never add another.

Follow on Face Book Click HERE

So, the following day was all work at our FRI Booth.

Like I said above, we were busy … VERY BUSY.

The great thing about being so busy is that we get to meet so many great folks …. people from all across the Country and even some from others.

For us, that’s a big part of the shows … networking … meeting our Brothers and Sisters and hearing their stories.

We get a small chance for that while on the floor but the honest answer is that we’re really too busy to talk as much as we’d like. The real networking comes in the evenings … after the show .. out on the town.

That’s when we REALLY turn it up a notch!

At places like The Tilted Kilt !

This is when we really shine …. trading coins, talking shop and posing for photos.

If you don’t have one of our Challenge Coins or patches yet, don’t panic. They are available online and you can have your custom patch or coin made as well. If you haven;t done so yet, visit NM Coin LLC for for more info and to get your Ironfiremen / FireCritic Challenge Coin (I’m heads …lol)


Of course, you’ll notice that once again we rocked our Kilts ( Alt ) and helmets with custom Box Alarm Leather Fronts!

It’s hard not to notice us and everybody seems to love the “look” … wait until you see what we are bringing out next

Want us in your gear? Wearing or using YOUR product? Check us out at ….

Firefighter Product Review

We also got to meet and hang with some big names and faces while in Denver.

That’s the other thing about these shows …. you just never know who you’re going to meet or bump into.

You guys know Michael Lombardi right?

Michael Lombardi as in the guy who plays the character “Mike Silletti” in the TV show “Rescue Me“.

Lombardi was not only on the floor of FRI, his band; Blood Moon Therapy, played at the Hard Rock while we were there.

Rhett and I had the chance to see and meet with him at both places …. he’s actually a pretty cool guy. He loved the helmets, kilts and most of all .. “the stache”.

Find Michael Lombardi on Face Book HERE

We also got to see and hang out with the likes of Brian Brush as well as the guys from The  Remembrance Rescue Project and the Terry Farrell Fund.

All are a great bunch of guys …. BROTHERS

There is a lot of talk, debate, discussion, even scuttlebutt about these two groups going around as of late but for NOW … Rhett and I have been giving the “benefit of the doubt “.

I will tell ya that we are involved. Asking questions, giving advise etc. I hope it’s taken to heart …. otherwise, one of the groups may not receive our support. As for now, what’s important (and what I wanted to share) is that we were all together … in one place …. drinking beers and sharing the Brotherhood.

Rhett gave his take on the issues in a previous post found HERE .

Read posts from “The Secret List”  HERE and HERE

We’ve since learned more details and that’s why / how we became involved. My “take” is simple ….. those Rescue Trucks HAVE TO SURVIVE …. they actually already have … they made it through the collapses of the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001.

They are a mobile “Tribute” to the 343. A tool. A “tool” to educate the next generations as to the events of that fateful day. The day our Brothers and Sisters (such as Terry Farrell) were murdered.

I stood there in AWE as I looked at Rescue 4 ( Queens). I’ve rode along in that very rig. I couldnt help but think of the hands that have been on the door latches. I thought about the men who took their last ride in that very rig … and there it was … right in front of me. I was once again humbled and honored. Rhett and I can’t wait to get the chance to show this truck and tell it’s story to our children … ours and theirs. I hope the “issues” are soon resolved ..we’ll see.

So like I’ve been saying … it was a great trip and the best part is always the people we get to meet.

For all of you that we did get the honor of meeting, if we haven’t done so already; tag yourself in the photos. On the other hand, if you have pics of us,  tag us as well .

Our next road trip is planned for this upcoming weekend.

We will be heading down to Surry County, North Carolina to deliver “bail out kits” awarded by the National Firefighters Endowment. See how they earned the kits by clicking HERE.

If you’re not familiar  with the NFE, you should be … especially if your Department needs money… yea … I said MONEY.

How about your choice of a new Ford or Chevy truck? How about a $5,000 Equipment Grant? They’re easier to get than you may think. If you didn’t hit the link above, use the one below to find out how to apply. Don’t forget to join the “Officer’s Club” while you’re there …

Find the National Firefighters Endowment here

After our stop in Surry County, we’ll be headed to Raleigh for a F.O.O.L.S Bash …. more on that later this week. Until then,  I’ll leave ys with a few more pics from Denver … enjoy










Rhett has a complete photo album of our trip over on his  Face Book page… be sure to check it out

FireCritic’s FRI 2012 photo Album on FB

As always, thanks for following along. I still have a little bit of “jet lag” and tons of work to catch up on around the farm …. it’s going to be a long day week.

That said, I’m back on duty Thursday and will check back in with another post as soon as I can. Until I do, stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines