Mary Ellen Shea's Blog (90)

Fire Safety Grant Expands Hands-On Fire Extinguisher Training for Clifton Springs Volunteer FD

In 2009, based on feedback from the communities that they serve, Clifton Springs Fire Department acknowledged the need to expand their Fire Prevention educational programs. The 50+ member volunteer fire department in Ontario County, NY responds to an average of 300 fire calls per year serving the Village of Clifton Springs along with portions of the Towns of Phelps, Manchester and Hopewell. The village, located between Syracuse and Rochester, is a mixed demographic of both urban and rural…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on December 2, 2010 at 10:44am — 2 Comments

Smoke Generators Fuel Family Evacuation Drills on the "Today Show"

During the hours that most families might be relaxing together, gathering around the television screen to watch a football game or sleeping, on Sept. 13th, the Cannavo family from Guilderland, NY allowed BullEx Digital Safety and the entire production crew from the Today Show into their home with cameras in tow to demonstrate proper home evacuation techniques in the event of a home fire.…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on November 30, 2010 at 8:24am — 2 Comments

BullEx Firefighter 1 Bootcamp 2010: Walking The Talk

Caveat: I'm employed by BullEx Digital Safety. This post is not intended to promote the company's products or financial interests. I just think it's pretty cool when your own company takes its employees for a full day of firefighter training to better familiarize them with the products and services they represent.

When CEO Ryan O’Donnell unexpectedly pulled the entire Sales and Marketing team into the conference room at BullEx headquarters in the…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on November 22, 2010 at 2:03pm — 5 Comments

Central Kitsap Obtains 2009 FEMA Grant for Live Fire Extinguisher Training

The Fire Prevention and Safety Grant will be opening shortly. This is one fire department's story about their successful pursuit of a FEMA grant:

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue (CKFR), located in Silverdale, Washington, first learned about BullEx Digital Safety while observing the U.S. Navy’s Federal Fire Department’s use of a BullEx portable fire extinguisher training system at a naval base demonstration. Theresa MacLennan, Public Information and…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on November 17, 2010 at 9:35am — No Comments

Firefighter Training in Dense Smoke Teaches Life-Saving Lessons

The Town of Colonie (TOC) Emergency Services wanted to test their fire response capabilities to a large high occupancy structure, namely Colonie High School. The challenge lay in finding smoke generators capable of producing smoke that was dense enough to create zero visibility conditions and realistic enough to simulate a structure fire. TOC Emergency Services Deputy Coordinator Gerald Paris, Jr.…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on November 15, 2010 at 3:11pm — 3 Comments

Fire District's Mobile Fire Prevention Programs Funded By FEMA Grant

The Cardinal Joint Fire District in Canfield, Ohio had a specific goal in mind when they applied for a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant in 2009. They wanted to educate as many members of their community as possible about what to do in…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on November 12, 2010 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

He Gets the Last Word; Black Diamond Boot Review--The Finale

I could get all creative here and write something witty, but no time for that....Tokyo Burns, more later.

Here's Jim's final post on his Black Diamond Boot experience.

I'd say that's a two-thumbs up, but I can't count that high. ;-O

In his own words:

Ok, so I've had some time to really get some work in on these boots, and yes for some of you who thinks that the chief just stands on the sidewalk shouting orders, I…

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on May 20, 2010 at 1:26pm — 7 Comments

Black Diamond Boot Review Part Deux: He Said/She Said

When last we met, my buddy Jim Brunelle was awaiting delivery of a pair of Black Diamond firefighting boots to test out, while my fingers and brain took a mini-vacation from blogging (my imaginary trip to my own private Idaho was lovely, thanks very much).

Jim sent me an email with his thoughts regarding the boots, and I opened it, fully expecting a knuckle-dragging Cro-Magnon-esque male perspective.

You know; something along the lines of "Boots good. Feet…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on April 23, 2010 at 11:30am — 10 Comments

Life, Loss and an Extraordinary Man

I had every intention of posting a new "boot review" piece today, until I received the news of the passing of a FASNY member and firematic friend, and I have opted instead to post a quiet good-bye to a gentleman with extraordinary qualities who loved the fire service with unabashed abandon.

I first met Bob and Rebecca Franklin about five years ago when I was just starting out in my career at FASNY. I was running registration at a FASNY-sponsored seminar, and Rebecca showed up…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on April 12, 2010 at 1:30pm — No Comments

These Boots are Still Made for Walkin....

I erroneously made an assumption that my original blog post below was yanked and sent to the Principal's office for violation of TOS (that's Terms of Service for you acronym-challenged folk)--but we all know what happens when assumptions are made.

Wikipedia it if you were born in 1809 and don't know what I'm talking about.

So here it its entirety, and thanks to WebChief for the clarification/go-ahead.…


Added by Mary Ellen Shea on April 6, 2010 at 4:01pm — 29 Comments

Doing the Right Thing, the Jets, and other Ephemera

First things first, I've been remiss in my posting on here. I've had my reasons. My heart wasn't in it.

In fact, all things fire service were tainted for me for the short term. I had to step back, take stock, and get back on track.

Mission Accomplished.

