Brotherhood: Tennessee to Michigan

Within the last week, things seems to be really taking off. This seems to be a few of the busiest weeks that I’ve have had in quite a while, but it’s a good type of busy. I’ve been writing quite a bit lately, and know that I will have lot’s of events to write about that will be taking place within the next week. The brotherhood seems to be more apparent and alive than ever! It’s great to have that support no matter which way you turn.

brotherrideYesterday was off to an early start as we hit CrossFit: Shifty Powers for our full first workout in the box since we finished our training program. It’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little nervous about showing up with my big boy pants on, but the other members made us feel at home. There was no pressure as we got used to the pace of the workouts. As soon as we walked in, several guys walked up and introduced themselves and welcomed us. As I said in a recent article, the gym presents its own type of brotherhood. This being that we are all there to set personal goals and promote personal fitness. Everyone seems to leave their egos at the door, and we are pushing each other to complete our objectives. The same thing should happen at the firehouse, in that we need to build our brothers and sisters up instead of beating them down. We are all part of the same TEAM. The workout was great and I definitely started off the Monday with a positive attitude.

brotherventNot too long after arriving at the firehouse, I found out that we had a full day ahead. Of course, we all know that we need to always make everyday a training day, no matter if it’s a holiday! We hit the class room around lunch time for our Haz-Mat ERG training. It’s a necessary evil for me since it’s a very important part of our job. The Department now requires all of our members to be certified to the Haz-Mat Tech level, but we have 7 members per shift that are dedicated to the Haz-Mat Team. I am on the other side of the fence on the Tech-Rescue Team, and would much rather be hanging from a rope somewhere rather than in a big glow-worm suit. The best part about our shift was that after our classroom training, we had a ventilation drill on a few buildings that the city had recently purchased. I know every department is different, but I can honestly say this is something that we don’t get to do enough of! I would rather climb on a roof and cut holes instead of sitting in the classroom everyday, but each type of training has it’s place to an extent. Since I was working on Engine 7 yesterday, we did single company drills where we would ladder the building before climbing up and practice cutting a ventilation hole. Each member of our team was able to cut part of the hole and get our hands on the saw. It was a great drill, and everyone was helping everyone out. There were no negative comments, and just positive suggestions on technique that we could all walk away with learning something.

Check out the awesome shields that Detroit Shields have waiting for us!

Check out the awesome shields that Detroit Shields have waiting for us!

I am 110% sure that the best part is still yet to come! I fly out to Detroit on Saturday morning to the MOTOR City to help deliver equipment to the Detroit Firefighters. All of the equipment we will be delivering to around 14 firehouses on Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday has been made available by donations from the BROTHERHOOD! A lot of the equipment was purchased at a discounted rate or donated by the gracious companies out there that GET IT! The best part is that representatives from many of the companies will be on hand for the deliveries to see the return on their investment. Those 20-30 of us from the National Firefighter’s Endowment Officer’s Club that will be on hand to deliver the equipment will also be sure that EVERYONE who donated will see their return for supporting the Detroit Mutual Aid project. This is the NFE’s largest campaign yet, and there are plenty more that will be happening in the future. I am truly honored to sit on the Board of Directors for such a great organization. There are several of us bloggers that will be present and covering our journey while we are there. Lori Mercer from FirefighterWife.com, Rhett Fleitz from FireCritic.com, Willie Wines from Iron Firemen, and myself will be sure that we do our part to not only represent all of those who donated, but also show each of you the difference that you helped make. There are many organizations who have stepped up and answered the call for this, and we aren’t done yet! Click here to read my previous post about the trip… Just the other day, the Detroit Bus Company stepped up and has donated a bus and driver to help our group get around the city during the equipment distribution. They are even saying that you will be able to follow us online as we make the stops at the different firehouses. I will keep everyone informed as much as I can online and over at our Facebook Page (Click here and be sure to follow along).

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As I said, the brotherhood is everywhere and I love it! It is truly amazing to see so many companies, organizations, and individuals work together to accomplish a common goal. From the gym to the firehouse, the brotherhood is strong. While it is not only present in the fire service, I think that is where we tend to witness it the most. Last night, I asked our Facebook fans what BROTHERHOOD means to them. We had quite a bit of examples and listed below are a few of them:

Brotherhood is that little fire that is inside each and every one of us that do this job that binds us together and the knowledge that we have each others back to ensure everyone goes home. –Bryan Sypniewski

The unspoken unity between you and other firefighters alike that when the cards are down, backs against the wall no matter professionally or personally there will be a hand stretched out and someone always watching your six no questions asked 24/7 365 on or off duty. Joshua Dylan Wilcox

Brotherhood is the fact that I will go home and you will go home because we need each other to go home at the end of the run. It means that if I don’t go home the brothers will be at my side  as I either recover or I travel beyond this life. It is knowing that my family will be looked after just like yours if things go haywire and I leave this life. On a call or not. – Justin King

A friendship like no other built out of trust and love and knowing we will always have each others backs we go in together we come out together. –Richard Bagley

Brotherhood to me means being able to turn to them in a time of need. They whether male or female will be the first to help you out when something is wrong. If it in a fire knowing they will be the one behind you or when your out on the streets and you need a pick me up after a rough day or rough few weeks. That feeling of knowing someone has your back through thick and thin. –Brian Weigle

brotherdecalThanks to everyone who commented! Those of you who are listed above will receive a ModelCityFirefighter.com helmet decal from BDDTB.com! Message me on Facebook with your address and I will get those sent out! As always, thanks for reading and staying involved. We are the ones that make the fire service what it is today, and have the influence on what it becomes tomorrow!