IT'S WHO WE ARE - IT'S WHAT WE DO
When Steve began this podcast in 2016, his goal was to give something back to the fire service he loved, even though he had to leave active service after only eight years, due to a severe knee injury. He believed that if he would be able to bring on some interesting guests from the fire service, he might have the change of having a couple of dozen firefighters, fire buffs, etc., listen to the podcast. His vision was a little "short."
By the end of his third season, he had listeners in nearly forty countries. While the stats reflects numbers, there was/is no way to determine if these listeners were members of the fire service where they lived or not. Moreover, Steve felt more comfortable going after members of the fire service that he did not know personally, but based only on an article in the trades, a Tweet or a post on Instagram. As pleased as he was with this, something was still lacking in "end-game."
Everyday, Steve reads the online trades and news blasts for the fire service and as he sees certain trends, he makes an effort to book a guest or guests, to address those trends. And frequently, their first appearance after the publication is on 5-Alarm Task Force."
Though Steve has covered almost all of the costs for the podcasts (however, just over a year ago, both Insight Training LLC and the Firehouse Tribune, came on board as paying sponsors.) Steve wanted to do more for his listeners; he wanted to provide t-shirts, hats, stickers, etc., but just did not have the funds to do so. Then, last fall at the 2019 Great Florida Fire School, he heard a speaker who provided Steve with a whole new vision for helping is brothers and sisters in the fire service.
At one of the sessions, the attendees were introduced to the chief of one of the volunteer fire departments in the Bahamas. Now this conference occurred about a month after Hurricane Dorian pummeled the islands for multiple days. The results were horrific; the chief lost his home, his business and his fire department, as did many departments in the islands. They had little, if any usable gear, little equipment and most of the apparatus in these departments would need a great deal of TLC to get them running again ,if even possible. And as much as he wanted to help then and there, Steve just did not have the where with all to do so. And that disappointment was the impetus Steve needed to make a change. That change was the creation of an IRS-approved, 501 (c) (3), non-profit corporation, 5-Alarm Task Force Corp.
It took several months of planning, preparation, filing and awaiting approval. Finally, the application was approved and the first step was completed. However, there was a lot more to see and do. Look for our next installment.