Creating Firehouse 30 Years Ago

Dennis Smith recounts the 1976 launch of the first magazine to recognize that the line firefighters are fundamental and essential in meeting the mission of a fire department.


It is a rudimentary concept in management that when workers believe they have value, and, indeed, when they believe that their management cares about them, their productivity will increase. Of course, firefighters are more identified as professionals rather than workers in the traditional sense of...


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No enterprise in America, no matter how commendable and deserving, can succeed without a profit. We read newspaper stories, of course, about businesses that believe there cannot be too much profit, and in my mind those businesses always ultimately fail. The business that succeeds is the business that has a sound mission, keeps to it and continually reinvests in it. It is in the reinvestment that customers, in this case the readers, will see they are cared about, and cared for.

For me, all of life should be lived in an even balance between caring for others and caring for our families. It is what firefighters do – without a doubt. I believe it is that caring that made Firehouse® Magazine grow as an important influence in the crucial business of saving lives in the United States. And, Firehouse® could never have gotten off the ground and carried through for 30 years without the many dozens of men and women who made the magazine what it is. And, what is it? It is simply a shared vision of the magazine’s mission: to inform all firefighters – chiefs, officers, line firefighters, commissioners, career, volunteer, and on-call – as comprehensively as possible about the most important job, the greatest job, that was ever created.


Dennis Smith, the founding editor of Firehouse® Magazine, can be found at www.firstresponders.com.