FOTRUST PODCAST: Deputy Chief Chris Pepler

May 13, 2014

Deputy Chief Chris Pepler has been on the lecture and training circuit for some time now.  He holds the rank of Deputy Chief and is a 15 year veteran of the Torrington Fire Department, Torrington, Connecticut.  My first encounter with him was when he brought the first NFPA Certified Electric Car Train-the-Trainer course to us in New Jersey.  His delivery was crisp and informing.  I have been impressed with him, since.


Having followed his career has given me a great appreciation for the Instructor and Fire Officer he has become.  Check out the short interview I was able to grab, during our time @FDIC.


The Dangers of Fire Smoke

May 9, 2014


Had a chance to talk to Safety Battalion Chief Wayne Smith of the Indianapolis Fire Department about the dangers of fire smoke and his department's "On Mask, All the Time" Policy.  See the whole topic on the "Fire Officer Trust" Blog".

 Listen in!


Interview: Mr. Lee Ireland at the National Fire Academy

July 9, 2013

While taking another advanced management class, with Mr. Lee Ireland, I was able to get some interview time with him.  Lee has been involved in the Fire Service, Emergency Management, Local Government and an enlightened prolific Author/Teacher.

I have had the profound opportunity to hear him before and the experience is always edifying.  The course I took with him last was the Train-the-Trainer for the National Fire Academy Course, "Shaping the Future".  I can't wait to deliver it!

Listen in, as Lee and I discuss current and future trends in the Fire and Emergency Services realm.

Interview: Dr. Denis Onieal

June 19, 2013
While attending the 2013 New Jersey Weekend, at the National Fire Academy, I was able to sit down for an informative chat with the Superintendent.  Dr. Denis Onieal and I go way back.  Twenty-eight years to be exact.  He has been a friend and mentor, for equally as long.

Back in the mid to late 80's, Dr Onieal and I worked on several projects for the Jersey City Fie Department, the State of New Jersey and the Federal Government. 

He has always taken a practical and insightful approach, to every project or issue.  His interpersonal skills are, what I think, the essence of his character; he cares about people.

Listen to our brief talk concerning Fire Officers and the future of the Fire Service, in general.


Interview: Chief Eddie Burns

June 11, 2013

I had an information packed and candid conversation with Retired Chief Eddie Burns, of the Dallas Fire Department, Dallas, TX.  I have had the great fortune to team up with Eddie Burns inside and outside of the classroom.  Here he shares keen insight into the successful steps and preparation one must take to be productive and effective as an Executive Fire Officer. He talks about the importance of Competence, Trust and Loyalty.  Listen and let us know what you think.


Interview: Stephanie Denis

May 4, 2013

This is a brief interview with Lieutenant Stephanie Denis of the Gatineau Fire Service of Canada. We had the opportunity to chat at @FDIC 2013 in Indianapolis.  We discussed several issues and it was great to get another prospective on our beloved profession.


Interview: BC John Mittendorf

May 1, 2013

Had the pleasure and privilege of having a chat with Battalion Chief John Mittendorf of Los Angeles.  As always, I am looking to talk to Fire Officers who can share their experiences in our beloved profession.  Listen in and follow us as we continue to bring you information from great fire officers.

Service and a Commitment

October 13, 2012

"A Service and a Commitment". Battalion Chief John Alston, of the Jersey City Fire Department, gives the Keynote Address to the Fire Recruits graduating from the Union County Fire Academy. The ceremonies were held on the campus of Union County College; Cranford Campus.


Keynote - Why Are You Here?

October 13, 2012

This is a clip (13 mins.) from the Union County Fire Academy 2011 Graduation Keynote Address, given by John Alston, Training Officer for the Jersey City Fire Department and instructor for the Union County Fire Academy. The graduation took place at Union County Community College, in Cranford, NJ. Grateful for the opportunity to address the recruits and their families, Alston, candidly, shares his experience and lessons learned, with over 26 years in the fire service. The message title, "Why Are You Here?"

Box vs. Out-of-the-Box Thinking

September 27, 2012

In Emergency Management, when you think outside of the box you are still utilizing box thinking to formulate your idea. You have to. Think of it as a Stringed Quartet vs. a Jazz Quartet. It's still music. One is very structured and the other more improvisational and yet they still utilize some of the same instruments, chords and notes to produce the final sound that they desire. It can even be the same song or piece of music. Very often the stringed quartet can make improvisations or perform different interpretations to the classical pieces. "Out-of-the-Box thinking" is no greater than "Box thinking", when it's done completely. It just means that we have different approaches to achieving a successful outcome.. I think they're both great and I that any individual can possess both characteristics of a "Box or Out-of-the-Box thinker. Which one are you and why do you think so?