If you're a first responder, you well aware of the fact that what we do is very often not easy, not in the least bit. And some of the things we see....well, we hope and pray that no one else has to see that. I joined the fire service in 1977 and wow...could I have used some...OK, many of what you have today.
Let's start with a radio for every member on the apparatus. Back when I responded on my T-Rex with a red flashlight tied to his head, there were two radios on the apparatus; the one bolted under the dash and one for the officer. That was it!
How about gloves and hoods? Sure, we had latex gloves, but there were only worn on a retrieval, never on-scene where someone might see us! And hoods? The only hood I had was on my parka when I lived in Syracuse NY and the winter temps dropped to -20 degrees!
And what about the SCBA? Sure, we had SCBA units. The tanks were made of steel and a complete harness, including the regulator, weighed in at about 40 pounds and if you were lucky didn't exert yourself, you might get a good 20 minutes of air before your bells rattled and you had to go change your bottle. Today, the job seems a lot easier or at least, you have more access to great tools to help you do this job we love to do!
In my "professional" life, I worked with non-profit religious organizations. And sometimes, I would think that working the most difficult fire or rescue was easier than what I did when I wore a suit and tie. The most difficult part? Asking for money. For even though everyone who participated in the institution knew that there were times where you would have to be the one who did ask or the one who was asked.
Well, my friends, I am in a very similar "boat" right now. As you may be aware, today I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $2,500 for "5-Alarm Task Force." I did a great deal of both soul-searching and research before finally devising my program through a website called Indiegoogo.com. They have been doing this for a good number of years, assisting in raising small amounts like mine for "artistic" efforts like a podcast, to raising $10 Million for a start-up product company. And, as I just mentioned to my wife, there are lots of "help" articles that revolve around a "team effort" to orchestrate the campaign, but I wasn't able to find too much when you are doing so, all by yourself!
Nevertheless, I did not want to have to do this. And if I keep things just the way they have been going for the past, almost two years, I can probably manage to continue without too much of a problem. But I don't want to do that! You see, I believe it's time to expand the mission of "5-Alarm Task Force!"
I want to be able to travel to FDIC or a FIREHOUSE conference and grab interviews there or even broadcast a podcast live, from the venue! To do so though, incurs travel and registration costs. To do so, required the type of camera that I do not currently own.
Additionally, with listeners around the world, it's time we had some "swag" available on our website, where you can show your support for the podcast and wear it proudly.
Finally, it will help defray the costs I've put into the equipment, broadband and hosting since we started this little adventure, back in 2016.
Thus, as much as I truly do not like to do this, I'm asking you for your help. Large or small, it will go to help me to what I love doing, for the people I love doing it for. And even if you're unable to donate funds, how about helping by spreading the word across the worlds of social media?
To visit our campaign page, please head over to https://igg.me/at/5-AlarmTFPodcast.
Thank you and God bless.
Though we have just closed our second season, we are working hard towards having a very successful third season. As I write this entry, I am hoping that you have cast your ballots in The Podcast Awards for "5-Alarm Task Force," as we enter the fray for the first time. I thank you very much for your vote.
While I have been fortunate to have had some of the biggest names in today's fire and EMS services join me as guests, I still have the "hunger" to bring you more, more guests, more coverage and of course, more information that will help you perform this job we love to do. I am happy to say that I have already booked two new guests, who will bring you amazing personal stories about their connection and/or work, with the fire service.
Back in 2016, I had heard of podcasts, yet had never listened to one! The funny thing is, way back in 2001, I was asked to join a live, radio show about the fire service entitled, "Burning Issues," hosted by a gentleman who was a firefighter/medic and PIO for a nearby fire department. As I said, he broadcast a live radio show, every Sunday evening, from the studios of a local AM radio station. The signal was sent to the Internet by a Real server (let's see how many of your remember all the software from Real Audio), that has hosted by a fire apparatus manufacturer. That was all before Apple has re-invented the word, "pod!"
Now, after sharing a lot of tweets with firefighters on Twitter, a group of them started to "gang up on me" to start a podcast. By now, they new my long experience in audio-visual and felt that I'd be a natural. After several months of "teasing" and "bullying," I finally caved and "5-Alarm Task Force," was born.
I hasn't been easy, but I have loved every minute of what I've done and I wouldn't change a thing....except to bring you even more great program content. And how about having some "5-Alarm" swag for you to enjoy, like T-shirts, hoodies, caps and more? I truly want to bring you all of that. And it is for those reasons (and more) that I have decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign.
"Oh, oh," you're probably thinking. "He's asking me for money here!"
Nope, I'm not. SURPRISE!
I simply what to tell you about the campaign because it is not just for my listeners, it's for anyone who wants to help me help the fire service! The campaign will be hosted on a great crowdfunding site, Indiegogo.com. They know this business inside and out. They know it so well, that they have an entire area set aside just for podcasts!
I have not launched the campaign yet. What I do have is my "practice" page and I want to let you take a look at it and tell me what you think. Just go to www.indiegogo.com/project/coming_soon/preview/f50433f3 that's it. All the videos work, as do the photos! You can see now what others will see when we launch the campaign.
Now, if you like what you see and you may be interested in seeing the real campaign when it goes live, just enter your email in the magic box. Then, when we launch the campaign in the next week-to-10-days, you'll know about it right away.
Finally, it is certainly understood that in this tight economy, many people who would like to help are unable to help - - - financially. But that doesn't mean you can't help me at all! Because you can tell your friends about the campaign and they can tell their friends and so on. Not only that, but Indiegogo actually has programs to help campaign followers spread the word.
Remember, every single time you listen to an episode of "5-alarm Task Force," you are helping me! Every time you rate our podcast, you are helping me. Every time to tell a friend about the podcast, you are helping me. And I sit at this desk, typing this entry, humbled and honored that you are interested and like my podcast. I thank each of you, from the bottom of my heart.
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.