Last weekend, as has been reported, horrible tragedy struck at the New Jersey State Firefighters Convention where a firefighter drowned in the ocean.

It's a tough battle to prevent some of the injuries and deaths that keep occurring while on a scene -- or responding or other related "on duty" stuff as we attempt "cultural" changes in this business. But maybe though, like some firefighter line of duty deaths-these other kinds of firefighter deaths can also be prevented at the local level by true demonstration of "taking care of our own" (before and at a convention) and "everybody coming home" (from the convention).

We recently participated in a meeting with several fire folks complaining that there are "too many conferences and conventions". I don't know about that-when it's a valued conference and convention with business and serious training related activities, there is never enough. On the other hand, when "we" get together to attend something that is the complete opposite, those "in-charge" oughta take a closer look at the obvious.

It's tough enough to keep our troops safe around smoke, heat, fire, apparatus responses and at training -- but losing our own at a convention?

Sisterhood? Brotherhood? Prove it.