Looking Back At Five Years of Firehouse.Com

Five years after first blazing the trail of online emergency services news and information, Firehouse.com celebrates its anniversary Christmas Day by looking back at some of the most significant events in our community and forward to further serving the...

"More personally," Schaitberger added, "on behalf of our 260,000 IAFF brothers and sisters who bravely serve their communities across the U.S. and Canada, we most sincerely thank the staff of Firehouse.Com for their efforts to help us in raising over $160 million for the families of the 343 firefighters we lost on September 11, 2001. We will Always Remember and Never Forget."

Garry Briese, Executive Director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, said "Firehouse.Com provides the entire fire service with up-to-the-minute information and that provides anyone who wants to know what is happening, the almost real-time ability to stay on top of issues. Firehouse.Com has established itself as an essential online communications channel to the fire service in just five short, but intense, years. We, here at the IAFC, are looking forward to the upcoming contributions that this excellent level of communications will provide to the fire and emergency services in the next five years."

R. Wayne Powell, Chief of Citizen and Community Preparedness at the United States Fire Administration/FEMA said he is also a long-time user of Firehouse.Com. "I am on it several times each and every week," he said. "The articles are frequently the way we at the United States Fire Administration first learn of critical events and significant advances in the business of fire protection and fire safety. I consider it one of the most amazing sites on the entire web, not just as regards 'fire and emergency services issues,' but the entire world wide web."

Firehouse.Com contributing editor Billy Goldfeder, a Battalion Chief for the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in southwest Ohio, responded to Firehouse.Com's request for feedback saying, "What impact has Firehouse.Com had? What impact HASN'T it had would be a better question!"

"I remember back in the early days when I was told that there was going to be a Firehouse "DOT COM" and wondered what could it do different from the printed versions of "fire related news... How naive was I?" Goldfeder said. "Like most of us, we had no idea what the 'information super highway' would do to our world as we knew it. Specifically, in the world of fire information, a few forward thinkers came up with this great idea: Firehouse.Com."

"Thanks to those who run the site, but also those who provide the input directly or indirectly, Firehouse.Com is the #1 site to find out 'what's up' in the fire and related emergency services field," Goldfeder said. "Like CNN, FOX and USA Today, Firehouse.Com gets the information out RIGHT NOW with a focus on informing all facets of the fire service.

The information that Firehouse.Com provides informs firefighters, and that information can often lead to a safer fireground operation -- and that is the top value of Firehouse.Com. I am very confident that countless firefighters have avoided tragedy due to information they read at Firehouse.Com. That makes Firehouse.Com priceless," he said.

The staff at Firehouse.Com couldn't hope for a better outcome to their efforts than an increase in safety and an even tighter bond among America's fire service and of firefighters around the world.

"When Christmas day 2023 comes around I would like to know that after 25 years of providing information to the emergency services family that we have made a contribution to making emergency services better," Hebert said. "Firefighters have tools and gear to make them perform better, and safer. I hope Firehouse.Com is in their toolbox."

Coming Next Week: The Top Stories Of 2003