Hello and welcome!  Responder 1 is a new venture, continuing the efforts made by PyroTrainers over the past few years.  As we all continue to work through the avalanche of informational briefings, newscasts and memos from private and public sources we must all endeavor to stay attuned to ALL the dangers that we must confront.  To that end Responder 1 was created to help share information from various outlets and sites from fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement and other public safety sites.

And, as time goes on, the website will grow to include, training outlines, videos and related information intended to keep you safe and secure as you continue to protect your partner, team members and community. Currently, www.responder1.org is being “populated” with articles, guidelines and manuals that you can apply today – and throughout your career.  Take advantage of them. Share them. And, if you get a chance, let us know what we can do to assist you and your colleagues to be safer and successful.

You will also see thoughts and comments in a newsletter called “Chief Taco’s Thoughts.” It will be direct, unfiltered and hopefully thought-provoking.  My apologies upfront if anyone is offended.  But keep in mind the business you are in comes at you directly, unfiltered and without apologies.  So, sit back, tighten your seat belt and enjoy the ride.  Monthly issues editions are taken from 40 years of dealing with heroes and zeroes.  You know who they are. You’ve dealt with them, but because you have a car payment and need to eat, you can’t always say what’s really on your mind.  I don’t have that muzzle anymore, so I hope I can share what I’ve picked up over the years, share it with you and maybe you’ll have a leg up the next time something similar happens to you.

For example:  my first-ever firefighter interview – the chief of department says, “I can’t pronounce your last name, so I’ll just call you taco from now on.”  Or the time I realized why my decisions were being scrutinized and often countermanded by my boss before implementing … he was sleeping with my executive officer!  There are dozens more which I will share along with the solutions that you may be able to apply should you be in similar situations.  The examples will cover everything from personnel issues, strategy and tactics, health and safety, leadership, self-determination and ethical dilemmas you will face someday.  Sign up for Chief Taco’s Thoughts.  They’ll come in your emails monthly at first.  And as we spin up the goal will be to share them with you weekly.

Until then, stay safe, keep your head on a swivel and watch your 6.  See you at the big one!