Just over 1-1/2 years ago, I planted a "seed." What did I "plant?" It was my podcast, "5-Alarm Task Force." Although I was only able to serve in the fire service for eight, short years before an injury forced me to leave, I have never let the fire service leave me. Since 1985, I have tried to stay up-to-date with the growth and evolution in firefighting, leadership, funding, education, etc. One way or another, I kept pace.
Through friends on Twitter, I am proud to say that our roster of guests includes some of the best mentors, instructors and leaders in the fire service today. They include the late, Chief Alan Brunacini, Chief Dennis Rubin, Chief (ret) Bobby Halton, Chief (ret) Marc Bashoor, Batt. Chief Jason Hoevelmann, Asst. Chief Todd LeDuc. Chief Robert Fling, Lt. Ryan Pennington, Capt. Joe DeVito, Capt. Robert Owens, Capt. Andy Starnes and many more. Moreover, we currently have over thirty (30) episodes "in the can" and have future guests carrying us into Spring 2018. With that, it is time for us to grow a bit more. Until now, I have personally shouldered all the costs for this podcast, equipment, broadband, hosting, etc. If I was still in the workforce, this would not be an issue. However, I have been disabled since 1992 due to a back injury that most likely occurred in 1978 at a state fire college training burn.
The goal for the podcast is simple - generate enough revenue to allow us to attend between two and four of the national fire service conferences, purchase two cameras, one still and one video, to use at the conferences and cover the basic operating costs of the podcast.
To achieve this goal there are several avenues that one could follow:
1. A Banner Sponsor - "This podcast is brought to you by...." The sponsor is mentioned at the opening and closing of the show, plus a number of times during. (Rating of Desirability on a 1-10 scale: 10)
2. Charge listeners to hear or download each episode - a "subscription," so to speak.
(Rating - ZERO! Do not want to do this to my brothers and sisters)
3. Affiliate with Patreon - Patreon is a business that allows followers of podcasts to pay towards a podcast, either by charging per episode, or a subscription fee as in #2 above, or allowing a follower to make a voluntary donation.
4. Commercials - There are several companies that work to match a podcast with advertisers. Then, instead of airing public service announcements, we air the commercials like most other radio and television networks,
That is where I am. I have no idea what the future holds in this regard however, I will unequivocally state that "5-Alarm Task Force" will continue as long as I can make it a worthwhile endeavor that will benefit the fire service in a positive manner.