Home>Topics>>FDIC 2010: Chief Halton Speech from the General Session

FDIC 2010: Chief Halton Speech from the General Session

Thu, 22 Apr 2010|

Chief Bobby Halton exhorted the fire service to rededicate itself to its core mission during his FDIC 2010 speech.

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Transcript

Ladies and gentlemen please rise to the national anthems of the United States and Canada. Balloons. OK okay. Okay. But it's -- And to me. -- -- -- -- -- It's an. Okay. He moves well. -- -- -- Okay. -- It's not. Oh I. Create new bar. -- Well uncertainties. -- -- you. A slow news. We're. Okay. -- Yeah and who. -- And -- me. And I. Oh. Them. Mom. Oh and yeah. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Okay. -- Okay. It's okay. Okay in new yeah. -- -- Being here okay okay okay it's. Car. Okay. And I. Okay. Okay. I. Car. -- even. Okay it's. Okay. To. Yeah. Yeah. It's. Okay. Okay. Yeah cool all. Her. Ladies and gentlemen. Bobby -- Before I begin I'd like to do two quick things us. First. At home today and couldn't be with us. But he's -- dear friend and he's been a different fire engineering throughout my career you had given them. Devastating. Medical news recently. You all know Harvey -- is the editor in chief of firehouse magazine. -- a great friend of mine are -- wonderful publication and armies and all of that product for many many years. You need your thoughts and prayers so please keep army and -- in your thought the next few days and an -- -- for anybody else. We hope you accomplish it. Can -- all our military members to -- -- and our former military members to -- Anyone who's currently in and that's usually tired. Thank you for your service and god bless you and we're very honored to have you with us residents don't. But -- and gentlemen I'll begin well. Good morning and welcome back -- the 82 FDIC. To many it is today. -- was like our beloved fire service like gorillas aircraft carrier. A daunting and majestic force for good. Powerful and beautiful but it gives it is being talked about -- -- internal differences. Being blown off course -- popular hurt you know social trends. And being allowed to drift and flounder -- vulnerable to attack. I guess the question this morning -- might ask is what do we need to do to get our fire service back on course. What needed to re that are -- What's really miss and right now. Is it leadership. No we have good many leaders and and great people -- Is -- funding. No we always seem to find our money. What the cause needs now is far more fundamental -- far more basic. -- is the ability of -- institutions and programs. Succeed is able to do staffing it has little to do with equipment. -- has little to do with money. Staffing has little to do with politics power or purpose. We -- to his treats for courageous battle waged against that staggering odds. Conflict where the -- being outmanned and outgunned. People were able to see -- without the possibility of any. Some might say it's because the cause is right -- but to both -- the cause always appears to be right job. So we'll it was because of the leaders. But leaders can not beat. Everywhere battles being waged. A what is it that allow the -- triumph. The week to win and humbled to be exalted. There's one underlying quality undeniable quality to every successful endeavor. The successful. All share a common understanding. Of why this would be. -- it just requires everybody from the very top to the very bottom to have that same model of what winning will look like. Without a common vision we're not united. We're not focused. And we're not poised to win. About being true who defines that vision for the fire service today. Does the US -- administrator represented -- -- Is that -- IFF general president. Or is president of the national volunteer fire council. I don't think anyone of those good people are solely responsible for crafting the path. And setting the tone for the fire service. Rather each and every one of us has a responsibility. To drive to define the mission. Our intention. And our purpose. I think perhaps one of us maybe more than one of us will find that -- envision that common. Being that irresistible voice double ring no truly powerful that we'll all be under is thinly drawn to it unquestionably lead to embrace. And make no mistake about it the fire service has a great many leaders men and women with passion and vision. Who understand what we're doing is connected to a higher power to a higher moral cause. Our mission and our members are -- and they're dedicated. But all -- knowledge and now all the notwithstanding without a clear and commonly held vision. Of where we are going out of what our intention. We are destined to drift becoming increasingly fragmented. Challenged by other public agencies and private organizations. The question today is then who among us is going to -- let's -- point. Who was going to press -- horrifying and unifying vision. We'll be somebody at the top of the food chain. Not -- are these people need to embrace that vision in the cause but they may not be the authors and creators. -- here's a good example. If I was at Q what was the intention of the American revolutionary war. In two seconds or who would say freedom. Freedom independence from tyranny. America's founding