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.
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.