My Rookie Blog Entry

It's my first blog on Firehouse, so I'll take this time to introduce myself.

I'm the editor-in-chief of Firehouse.com and have held this position since 2006. I started with the Firehouse family in 1999 when Jeff Barrington (the current managing editor of Firehouse Magazine) brought me on board. I served in a few roles until I left the company in 2003 and, two years later to the date, I returned to work at Firehouse.com.

I served as a volunteer firefighter in three departments. I began as a fire explorer in Rush, NY and moved up to firefighter for a year. I then moved and became a member of the Glenwood Fire Company on Long Island where I served for eight years, the last three as a lieutenant.

When I took the job at Firehouse.com, I moved to Maryland and served a short stint with the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department before moving to Minnesota. While I'm not an active firefighter at this time, I enjoy participating in activities with local departments. It's great to have the chance to exchange ideas with local chiefs and firefighters and it opens my eyes to the big picture perspective of communities here it the Midwest. They are just like the areas I grew up in around New York and where I chat with friends in Washington state.

My father was a volunteer fire chief in Glenwood before I was born and is still active with the Valatie Fire Department in New York. Two of my brothers also served in Glenwood with me and my grandfather was a call fireman in Cape Cod.

When I started here over 11 years ago, I was still learning the ropes when many of the major events that shaped the way responders train and prepare for the next run occured. In 1999, two major incidents took place that need only one word to conjure up memories: Columbine and Worcester. A major tornado ripped through Oklahoma killing dozens and several students were killed when a bonfire they were building collapsed at Texas A&M.

When I took the job here, it was overwhelming at first. I had unique opportunity to work with some of the names that I grew up reading and learning from: Dunn, Wilbur, Cobb, Rubin, Moore, Ludwig and many more. These were the guys who were making a difference and heck, sometimes I could even tell them what to do.

Everyday is something exciting here. Whether it's breaking news, the suggestion of a new training idea or receiving a phone call from a new possible author, or a firefighter who is looking for some feedback, you never know what's going to happen next.

We've got plenty to offer our readers here - from breaking news to training in a variety of formats, I’m glad that you choose to visit Firehouse.com. We’re always looking for feedback. If there's a topic that you would like to see us cover or something training related that you're curious about, let us know and we'll try to get you the best feedback possible.

Feel free to contact me at peter.matthews@cygnusb2b.com.

Stay safe and thank you for what you do!

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