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FDIC 2008: Keynoter Mike Gagliano

Thu, 10 Apr 2008|

Mike Gagliano of the Seattle (WA) Fire Department talks about the need for firefighters to stay passionate about the job.

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Transcript

It's now my distinct honor and -- to introduce to you today our keynote speaker. Mike Galliano has steadfastly demonstrated it can -- and a commitment to continuous improvement in almost every aspect of structural firefighting. Mike has extended his passion not only to Seattle fire department but throughout the American fire service. Mike cares who cares deeply. About bringing the message of fire service training to others. I know Mike has -- precedence fires here this morning but first let me recap a little bit of Mike's work history for you. Mike has twenty years of experience with the Seattle Washington fire department and with the united states air force. Is currently the captain of training and a member of the Seattle fire department's operational skills enhancement development team. My teachers across the country and air management firefighter safety fire growth strategy and tactics is also a member of RF DIC associates ward. -- co authored the book air management for the fire service. The sounds like -- just completely shameless huckster up here. Which was also published by fire engineering but -- co authored numerous articles for fire engineering. And he's also on the board of directors for the cyanide poisoning coalition treatment. Please join with me and give Mike a warm FDIC welcome to might Galliano. Well. Is a firefight. What is firefighter. New neighbor next door. Just like you and me. With -- worries. And unfulfilled dreams. If they stand taller than most of us. -- firefighters. Firefighters -- once the most fortunate and least fortunate people in a world. -- men and women who save lives because they've seen too much debt. They're gentle because they've seen the awesome power. Of violence that has gotten out of control. They're responsive to a child's laughter because their arms held too many small bodies they'll never laugh again. They don't preach. The brother and sisterhood of man. They don't have to. Relive it every single. Day. You're -- amongst. Some of the most courageous heroic men and women that have ever walked this planet. Sitting right next to you in front of you back. Our men and women every day who -- service. Valor and honor integrity. And they do it as a matter of course as a matter of their own personal life. I have the privilege the distinct privilege. Owner of my life has been a few minutes minutes with you today. To talk about an incredible. Incredible individual. You know. You -- very well. Because -- you. Brothers and sisters is there anywhere in the world. You would rather be right now it FDIC. Anywhere in the world. I -- speak to you today about who you are. And most importantly remembering who you are. I have to take you back a little bit. To make this work we gotta go back for some of -- we gotta go way back. A want you to think about. Back to the time of the horses right. Who would like you to think about the time that you've got the notification that you were going to be accepted as a firefighter. Do you remember that day. Folks my wife we'll tell you I can't remember what I had for breakfast. But I can remember that day I remember who I was with. I remember where I was. I remember coming from the playground with my kids to the post office box. And there was a letter from the Seattle fire department. I knew this was either gonna be really good news really bad. And it was one of the most incredible days of my life because the fire department that I wanted more than any in the world to be a part of had asked me to come to their -- academy. I was absolutely. Blown away. Do you remember that day. You remember what that felt like how about your recruited cat. You Amber's showing up -- -- recruit academy and you were dazed. And you didn't quite know what to expect. And depending upon how long ago you recruit academy was there was -- various levels of stress and strain applied. New member the stories. You have a story. I do -- I remember my first house fire. We're down in a basement and we aren't -- it and a smoke everywhere and we can't see squat in the two or three pallets that are burning somewhere in the distance. With a glass -- over our heads and the instructors yelling at us to hit the fire. I can't see the fire I can't see anything. I see little blow. He goes out. We exit the building. Me and my partner we -- jazz. We -- -- demon in the face and we -- its. We conquered our fear you have got. My back was turned to the house and my partner's face all the sudden -- ghost white. Some like I don't think we've got -- As long as I live. I will never forget the sight as it turned around my recruit captain coming out the door soaking wet. And these words echoed across the landscape. Galliano. That was my flashlight. I don't know if this had anything to do with my superlative nozzle work or not but the next week when we graduated the academy. I got assigned to a truck. Folks. You are the true leaders of the fire service. I hope you're not forgetting the dreams you had when you first join your fire department. I hope you're not letting anything take that -- -- steal that from you I hope you remember your first to sign. And that group of men and women who became family to -- they became Brothers and sisters. In some cases they became that crazy uncle that you just couldn't get away from. But