1. #1
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    Default LHS..HUGE shoes to fill - Who can do it?

    I am posting here for those who read only the Apparatus innovation Forum. Larrys most controversial and stimulating Forum area!

    The passing of Larry H. Stevens (LHS). A pairs of shoes that will be very hard, if not impossible, to fill!

    I have sat and pondered, cried and reflected since I learned of Larry’s passing on Wednesday. No matter what ones opinion is or was of Larry H. Stevens, all of us in the fire service have lost an innovator and partner that worked unselfishly for the betterment of all. I may ramble in my writing, but this may be my way to feel better about this loss, to me personally.

    It was several years ago when I first met Larry. Prior to meeting, I had heard all the “opinions” that many had on Larry’s vision and “strength of opinion”. At first glance and interaction one could only ask: Who the hell is that guy? Where the hell is this guy coming from? What is this guy on? Only after being accepted and having the ability to further understand Larry’s methodologies, through interaction, would one understand who the man truly was.

    I must first and foremost say, he was more than likely a person who contributed to the betterment of apparatus innovation more than 1000’s of others who have tried. Larry’s vision and always developing ideas seemed almost too far-fetched to be believable. Larry did in fact know what he was doing, contrary to many individuals beliefs. His ideas were always founded and not something that he in fact had not gone out and tried with a partner or if necessary, himself. If Larry could not find someone to partner with him, he would go out and prove them all wrong by making things work that were not supposed to work on paper, but did in reality. While many companies, manufacturers, suppliers and component manufacturers may have taken claim for many new cutting edge designs that are now available, I have a belief that the implementation of these ideas would not have occurred without Larry’s smug and profound persistence.

    Larry H. Stevens, is a person who has impacted the U.S. fire service, if you believe it or not. He was one of VERY FEW people in the U.S. that would challenge untold amounts of engineers that his ideas would in fact work, regardless of their statistically based calculations or professional opinions. Speaking of opinions, whoa, now here was a guy with an opinion! Larry challenged every sector of manufacturers and suppliers, and to some, almost in an antagonistic manner. If a manufacturer viewed Larry as the proverbial “pain in the ass”, it was only because, they were not listening and delivering what Larry asked for to begin with! Anyone who “truly” knew Larry H. Stevens knows that we would not be where we are today, without his persistence and forceful drive to do things others could only dream of.

    Larry’s insight was not in one area, he vast knowledge spread across almost every sector of the fire service. Apparatus, equipment, components, tactical operations and of course without saying, ISO standards like no other. I challenge ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE, to speak as fluently about every component and its potential operations, as did Larry. Many snubbed Larry, not knowing just how deep his knowledge truly was, brushing him off as a blowhard or manipulator. I feel they made a huge mistake, as the knowledge he shared, while controversial, allowed us all to grow. Larry’s ideas stimulated the mind, always “pushing the envelope”, allowing us to see into the future.

    I have been in the fire service for a long time and share with many “seniors” of the apparatus portion of the fire service. I truly believe those who knew him, now know there is a huge void to fill out there in fire truck land. Never being afraid to challenge the nations top manufacturers, presidents, CEO’s, engineers and designers, Larry is now sitting in heaven grinning with that dumb *** smile of his, like no other. That cat that swallowed the canary look of his, saying: I told ya so!

    To Elaine and the kids, God bless you all. You can rest only in knowing that you were with a man who shared to all of us in the fire service unselfishly and may be personally responsible for saving 1000’s of lives worldwide. For his contribution and his friendship, I am personally grateful. I will pass my one last “thank you” in writing to Larry H. Stevens. Thanks buddy! May you rest in peace.

    Stay safe and good fishing!

    Fish

  2. #2
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    Default A tragic loss

    I did not know Larry well, but I had read his posts and other articles with great interest. He was scheduled to arrive at our department this coming week for a consultant project.

    We are truly sorry for his family and close friends.

    I realize that the intention of the original post was a retorical question in that no one will ever encompass all of the knowledge and drive that Larry seemed to have, but are there others who do the same type of consulting with a reasonable degree of expertise?

  3. #3
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    Default

    Firefish’s words say almost exactly what I would have said about Larry and his contribution to the fire service, so I will let his words speak as mine in that respect.


    I began reading Larry’s writing as a young firefighter, as far back as his articles in Firefighters’ News (Fire Rescue’s predecessor) before he was editor. His ideas and ways of thinking immediately struck home with me and provided me with guidance and inspiration for my newly forming career, as they continue to do today.

    I began reading these forums shortly after their inception, and I think it is safe to say that the only reason I found it interesting enough to keep browsing the forums here was because of the LHS threads and discussions. I ignored the arguing and other babble going on around the topics, and just read and learned from the great wealth of information being put forth there. The education that was available to any who sought it was truly amazing.

    Still, I wondered what this man was really like in person, as we all change when we are portrayed as a screen name or online persona.

    I was fortunate enough to have met Larry and formed a strong friendship with him almost two years before his tragic death.

    For those of you who never met Larry Stevens, I feel quite comfortable saying he was one of the nicest people you ever could have wanted to meet, no matter what your views were on fire service innovation or tactics and strategy. He was just an all-around friendly, family kind of guy. As others have said, he had a great sense of humor, a wealth of knowledge and stories to share, and was always ready to help, no matter what the situation. He touched countless thousands of lives in this way, both directly and indirectly.

    In his “Firefighter’s Farewell”, Larry’s final editorial in Fire Rescue Magazine, he speaks of the many firefighters that offered him fatherly advice and helped him set the goals that became his career. I feel that Larry has certainly passed that on to me, personally, and many firefighters, both young and old.

    Along with so many others, I have lost a great friend. I will miss him greatly, and I hope we all do whatever we can to carry on the best of what made Larry who he was.

    My heart goes out to his family, and I hope that anyone who shares my appreciation of Larry’s many contributions to our field will honor him by donating to the Stevens Family Memorial Fund and help them through this tragic time.

    Somebody said in another thread, “let the beer always be cold”. I think perhaps we should replace ‘beer’ with ‘milk’. Any of you who knew Larry long enough to eat dinner with him will remember the “cauldron of milk” that he had with every meal. I have already begun ordering a chocolate cake “salad” with my dinner. Rest in peace, Larry.

  4. #4
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    Default It Depends.......

    HCFDLanger,

    Nicely put about Larry.

    Dudley,

    In regards to your question...it will greatly depend on what service Larry was going to conduct for you. While there are many independant consultants and experts (and some are only self proclaimed and rediculously priced! LOL!) for individual segments of the consulting business, Larry was educated or experienced in much. He was quite a broad individual and as far as ISO is concerned, I have yet to meet anyone with the vengence that Larry had!

    If you are looking for specific apparatus industry or general firefighting/operations consultant, I do know a few that I could pass on some names for you. If you let me know what type of assistance your department may be looking for, I could narrow it down as to put you in touch with the right "type". Mail me at firefish63 at aol dot com, and maybe I could help.

    AND NO, I am not an independant consultant, selling ISO evaluations!

    Stay Safe and good fishing!

    Fish

  5. #5
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    Default

    Originally posted by HFDCLanger
    Firefish’s words say almost exactly what I would have said about Larry and his contribution to the fire service, so I will let his words speak as mine in that respect.

    I began reading these forums shortly after their inception, and I think it is safe to say that the only reason I found it interesting enough to keep browsing the forums here was because of the LHS threads and discussions. I ignored the arguing and other babble going on around the topics, and just read and learned from the great wealth of information being put forth there. The education that was available to any who sought it was truly amazing.
    Same here.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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