Surprised to hear that there's an award show for podcasts? Why not! There's one for almost everything else. However, in this case, you can have a voice, or vote....or well, you know what I mean!
Beginning this Sunday, July 1st and ending on July 31st, listeners can nominate their favorite podcasts. "5-Alarm Task Force" is already registered under the "Government & Organizations" category. You will need to register and than nominate us in our category.
We hope that you will take a few moments and nominate our podcast. I do this podcast for you, our listeners, where you're in the fire service, EMS or law enforcement, or you're a "buff," someone who enjoys listening and learning about the fire service and first responders.
You will find all the rules for the contest at http://www.podcastawards.com/rules. And thank you for listening and your support!
Our podcast with Asst. Chief John Luca of the Boca Raton Fire Department will close off our second season of "5-Alarm Task Force," and take a few weeks off to share some quality time with my wonderful and very patient wife, who is also on her summer break as a teacher. Fear not, brave listeners, for we will return in mid-to-late August with more episodes and with both new and returning guests!
Since we owned our first home up in Syracuse NY in 1981, we have enjoyed planting a vegetable garden. And living in South Florida for more than the past 25 years, we don't need to wait until summer, but it is when we have the most time to attend to the task of being good gardeners.
Over the last few months, I have attempted to plant another seed and tend to it and hope for the "fruit" it will bear. That is our special page on the Patreon website. (http://www.patreon.com/Dalmatprod). Patreon allows creative artists of all types, from paints to singers, from rock bands to poets and yes, even podcasters, to post their works or information about their works, and where those who appreciate the works the artists create, can support them financially with contributions.
Some artists have specials episodes or creations that only share with financial supporters. Some create special releases that only the donors can access, while leaving most of their creations available to all. And then there are those, like me, who keep all their creations available at no cost whatsoever and hope that loyal supporters like you, will help with either a one-time or occasional donation and offer a special gift or “perk” to those who meet a certain level of donation.
First, I promise you that I will always keep “5-Alarm Task Force” free to anyone and everyone who wishes to listen to it. With all the streaming services that carry us now, it would be quite difficult to require a “pay-for-play” arrangement, anyway.
Second, for me to be able to both continue bringing you great episodes of “5-Alarm Task Force” and expanding what we can do to bring you even better podcasts, I do need your help. I love what I do and wish I was able to shoulder all the costs that it will take to keep producing new and better shows for you; but I cannot.
Third, you may donate any sum that you are comfortable with. If you can only donate $1.00 or $5.00, that will help us. Lots of small donations grow to be big donations. Currently, the only “perk” I can promise to everyone who makes a contribution, is a big, on-air, “Thank You.” However, if you’re capable of making a minimum donation of $100.00, I will feature you as a guest on an episode of “5-Alarm Task Force.” And you know what? One of my budgeted items in raising this money is to have some “5-Alarm Task Force” memorabilia created, e.g. t-shirts, mugs, hats and more!
I hope you will help me to continue to help the brave men and women of the fire service. I promise I with continue to my efforts to bring the best least, instructors, mentors and more, to be my guests and to focus on firefighter health, wellness and fitness-for-duty, as well as the Cancer Initiative and the Behavioral Health Crisis.
Again, just go to http://www.patreon.com/Dalmatprod to contribute.
Thank you so very much for helping me make “5-Alarm Task Force” a success with listeners on six of the 7 continents.
This week's IAFC, IAFC-SHS and NVFC "Safety Stand Down," is one of the most important activities you can participate in, not only as an active career, volunteer or P-O-C firefighter, but as a retired one, as well. Why? Because a good number of the numerous health hazards we are currently facing, have been around for quite a while; many from long before we knew the dangers that they held.
While it is true that new combinations of certain chemicals are being used today in everything from pots and pans to building materials, everything that burns has always created dangerous materials that we could either breathe in when off-air or absorb, when we strip off the bunker gear to perform overhaul.
OK, I'm a "dinosaur," and damn proud to say it. And as many of you know, I love the fire service, even though I was forced out due to an injury over 35 years ago. But that doesn't mean that I didn't suck down or absorbed plenty of crap during my eight years of firefighting. And what about my family? What did "Daddy bring home" to the wife and kids? My wife is a two time cancer survivor and I thank the good Lord every day for that. But I also wonder, was it my fault?
