We’re All Ok, Until the Day We’re Not

We’re All Ok, Until the Day We’re Not

Twilight’s best intention of bringing a beautiful end to a long day was shattered like glass at the crash scene.  A lone emergency beacon flashed in the mud; its red light incessantly painted the blades of grass red.  Sounds of extrication tools bounced off mangled metal almost drowning out the helicopters landing nearby.  The odor …

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Proactive Social Media Outreach = Passive News Story Pitch

Proactive Social Media Outreach = Passive News Story Pitch

Proactive social media outreach is by far the most powerful tool a PIO can use to promote their fire department.  On a Red Flag Warning day when every fire district in the eastern half of Colorado was facing high fire danger, it was mine that got the spotlight, why?  Using creative, educational social media messages …

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FDIC 2018

FDIC 2018

Everything I was told came true.  My first visit to the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) was beyond energizing.  On the journey to Indianapolis I sat next to my brother and mentor, Dave McGrail who is a well respected instructor on topics surrounding high rise firefighting.  I always learn something new from Dave when we …

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FDIC 2018

FDIC 2018

I am thrilled to be presenting with the best in the business.  Please join me for FDIC 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 24th for a 4 hour workshop, “Telling Your Fire Department’s Story.”

Detroit: A Culture of Extinguishment

Detroit: A Culture of Extinguishment

As a fire department PIO I’m fortunate that my passion of photography is also my job.  I don’t know of any others in my profession that schedule vacation time, pack up their cameras and handguns, travel to one of America’s most dangerous cities, intentionally spend sleepless nights in post-apocalyptic looking neighborhoods to photograph a department …

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Freeman’s Flag

Freeman’s Flag

Thousands of people drove past Firehouse 33 that day and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.  In fact, I had already passed by twice and didn’t pay particular attention to any of the details.  The American Flag was flying high and waving in the southwest breeze, just as it does on most days.  A …

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PIO’s Should Be Where The Story Is Happening

PIO’s Should Be Where The Story Is Happening

All too often as incidents are unfolding I hear that PIO’s must be located at the command post or media staging area.  While good communication with command and news media need to be maintained, I argue that the PIO should be witnessing the story firsthand.  Proper training and or supervision along with personal protective equipment are …

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Unscripted Premiere

Unscripted Premiere

I’ve seen many videos produced by fire departments over the years and I knew I needed to shake things up with my production debut.  I want to tell timely and meaningful stories combined with high impact visuals and entertainment value.  Promoted video (paid advertising) on social media is always an option but organic sharing and …

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Some Kids Just Know

Some Kids Just Know

I was a young child in elementary school when I first watched fire apparatus from the Castlewood Fire Department parade past my neighborhood in the summer of 1991.  I was particularly excited to see the giant paramedic rescue truck housed at the fire station closest to where I lived.  I was one of dozens of children who climbed into “Rescue 31” that day …

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