they built into you they taught you. They invested in you they gave what they had been taught and learned. And they -- you what you walk. And they instilled in you a set of values that may have been a little different than what you brought to them to the fire department. We forgetting that are you letting that go. It's folks the world has -- different set of values they look in that you. -- looking at the service you provide -- looking at what you do day -- day and they are absolutely blown away there and thought. This world values money first that's the first priority what's the bottom line for firefighters it's not even in the top page. Every single day. You are invited with greater urgency into the homes the church is the sacred places of men and women across the country. And you -- they didn't expect you to be there that day and -- sure glad you're there now. And there's money laying on the -- there's jewelry lying on the bed stand. Things that are sacred and precious and valuable to them even the modesty of the family members that they love so much. Are in your care. And that money those valuables. The things that they hold -- and dear. Are safer in the presence of a firefighter. Than in any bank in the world. Because of who you walk. The world is dedicated to -- me first attitude how does this benefit me what am I getting out of this. And then they're confronted with firefighters. Or interest it only. And what's best for others. This is best represented by the late FDNY lieutenant -- -- car club caught in a terrible collapse. Up to his chest and debris struggling to -- in pain going in and out of consciousness and what does he -- about. What does he most worried about. His partner he read directs the rescue efforts to his partner. Because of who he was. Because of who you are. Folks honor integrity. Teamwork. Those things aren't bumper stickers for us that's not just something -- post it note that somebody got off the calendar of the month. We saw this in Seattle fire department with my recruit school classmate Randy -- liquor. Randy died. In the arson fire at paying warehouse. Randy always told us. If he was ever caught in the situation where he and his partner could not get out and couldn't get his partner free from any type of entrapment. If you take -- this past device he would be demise partner and you get -- help. That's exactly what he did when that floor collapsed. When his partner was buried in the rubble Randy took off. It's fast device and -- it by his partner in that flaming burning hell hole and went out to get help. We found from some distance away. A hero. Because of who he was. Because of who you. More. Brothers and sisters you can never let that slip you can never forget that. We grieve recently. For captain Broxton. Firefighter -- -- station officer LaBelle from New Zealand. They gave their life in service to community like you do every day. They stand with the heroes that echoed down quarters of the fire service. -- paying the price with their lives for something greater than themselves. With all of that. We see. On the television the rash of political commercials that are coming have you seen the latest when the very controversial one. It's 3 AM. -- do you want answering the phone when you're having the worst day of your life and it's 3 AM I don't have selects that -- when you embarrass yourself. At 3 AM. I'm telling you. The citizens of the world are praying to god. That on the other end to that phone when they're having the worst day of their life. There is a well trained fire companies ready to respond because experience has told them. Those -- the folks that are going to calm. And make it better. Despite all of this all you have to be proud of we are told as we teach classes as we talk with Brothers and sisters across the country that there firefighters that are losing heart. They're losing their passion. They're wondering aloud what -- they have in the fire service what role they play. I hope that's not any -- you. I saw a video. I watch a couple times a year is so inspiring. Tom Brennan -- now -- C did an unplugged. There was absolutely for unforgettable. They were getting questions from the audience and their inimitable style answering those questions. The gentleman from the audience. Asked chief Brennan. When he sees a future the fire service where we had how we do. -- -- answered. As you would expect to simply and directly. He looked and -- He said brother. You aren't fire service. You are the fire service. Take it over. Take it over. The haunting part of the whole message because it's being taken from you. Are you allowing that to happen. Are you allowing the lame in the lazy -- your passion. Are you allowing the politicians to demean what you do. Brothers and sisters I believe the answer to the questions that befuddled the fire service or sitting right in this room. The brightest and the best are assembled here. I believe you have the answers to what ails us folks it doesn't matter if you're the one in charge. Thankfully for the fire service we haven't had to rely on only to people that are in charge. Brothers and sisters don't wait for orders from headquarters ride to the sound of the guns. Go for the battle this goal -- the skirmishes happening those guns in the distance you hear our firefighters and -- dying to be trained. They want to be trained realistically because they know we're not getting as many fires -- looking for leaders. Leaders who have not forgotten that the it is a sacred privilege to lead firefighters. They're looking. For mentors the same mentors that