mike simms
  • Male
  • Santa Cruz, CA
  • United States
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mike simms's Page

Profile Information

Type of Organization
Fire/Rescue Department - Paid
Job Function
Years in Fire/EMS:
Primary Fire/EMS Department:
San Jose Fire
Years With Department/Agency
Dept. Web Site:
http://San Jose Fire
Other Past or Current Departments and Organizations
San Francisco Sheriff, Army 1963-66
My Training:
EMT , Air crash rescue, strike team leader, two trips to national fire acc. etc.,
Relationship Status:
Why I Joined Fire/EMS
If you need to ask you don't understand
Why I Love Fire/EMS
All of it.
Top Issues Facing Responders:

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Mike simms's Blog

tales from a tailboard fireman

Posted on July 8, 2012 at 5:25pm 0 Comments

While on a driving trip to Oregon, my wife and I witnessed a truck VS motorcycle accident. We stopped, I got into character and did what we do. I have been retired for 14 years now but it is like riding a bike, you never forget. When we arrived at our destination, we were having dinner with friends. My wife was relating the trip and mentioned the accident. Our friends asked me "what did you do?" And my answer was,"I took command, stopped the bystanders from doing anything stupid, and secured…


tales from a tailboard fireman

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 2:22pm 0 Comments

Here I am at 68. When I went through the Fire Academy in 1973, we had an old guy (55) waiting to retire who was teaching us knots. He told me," Kid, you're going to wake up and you will be me." He was so right. The time passes very quickly. I just read a book by a retired Chicago cop. I grew up there so it brought back lots of memories. There was one line that really says it all about the fire service: "Those hosers ( FFs?) sit on their butts most of the time, but when they have to do what…


Tales from a tailboard fireman-firehouse funnies and other stuff

Posted on October 8, 2011 at 8:53pm 0 Comments

I hope the job has not been changed due to the times we live in. When I worked  (1973-98) no matter what runs we got, having fun at the firehouse was S.O.P.

I was taken once. When I was working toward a promotion to captain I applied for a position in our support services division. It would have required me to go on a forty-hour week and commute every day. I really did not want to get it but had to put in to show I was a company guy. I got a call at the fire house and the voice on the…


Tales from a tailboard fireman- honoring our fallen

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:36pm 1 Comment


Once again, the country is honoring the First Responders who fell on 9/11. Big ceremonies are happening all over the land with politicians using the date to get photo ops with firefighters and police. Then on 9/12, they will go back and continue the fight to take away benefits negotiated by us, which we worked 25 to 30 years of daily danger for. When we left our families to go to work, our wives and children did not know if they would see us come home. Many of my friends have died…


Tales from a tailboard fireman-good fires/good firefights

Posted on July 3, 2011 at 7:04pm 0 Comments

I read an article about our troops in war zones. It quoted a special forces major as saying, "It has been quiet around here; been a while since a good firefight." To someone not in the business of high adrenalin that sounds strange. How can you have a good firefight?

Among firefighters we look forward to a "good fire." A good fire to me is no causalities, either civilians or firefighters: a house or apartment fire that is put out by the first alarm company and for sure not a wildfire… Continue

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At 8:50pm on December 12, 2009, Joe Stoltz said…
Hey Mike, thanks for the add. I'm looking forward to more tales from the tailboard!
At 11:29am on April 16, 2008, mike simms said…
The Fellowship of Fire Fighters

A few months ago, a retired Jewish Fire Fighter from San Jose, California, Named Mike Simms, contacted the Municipal International Department to express his sympathy after one of the suicide bombings.

The initial contact was by E-mail and the dialogue continued.

At the beginning of May, Mike Simms arrived at Ben Gurion Airport. He came to volunteer to work with the fire fighters of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Fire Department, so making his special contribution to the war against terror.

Tel Aviv's firefighters welcomed Mike with open arms and they are making sure that his stay is both useful and enjoyable.

This is Mike's own story:

"My attachment to Israel came early. At 18, I spent six months on an Ulpan - that was 40 years ago.

I came again in 1970, for another 6 months stay.

I took the path that led to a life in the U.S.

A 25 year career in the Fire Service, raising two children and a comfortable retirement.

I always felt part of me stayed in Israel. I celebrated her victories and was troubled by her problems - like most Jews in America, I had high hopes for Peace 18 months ago. When these were destroyed by the unwillingness of the other side to compromise, I hoped for the best.

When the murder bombings started, I knew as a Jew and as a fire fighter, I needed to do more than go to rallies in support of Israel.

Fire fighters are brothers. I knew what the fire fighters of Israel were dealing with. In my 25 years of service, I saw many horrible things. Each one is carried in my mind as a color picture, which comes back to me, triggered by events I cannot control.

I knew I must come personally to show my brothers, that fire fighters of America share their pain.

What can you say of a man, who responds to a bombing at a disco, knowing that his daughter went out that night and may be among the victims. He is a commander and must take charge of the horror, before knowing if the tragedy will be his personally. This man is more than a hero.

All we can say of him is, he is a fire fighter.

Long live Israel and long live her fire fighters."
At 2:09pm on December 14, 2007, Joel Swanson said…
Happy Holidays, Mike.
Here's Hoping for a Happy, Healthy & Safe Holiday Season!
Take Care...
At 10:06pm on December 5, 2007, Joel Swanson said…
Welcome to FFN, Mike!
Stay Safe & Happy Holidays...
At 5:30pm on December 5, 2007, Jim aka Bick said…

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