As the Beatles might say, it's been a "long and winding road!" Back in 2011, I joined Twitter to try and promote our former production company, "Dalmatian Productions." It didn't take long before two fellow firefighters, reached out to me and became my social media mentors. At the same time, my partners and I were trying to develop a new, high-quality TV show or movie about the fire service.
Thanks to those two friends, my Twitter experience rapidly grew and as I participated in many conversations, I was hearing suggestions that I start a podcast. To be honest, I had no idea what a podcast was. That all changed in 2016, when I started, "5-Alarm Task Force." At that time, I was hoping that maybe 15-20 firefighters would listen to the podcast. As we not enter our fifth season, we have listeners in nearly forty countries, across six continents. Though I am both pleasantly surprised and happy with these numbers, I felt I needed to do more. The questions were, "How could I do this," and "What could I do?" To answer those questions, I fell back on my work experience for many years, which was my work in the non-profit sector. I reached out to family, friends and online contacts who helped me reach the decision to create our own non-profit through which we could help firefighters and other first responders in dire need.
As I spoke with my financial advisers, I realized that even with a dream such as this, I needed help. No, not to simply create and run the company, but to fulfill the goal. For that, I reached out to two of my longest supporters, Battalion Chief Andy Starnes and Firefighter Nicolas Higgins, who have come on as members of the Board of Directors.
Almost everyday, many of us see the stories of LODD's, injuries and other calamities that befall our firefighters and other first responders. Yet, we also see that our brother and sister first responders are still out there, every single day, doing the job in the face of an adversity that has not been seen in over one-hundred years. And that is who we are and what we do.
Recently, we adopted our mission statement: "One Family. One Mission. First Responders Helping Each Other!"
However, we are not currently soliciting contributions. Why? Because we believe that with the ongoing surge of the coronavirus pandemic, any funds donated now should be directed to provide PPE for our first responders and/or provide food for the thousands of families who are still suffering from lack of employment, wages, etc. THEY need our help first.
As soon as "the curve flattens," as our medical advisors and government leaders say, we will begin our fundraising. There will be several types of links on this site. One will be our new PayPal icon, that will allow the visitor to donate with any credit or debit card. There will be a link to contact us via email, if the visitor has a critical need and more.
Please bear in mind that you will see changes on various pages of this website as time goes on, as we are unable to take it off-line as a whole, so we will make the changes, like this Blog entry and the homepage.
To all our readers and listeners, thank you for your support and care. Together, we can make part of the first responders community a little bit better.
Stay Safe & Stay Well!
Steve Greene is the president of 5-Alarm Task Force Corp., a 501 (c) (3), non-profit company and the Creator/Host of the "5-Alarm Task Force" podcast.