Just Livin’ the Dream: Intro (New Column)

kron1We are always looking to expand and bring a new set of opinions to our articles, and I believe we have the perfect combination to that as we have announced the addition of Cpt. Tim Kron from New Albany, IN. Cpt. Kron has been in the Fire Service for over 30 years, and has a lot of experience to share with others. He is a third generation firefighter and will be featuring articles on a variety of topics. The following article is an introduction from Cpt. Kron about what you can look forward to reading in his column: Just Livin’ the Dream.

To coin a phrase from Tiger Woods as he entered the elite group of golfers known as the PGA, “Hello World”, or at least “Hello” to all the brothers and sisters of the fire service who visit this website dubbed, “The Model City Firefighter”.

My name is Tim, and in the coming weeks, I’m going to give this whole blogging thing a good ole college try.  If you’ve read my bio, (If not click here to do so) then you know I’m a firefighter for the city of New Albany which is located in the southern part of Indiana. The “sunny side of Louisville” if you will, for we are located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky.  My department has five stations with a total of 81 uniformed firefighters. We average around 4000 calls a year, catch some “lay jobs” from time to time, but like most all departments across this great nation, the majority of our calls are calls for EMS incidents. NAFD protects the citizens of this small river town which has a major interstate running through it, major rail service, is first due to a large inland riverboat casino, a college, and to top it off, New Albany is in the direct path of arrivals and departures for runway 17R of Louisville International airport.
I was fortunate enough to be hired exactly 3 months after I turned 21, and yes I do realize just how lucky I was and have never taken this opportunity (some people call it a job) for granted. I love being a fireman, even to this day, which will be 27 years in just a couple months. I came into the fire service in ’87, in a time when workers, sky-lighters, or whatever your geographical area calls a fires, were still being caught. It still wasn’t like the 70’s when cotton was hitting the streets on a regular basis but we still had our share. But by far my most valuable experience, where I gained a true understanding of fire, of how it was a living, breathing being, and more importantly how to defeat it, was as a instructor for a class that would become known as “The Dance with the Devil”. I’m not going to elaborate right now about this class, I’ll save that for a future article, but I’ll say that this class, which taught hundreds of firefighters the art of firefighting, was done back in the day when you could still do burns in acquired structures, before laws and the environmentalist communities placed a strangle hold on this type of training. There’s no better training, knowledge gained, and experience passed on than live fire training.
My section of the blog site will become affectionately known as “Just Livin’ the Dream.” This was a coin phrase of my father who was a 2nd generation firefighter and had put in 45 years of service to the city of New Albany before his retirement, only to have his career begin again as Fire Chief for the Georgetown Twp. FD. My father was the best firefighter I’ve ever known, but as good as a firefighter as he was, he was an even better fire service instructor. He lived and breathed the fire service, was always striving to learn more even after 45 years, and could put on a 8 hour class to hundreds of fire fighters and would leave them begging for more at the end. He was simply the best. So, it will be my hope that in the coming articles, I will be able to pass on to you, the reader, some knowledge that I’ve gained over the years from my own experiences. More importantly, I also look to pass on the life lessons that were passed on to me from the man that was “Just Livin’ the Dream.”
Cpt. Tim Kron