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Friday, March 29, 2013

Rarified Air


A few days ago on March 27th, we were reminded of the 6th anniversary of the Firegeezer blog. It’s crazy, but I thought they had been around longer than that. It sure seems like it.
When I say “they”; of course I am referring to Bill Schumm and Perfesser Mike Ward. They complement each other very well. Bill is soft-spoken and a student of the history of the fire service and Mike Ward is an academian who can fire off articulated rants like a gangster’s machine gun.
 Firegeezer is a blog that I visit daily and it is the quality of the blog that keeps me coming back.
Do we have a point here?
Yes.
I have been writing articles; in essence, “blogging” since 2003. I started doing articles for the Memberszone at Firehouse.com and from there, I went to IACOJ. I’ll come back to this later.
Then, Dave Iannone was starting up FirefighterNation.com and invited me to come and blog for him. In the meantime, he and his partner, Chris Hebert started FireEMSBlogs with the idea that they would bring the best fire/EMS bloggers together at ONE website. I wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 blogs for Dave and Company. I also wrote some articles for FireRescue1, but most recently, I have been blogging for FireEngineering.com.
I would venture to guess that I have written and posted over 500 articles over the years and some of you might remember that I also wrote and posted “The Adventures of Jake and Vinnie”. Currently, I am in the final phases of scrubbing Jake and Vinnie for a launch as an E-book. Those of you who read the series might remember that I didn’t end it with a final episode. Now, it has a final episode! Stay tuned.
My title for today comes from a small website that, in its heyday, had around 1000 members. A couple of server crashes later has seen membership drop. The IACOJ was born out of the discussions that some of us were having at Firehouse.com. In fact; we were so vocal that they created the “Off Duty” forums for the Jakes. One thing led to another and with the guiding vision of Ron “Da Gonz” Ayotte and the IT skills of Steve Gallagher, Dave LeBlanc and Matt Kivela; the IACOJ went on-line as a  website where you could engage in respectful debate and avoid the flame-throwers with their name-baiting.
But, something else came out of this distinguished group of jakes…BLOGGERS!
There may be others, but the bloggers that I follow to this day are Mike Ward at Firegeezer, Bill Carey at Back Step Firefighter, Dave LeBlanc at A View From the Front Seat, Ron Ayotte at Chief Concerns, Grant Mishoe at Sconfire.com and Mick Mayers at Firehouse Zen.
There is one more blog that I visit on a regular basis and that is Dave Statter at Statter911.
Dave LeBlanc recently wrote a blog about the proliferation of training articles and the importance of verifying the information and the “street cred” of the person posting the article. I couldn’t agree more.
As we all know; any person with a computer and an Internet connection can be anything that he wants to be and say whatever trips their trigger. Just because they say it doesn’t make it so and with all of the social media that is available; it extends the reach of what could be bad information.
But, with the aforementioned bloggers, trust and verify is certainly not an issue. They are well educated, experienced and would never dispense bad information. And on matters of opinion; they will leave no question as to where they stand with their respectful and well-reasoned reply. They all have “street cred”.
In the past several months, I have not been very active with my blogging. There have been a series of family events that have taken priority and I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to write.
I will find my groove again. Bobby H. gets concerned when he doesn’t here from me.
I hope to get to FDIC this year and perhaps I will get to talk with fellow bloggers.
In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to visit any of the bloggers mentioned in this article.
You won’t be disappointed.
Take care and stay safe.