First, we salute all those nominated in the annual Firehouse® Magazine Heroism and Community Service Awards program. The “Bravest of the Brave” earn their title each and every year. Sometimes, it costs a lot, like the life of a firefighter, which is almost too much to bear. “When the alarm sounds and there is someone to save only then do we know lonely are the Brave” from a poem written on the wall inside FDNY Ladder 124 quarters. This year, the recipients of the top awards had to rescue people trapped in submerged vehicles, house fires, a car burning after an accident, garden apartments, wind-driven fires, a high-angle rescue, inside a single-room occupancy and an arson fire in a multiple dwelling. One firefighter died trying to search for a reported missing occupant and others worked to rescue two trapped firefighters who later succumbed to injuries. We thank the judges and our sponsors. The awards can be found beginning on page 66.
Second, in the battle to gain access to the D Block, after six years, three being a full-court press, the U.S. fire service has achieved a great victory in the area of communications. Bandwidth will be auctioned, bringing billions of dollars to the federal government while letting the fire service grow dramatically through the use of technology. The victory was called “the most significant change to the emergency rescue community in its history” by Jeff Johnson, the chief executive officer of the Western Fire Chiefs Association, who added, “It will revolutionize the industry.” More on this revolutionary change for the fire service will be published in future issues as it develops. Details about the announcement can be found in the Fire Technology column on page 52 by Chief Charles Werner, who was intimately involved in the process.
Third, it is my honor to announce that Firehouse® Magazine, Firehouse.com and the book WTC – In Their Own Words won first place for editorial excellence in the “Best Integrated Package” category in the 58th Annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards. The award was presented by American Business Media for our coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The announcement was made on March 16 in New York City. In addition, our entry was one of the four finalists for the Grand Neal award, out of a total of 725 entries. Congratulations to the members of the editorial staff and corporate partners all who contributed to this recognition. Thank you to the readers who have always believed in us. This is a long time coming. Many years, ago people used to call us entertaining. Jeff Barrington and I, along with many others, have worked very hard for a long time and this award shows the dedication day in and day out, issue after issue, to show our real commitment “to the job.”