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Our circulation guy asked if I had any comments we could print as to why firefighters like you read Fire Engineering. I would love it if a few of you could give us some quotes as to why you read the magazine.

I gotta tell you a funny story from FDIC. I was in a local Indy tavern (but only to get directions to church) when I saw a guy wearing a job shirt from a town I knew someone from. I ask the guy if he knows this other guy who I went to the NFA with a few years ago from his town. The guy says yeah, that the guy I knew had been promoted to training and that he was all about himself and thought he knew it all, and on and on.

The guy in the tavern continues to rant about how nobody on the job really liked this training guy because he was always coming up with new training and drills all the time. Now they have to do this and that, like inspect more and all sorts of useless stuff.

The guy in the tavern says he never got promoted because he was no good at book learning but this training guy is only good at book learning. Everyone knows that must mean this training guy a bad firefighter! "They should try throwing the books at fire," he yells, and now I am feeling really uncomfortable.

So then he asks if this training guy is my friend, and like St. Pete in the garden I am saying no, no, faster than city manager in a budget review, throwing the rear wheels right over my former friend, that bookworm loser!

"So anyway," the guy in the tavern says, "What do you do at FDIC?"

After a very long pause I say I sell magazines.

"What one?" he asks. I say Fire Engineering.

So now he says he used to read Fire Engineering but then he retired and sent his subscription to his son. I am feeling better now, so I ask how the son likes it. He says the son cancelled Fire Engineering because it was too hard to read and then subscribed to another magazine with more stories. Apparently the son likes to read the stories. I was going to ask him if his kid was promoted but figured you just can’t argue with genetics.

So why do you read Fire Engineering?

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Comment by Chris Fleming on July 2, 2008 at 4:29pm
As a seventeen year student of the job, Fire Engineering is the one periodical the has helped "raise my game". By providing articles by the best and brightest minds in our business FE is expanding the common knowledge base of firefighters worldwide. Whether it's the latest research about firefighter health and safety, or an explanation about the most basic tactic you can find what you need in a copy of Fire Engineering. Now, if I could only get it to paint my house!!!
Stay safe
Comment by Dennis E Sampson on May 15, 2008 at 1:14am
Hello Chief,

I have been reading Fire Engineering as long as I can remember, joining the fire service in 1973 . Its publication is the fire service, who we were , who we have become and where we will go. Its contributions to the fire service are endless.What I enjoy most is I learn from every issue I read and have become a better firefighter because of it and continue to look forward to the next issue ! Thanks for all the good years and thoes to come !!

Stay Safe !! Dennis
Comment by Gary Rauch on May 14, 2008 at 6:50pm

I have been reading FE for some time now. As with most of the readers, when Tom was alive you would go to the back page and pick up on the greatest experiences you can read about. Now you still have Tom in the back of your head telling you to read on and see there is alot of contributors with something to say and that you can pick up on. And the photo editor is picking some great shots to show what to look for and what is over looked. Keep up the great job and hope to see you on the road.
Comment by Eddie Buchanan on April 28, 2008 at 7:49pm
I read Fire Engineering because it consistently offers "real life" topics on techniques and issues that impact firefighter safety. Our mission as leaders in the fire service is to prepare firefighters to respond as safely as they can, given all of the hazards. Fire Engineering articles target the same mission. The articles in Fire Engineering are the same topics our firefighters talk about at the coffee table. It's real information that matters and saves lives.
Comment by Ben Fleagle on April 28, 2008 at 4:01pm

Thanks for the opportunity to respond to such a great question.

I read Fire Engineering because entering the fire service on the West Coast, led by the post Vietnam era generation I wanted to be mentored and taught and nobody was really interested in investing that kind of time. In the early '90's it was about the pay and the time off. Not that there weren't men who influenced my career, but there seemed to be less fire and everyone wanted to talk about EMS. Fire was old hat.

FE provided the info to fill the gaps, opened up the avenue to learn more than what was found in an IFTSA manual.
Even as a wet behind the ears company officer, I was still reading it avidly to make sure I was up to date and in touch with how to get things done. It offers a method of mentoring and teaching which has spread itself across the nation.
I often hand an issue to a new firefighter and point out its technical expertise and suggest that just maybe, if their bored of the latest X Box game, they may want to spend a little time reading about thier chosen profession.
You can't learn everything by reading, but you can educate yourself so that you are prepared to combine your knowledge with your experience and it helps you to become a well rounded professional.

I'm still reading.
Comment by James Rausch on April 27, 2008 at 9:15pm
Someone very wise once told me to "read something about the fire service everyday". If not, you will certainly let you company down. You cannot become stagnant in any position in the fire service or you will be left behind. In my house, you can always tell the F/F's from the paycheckers by the reading material on their bedside table. Mine has a several Fire Engineering Magazines on it, what does YOURS have on it?
Comment by JOSEPH KOONCE on April 27, 2008 at 4:56pm
i read FE because of the amount of info i have gotten out of it. Every month there is things that every FF from a rookie to a vet can learn something. Every FF probie class that i teach, i tell them about the magazine. Keep up the great work.
Comment by TR Hagerty on April 26, 2008 at 6:55pm
I read FE because somthing I read might save my life or one of my brothers or sisters. We learn from the articles that are authored by the BEST Of the fire service. To the one who was in the bar you are missing the boat so I hope your son can swim !!!!!! Bobby not everyone is worthy of having you as a friend.. Keep up the good work TR
Comment by Art Zern on April 26, 2008 at 3:52pm

I actually attended a discussion forum in the Chicago area held by a another magazine. When they wanted to know our choice in fire service literature, I submitted that only Fire Engineering could qualify as literature. My curious response begged the question....why? If members of the fire service desire to embark upon a career of continuous improvement, FE needs to become one of the manditory monthly reads. No other magazine has consistently provided the fire service with quality material that it actually and immediately useful. I believe you provide an important resource to all members who are committed to improving the American Fire Service.
Comment by Joe Pantaleo on April 26, 2008 at 1:20pm
I read FE for multiple reasons. Some outstanding veterans have taught me to always be a "student of the game." Where else could I have some of the best and well known instructors of the fire sevice share information with me? This is info that I would otherwise only get from them if I was assigned to thier house, on thier rig. I also started cutting out articles that I feel are the MOST valueable, (they're all valueable!), and putting them in a binder for future reference. Stuff like that needs to be read more than once. Someday I'll have a good thick binder to pass on to the new guy. Can't thank you enough for your hard work. It is greatly appreciated.

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