I've taken a step back for 2010. Last year I was elected to Lieutenant. I didn't necessarily feel that I had deserved the honor. I had some issues with time management, not personnel management. I liked wearing the… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on January 21, 2010 at 9:26am — 2 Comments

(For Mike) Memorial Day Parade

My village hosts an annual Memorial Day parade.....and we've been blessed with great turnout and even better weather for the past few years. Our village is small (our coverage area is one square mile) but they are very pro-Fire Department. That might seem like a small statement....but for those of you who do not have the support of your community.....that support is huge. Our coverage area families completely buy into the services that we provide.....they attend our pancake/spaghetti/… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on May 26, 2009 at 12:18am — 10 Comments

TNT: The Accidental Runner :...ONE...LAST...TIME.....Ruh-Roh

I'm a masochist.

There, I said it. A friend of mine (you may have seen him wandering around here --he has a Big White Hat) says that the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem.

I do have a problem. I have a problem with little kids dying from an incurable blood cancer. the spirit of putting my money where my big fat mouth is...

Once again, I'm going to run the Lake Placid Half Marathon for the Upstate NY/VT Chapter of the… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on May 11, 2009 at 3:26pm — 19 Comments

The Continuing Chronicles of the FNG(irl): OSHA.....does NOT have to be boring....No....Seriously!!!

It's that time of year.....

We had our multi-company OSHA eight-hour refresher training on Saturday. I can think of roughly ten millionnnnnnnn things I would rather be doing ( and cleaning out my sock drawer ranks right up there) instead of sitting through another eight hour session of “gotta do it, so shut up and suck it up” OSHA info. This has only been my second OSHA refresher, so I can't speak to how boring they normally are, but if last year's day-long exercise in water-board… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on March 5, 2009 at 11:57pm — 9 Comments

The Continuing Chronicles of the FNG (irl): Search and Resc…Get OFF Me!!!

Finally, a new drill in a sea of same-old, same-old. When our training officer isn’t feeling “inspired”, our drills tend to run to…take the trucks out, tap a couple of hydrants, do the inspections, run the equipment, wash the rigs and call it a night.

There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, it’s just that when you’ve done that three or four drills in a row, you’d almost rather have a cleaning drill (and I always end up doing the bathrooms on those… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on March 4, 2009 at 11:09pm — 16 Comments

TNT: The Accidental Runner: Of Pancakes and Concrete Shoes

Another “brisk” morning run…it was 22 degrees at 7 a.m., but factor in the gusty winds and “Lake Effect Snow” (what lake would that be in Albany, exactly.. ? )it made heading out kind of sucky, for lack of a better word.

We always start out enthusiastically, all chatty and chipper, feeling like we could run forever, until that first blast of icy wind smacks you right in the grill and suddenly the fun factor drops. That’s when you have to dig down and remember why you’re doing this in… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on February 21, 2009 at 10:38am — 10 Comments

TNT: The Accidental Runner: Who Says I’m Frigid??

Me, I do, actually.

Preface: I’ve started my training for running a half-marathon in June for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Team in Training” fundraising athletic program. . I’m running in memory of Tanner Zullo and Aidan O’Malley, and in honor of Brianna Blank (her dad, Dave Blank, is a member on here).

We had our first group run this morning (more commonly known among the runners as the “Group Grope” …same way as the runners refer to Team in Training as “Team and… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on February 7, 2009 at 2:46pm — 9 Comments

The Continuing Chronicle of the FNG(irl): Keeping it Real

We had our 2009 Installation Dinner last night.

First….a word about something near and dear to all of us…..the food.

Holy Slab of Prime Rib. I’m no slacker at the dinner table, and if I’m really hungry, I can do a lot of damage. That’s why I run….so that I can eat what I want when the mood strikes. I can usually clean my plate, but this…..this monstrously huge side of beef …..beat me down.

It was literally the size of my head, and almost four inches thick. I… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on January 31, 2009 at 10:03am — 14 Comments

The Continuing Chronicles of the FNG(irl): Close But No Cigar

So close, yet so far….we had a BUSY day at the department today.

First, I missed a fire call. No, not an auto alarm at the high school….nope…not a basement pumpout….it was an Honest To God, Mutual Aid, Smoke Showing, Signal “Real Deal” call. And I missed it. Not a bonafide structure fire, Not a ‘cooker” , but the closest I’ve come to one. Damn that paying job anyway…..

We were offered a recap of the call (chimney fire) during drill. Our chief ran down the “who-did-what's"… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on January 22, 2009 at 11:26pm — 15 Comments

The Continuing Chronicles of the FNG(irl): Probie-ness---Welcome to the Dumb-A$$ Club

Well, ok…so “Probie-ness” isn’t a word, but I added it to my Word dictionary, so according to MY word processing software…it is now. Maybe I’ll add it to Wikipedia too---dazzle them with confusion….it lets you get away with all KINDS of hijinks and lunacy. Hmmm....maybe "Probiedom" would be more apt.

Anyhoo….”Probie-ness” … When I first joined the department, I felt so stupid and clumsy and green (read some of my “Chronicles of the FNG (irl)" posts right here on FFN to get a… Continue

Added by Mary Ellen Shea on January 17, 2009 at 12:33pm — 11 Comments

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