If you're a retiree or off the job for another reason, ask yourself this question, "Did your physician ever examine you knowing you were a firefighter?" If the answer is either, "Nope," or "I can't remember," then this week is the perfect opportunity for you to get examine the right way for a firefighter!
Under the ABOUT tab on this website, you'll see a page labeled, "Links for You." There you can download either the IAFF's Individualized Health Risk Appraisal Form or the NVFC's "Position on Firefighter Assessments." Download it, print it and take it with you at your next scheduled physical. Don't have one scheduled? Then call the office and make an appointment.
Almost every one of the 1.2 million firefighters in this country is aware of the tolls that cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease is taking on the fire service. Just read any of our terrific trade journals each month and you'll see that somewhere between 50%-60% of LODD's are attributable to most likely preventable health issues.
And while you're at it, even if you're in great physical and fit-for-duty condition, how are you doing emotionally? Are the job, the hours, the lack of sleep, horrific scenes or finances driving you to not be the real you? If so, this week is also a great time for you to reach out for behavioral health care. There are lots of folks who stand ready to either welcome you in or accept your call, to help you through any emotional turbulence you're going through.
We don't want to see you become a statistic. Last year, we lost more firefighters to suicide than to all the other causes of LODD's, combined! We can't and won't tolerate those numbers any longer. From your department to your church/synagogue, from your physician to behavioral health professionals, there are people to talk with and they're ready to help.
While this week's theme is "Safety Stand Down," let's all stand up to facing the fact that this job that we love and hold so dear, does take a toll on us. Let's stand up and learn how we're really doing, where we need improvement and so often, how simple that improvement can be.
Stay Safe Out There!
Just a short while ago, I was notified that an article I had submitted to FIREHOUSE.com had been approved and published.
It's not that I'm a newcomer to publication, but I'm no master writer, either. I started writing short articles on various topics, long before there was an Internet, as either a reality or even a dream! Thinking back, I believe the first article of mine that was published happened in 1972, while spending my junior year from Brandeis University studying in Israel. I wrote a short piece, in Hebrew, about an educational methodology which assist students to retain material studied. About six weeks after I had turned it in to my instructor, she provided me with a journal from the school, in which my article had been published. Along that line, while working as both an Educational Director and Executive Director in synagogues, I had several articles published on educational, leadership development, member retention and more. Nevertheless, this honor shines a bit higher for me.
It was shortly after stumbling into and then joining a combination fire department in North Carolina, a new magazine for the fire service arrived at the firehouse. By the time I had an opportunity get my hands on it, you might have though it was published in the 1920's! Nevertheless, I was a newbie and hungry to learn whatever I could about being a firefighter. That magazine was FIREHOUSE.
Every month, I waited my turn to read the latest edition, reading it cover to cover. What I didn't understand, I talked over with a couple of our caretakers (24-on/48-off, driver of first apparatus due out) who had become mentors to me and another young man who had joined up at the same time. Some of the stuff was way above my head, but I did my best to absorb what I could. It was sometime in its second year of publication, I decided I wanted to read a nice, shiny, new monthly edition and forked over whatever the cost was for the subscription.
FIREHOUSE was more than a magazine to me; it was a text book. I read authors' bio's to learn about them before I read what they had written. I took notes on the pages of the magazine. I saw Dennis Smith as the dean of a firefighters' school, where any and every firefighter could come and learn tactics, ideas, concepts and so much more. Though it seems like only yesterday, it was forty-one years ago.
And today, thanks to some special folks, I "joined" the faculty.
Welcome to the newly-revamped website for "5-Alarm Task Force" and Dalmatian Productions, Inc. Our previous version of the site wasn't so bad, however, with the help of our web and graphic designer at our host, Podomatic, Mr. Juan Francisco Veramendi, we have developed a "sharper" experience for every visitor .
All the features that you came to love in the first iteration of the website have been honed to their sharpest skills and delivers the news, the stories, the bio's and more that you wanted to see, in a quick, concise manner. And remember, if you spot something that seems out of sorts or out of place, please do not hesitate to contact me personally, at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I promise you, I will do my very best to address your issue and leave an answer for you as quickly as possible,
If you would like to help my team and me expand our reach and bring you breaking news from some of the regional and national conferences, please visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/Dalmatprod.
And watch for the launch of our IndieGoGo campaign on the very near future.
Steve Greene is the president of Dalmatian Productions, Inc. and the Creator/Host of the "5-Alarm Task Force" podcast.