Dear Friends - It's hard to believe that another year comes to a close. I heard someone on a podcast the other day say that the older we get, the faster each year goes by. Being in my late 60's, I think he might be right! It seems like only yesterday that we were about to welcome 2019 into our lives! Be that as it may, as we close this year this evening, I thought I would take a moment or two to close off the "calendar year" for "5-Alarm Task Force."
First, I must thank my beautiful, loving and understanding bride. Though we've been married for over 45 years, she's still the bride I married in 1974! She knows and understands that I spend most weekends, here in my home office/studio, editing podcasts for the coming week. Sure we do the necessary errands together over the weekend, but the vast majority of my "at home" time is spent in my private "cave," with the door shut, so that you, my listeners, don't hear a stray "woof" or "meow" in the midst of an episode!
Next, I must extend my sincere appreciation to the two companies that actually sponsor this show, Insight Training, LLC and the Firehouse Tribune. Both Andy Starnes and Nic Higgins are way more than sponsors, they are dear friends and were so, even before there was ever talk about sponsorship. I cannot thank them enough for their support!
I also want to thank my promotional partners. They play an important role in spreading the word about this podcast. There is just no way I would be able to afford the level of advertising they supply at no cost, other than a mention at the opening and closing of each episode. They include, Chief Miller Product and Sites, Lifescan Wellness Centers, Nestorbars, LLC, the Firefighter Cancer Foundation, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the Albermarle Sweet Shop, the Great Florida Fire School and the North Florida Fire Expo.
I am also deeply indebted to my guests, firefighters, doctors, college professors, police officers and more, who take approximately two-hours out of their busy schedules, to spend them with you and me, addressing key issues for firefighters in particular and all first responders in general. And they do so without conditions, remuneration or ego!
Finally and most importantly, I must thank you, my readers and listeners. When I began this venture back in 2016, I was hoping to have around 25 firefighters listening to my podcasts. I was a little off on my "guestimation!" In reviewing our data for 2019, we had nearly 40,000 accesses to the podcast from some 37 countries, across 6 continents!
I am humbled by these numbers. I am humbled by the number of followers on social media. I never, even in my best dreams, thought that an ol' fart firefighter like me, who has been out of the fire service longer than most of the firefighters who listen to this show have been in, would see these numbers. It was an injury in 1985, that forced me out of active service. Sure, I was appointed to our fire-police group and also as a town fire inspector. And as much as I enjoyed continuing my fire career at these levels, neither could provide that feeling of pulling a cross-lay as we pull-up to a working structure fire, and taking that nozzle through the door!
Life takes us down numerous paths. Sometimes our routes are direct towards our goals and other times, we face detours that we must follow. We may not like them or where they lead, however we're often left with no choice but to follow them. I've been down a good number of paths and detours, some good, some fair and a few that were not good at all. Nevertheless, I sit here today, doing something that I love almost every day. Even with all the work that I have to do for each and every episode, for right now, I wouldn't have it any other way. Why? Because it allows me to serve you, my second family of my brothers and sisters of the fire service, in nearly 40 countries around the world. And if you ask me, that is one hell of a family to have!
May you and yours be blessed with a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Safe New Year - 2020!
Steve Greene - Creator and Host
As many of you are aware, most of the social media sites allow users to include photos, drawings, etc. And for my posts to this website and a number of those sites, I too, use various pictures.
Other than photos that I have tend myself, I have spent a great deal of time using the various search engines, to find photos classified as, "public domain." If you do not know what that term means, it refers to that the fact that there is no known claim to the photo or, if there had been a copyright on the photo, it had expired. A simple example is music is, "Jingle Bells." It did have a copyright which eventually expired and was never renewed. Thus this holiday song is available for anyone to use, as long as they do not attempt to claim it as their own!
Today, in a post for the latest episode of "5-aalrm Task Force," I used a photo that I downloaded from one of a number of "public domain" websites, that should not have been on that website, for the photo belongs to Battalion Chief (ret) Keith Helms. And the Chief deserves credit for that photo whenever it is used!
So first, I would like to apologize to Chief Helms for unknowingly, using a photo that he shot and that somehow wound up on a website where it doesn't belong. I have corrected the public posting and will follow up on all my posts where I used that photo.
Second, this incident gives me purpose to take the time to review all the photos that I have collected from these various website, to research and attempt to determine their true origin. Those that I find were inappropriately on, what was supposed to be a "public domain" site, will be removed from my collection.
While we all make mistakes (and that's why the good Lord gave us erasers!) what shows what we're made of is when we step-up to own those mistakes. And this one was mine.
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.