you hat that invested in you that made you who you are. Are you stepping up to that task there is a story of the mountain in incredible mountain people love to -- It was so incredible -- thousands would show up in an entrepreneurial sort possibly firefighter but decided to build a logical base of the mountain. That's where it got steep that's -- -- last -- -- -- -- was -- got really tough. And folks would come to that watch. And enlisted -- that lodge -- they would get soup and they would sit by the fire and sit on the couch and it would be fellowship and they would rest up for the last journey of decline. It was great. After 1520 minutes majority of people would get up hey let's go we're going on out and it would tackle the rest of that mountain. Inevitably there would be if you that would stay behind. Because that second cup a -- sounded really good and the couch was comfortable. And fire was -- It was cold outside. That mountain with -- As an -- stay out. A low catch up. The people who run the lodge said that same thing happens every time. Those people to three hours after they're sitting on the couch and have -- a second cup of soup they would start to get restless. And it would look out the window and they would look up that mountain. And they would realize. As the sun was starting to set and they would see the people who had reach their goals coming down there was not gonna happen for them that day. They have allowed something that in and of itself was fine. To take over the dream and the -- -- sat. And they walked out of that lodged disheartened and disappointed because they were not gonna meet the goal that they had set for themselves. Are we gonna allow that occur are. Brothers and sisters -- FDIC. As a stoking point for what you wanna do and what you wanna be in the fire service. You have some of the greatest classes you could go to in the world. At your Beck and call go out and celebrate. Go out at night and enjoy your Brothers and sisters when they're looking down from heaven and they say what's that noise. I believed -- Brennan will be holding court up there and say you know what that is that's men and women celebrating being a -- Let's celebrate. In a manner that is respectful to our service but the folks of Indianapolis no that's firefighters are in town and be prepared show up tomorrow morning show up ready. To take the classes to do the stuff. You provide the answers you are the solution. Go down to the bookstore and grabbed one of the many great books that are there you can get a copy of frank Montag -- responding to routine emergencies and take it back to your group. They'll be blown away yet. Grab Dave Johnson's reading smoke dvd. Grabbed John Norman's tactical. Studies and take that your troops imagine learning with -- people from John Norman. Brothers and sisters we haven't in our hands we have at their Beck and call use this conference. To ignite the flame. For those of you who are saying folks this doesn't apply I'm already fired up that's great. Grab somebody by the elbow who needs it take them along with you said -- -- going on not. We're gonna ride to the sound of the guns were not going to be dissuaded. Remember Brothers and sisters that mediocrity. And comfort. Loves company. Folks we'll sit around the table with you and they will cry in -- -- and they would drag you down because it validates their own failures. You remember who you are. You remember the training that needs to occur -- You remembered the mentoring that needs to occur you remember that you have a role to play and its key and it's vital and only you can do it. I don't care where you're from the -- your department I don't care what your mission is only you complaint no one on the stage can. Brothers and sisters as we close as we celebrate FDIC. Or -- thank you for being who you are. Want to thank you and I pray that you remember you're calling you remember your mission. Most of all Brothers and sisters never forget. Remember who you are. Got bush. -- like to thank you again for all join with us here this morning. We're expecting about 30000 -- you have a couple of things I'd like to do before you all -- -- just to be 12. Couple announcements you absolutely to hear. Tonight the NF AA meeting is going to be at 7 o'clock America hotel ballroom before we also have a special world premiere. Pre -- preview movie called fireproof which will be right after brutal and friends at 730. Fireproof the movie it's a real movie by Sony Pictures and they came here and so we can see it for free is that it is tonight right we and that -- -- from my boss. So it's a free movie -- that now this is the important part. This is a dangerous job. Very dangerous job. We do brave and heroic things and doing brave and heroic things involves risk and great firefighters will be lost. Last night. The displeasure actually telling you that Lawrence township Pennsylvania -- As we stand here right now. Two of our fellow firefighters. Captain Robin Boston on seventeen year veteran of the -- and fire department. And Brian insurance -- for -- were being laid to rest. This evening President Bush -- to medal of honor. Two navy seal. Chief petty officer Michael -- -- It was post -- use. Please join me -- -- -- moment silence. From uncle Friday -- -- -- and -- ensure there. Michael months who. Please remember them in your hearts. Here why we're here. You are America's best. God is on your side. Get out there and train have a great time and we'll see all again tomorrow morning god bless you -- wanted to you --

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