fathers all share that single intention. They change the world with that vision but if I was asked you -- among our founding fathers. That's the scribe that goal who fired a columnist at -- -- in flight. Who among the founding fathers that express that intention who would you pick. They Washington. Others say Jefferson Mike Hamilton on row. But you'd all be wrong. Know who wrote this brilliant statement when most brilliant statement of all time. He wrote. Songwriters today have confused society. With government as to leave little or no distinction between them. Whereas they are not only different but they have different origin. Was it is produced by -- want. And government -- -- wickedness. The words are accurate today is -- when spoken 230 years ago. Yet most of us don't even know the author's name although he more than anyone else inspired this country to break away from England. Do you more than anyone else was the most important voice in our fight for freedom. He more than anyone else to drive our nation's intention in fact his intent was so well it -- it would -- to our revolution. -- of the -- of the British monarchy and helped start French revolution. Okay maybe you remember this. This is most famous opening line. These are the times that try and shall. It comes of course from his book to -- everybody knows that. You remember Thomas -- As the man who wrote comments. Which defined the foundation of the -- of liberty for generations to come. And yet most -- absolutely nothing about the man in spite of what -- accomplished for mankind. We don't even cover it in our history books. So was. We tell you a brief history Tommy Payne he was born on the -- maker in England. He joined the British media team when he returned home remarried his childhood sweetheart and went into his -- -- business. And arguably his wife hadn't died suddenly we would have never heard -- Her death left paying debt -- and his addiction to alcohol quickly dominated. He lost business -- through your employment failures. And all the time very very drunk and very very angry. Thomas -- hated it government bureaucracy. And in particular -- hated McCain. Not not the actual person he hated that comes from Kate. -- passionately under stood that no man has any divine right to rule over any other man. Internet without. Of all things writing campaign. Speeches and all. And his -- -- heartening turnaround. When it's a London walked. Ben Franklin. It was our Ben Franklin who convinced Tommy pain to come to an account on seventeen -- for -- comes to America. Where he becomes the editor in chief of Pennsylvania matter to me. Where he discovers he faces yet another problem. Is your wealthy ancestors. They -- break away from England. They simply wanted parity. With the British upper class they had no intention of leaving the comfy little life there they wanted to be dukes and lords. Campaign's way of thinking. That was no revolution at all after the horrible water in an April -- 1774. At Lexington and Concord. Paint -- cited set up the ante by adding one word to the discussion. Independent. A word that no one had dared use before. And because you trust that intended for -- so well that -- common sense was just treat us and that king was furious. Immediately 500000. Copies sold at two shillings apiece which may Tommy -- a very wealthy man. The bulk. Is the book that -- our ancestors. And it defines liberties for the individuals all over the world whether here or in -- such as Afghanistan and Iraq. And when we. We're -- revolutionary war and all seemed lost it was Thomas Paine wrote the book the crisis this was the -- that won't Washington's true. To win the battle of Trenton the only other battle other -- Tarrytown that we want. After the war our grateful nation gave Tommy -- a -- -- -- new York and he began working as an engineer. Trying to fund that career you decide to go home to England try to raise some cash. Unfortunately that king character was healing power of Tom decided he shouldn't -- if you ride overthrow the king. But a bad idea he was immediately indicted for treason and he had to flee to France. A good time. The front -- just about all they can I -- -- -- -- could they with the Witasick gave guy. So get -- became the rider who inspired the French revolution. Tom -- The French well Thomas thanks so much that he was immediately put on their National Assembly. But don't like began to take a turn for the worse there did you see the French were out for revenge on the king. They wanted blood and pain had never advocated violence he simply said. All mankind should be set free well in France they wanted blood. And the assembly Tom gets up. Demanding that the monarchy goal but not the revenge and he says these words. I would rather record -- thousand -- dictated by humanity. -- one. The -- just. He finished with the. -- -- But not the man. For that -- -- the death and taken over the Luxembourg present you can't make the well. Fortunately execution would never come and eleven months later -- secure his release Tommy Payne comes home to New York. But because of a book he wrote later on in life the age of reason which was an attack on organized religion. His enemies branded him an atheist but like many of our founding fathers he was not an atheist he was -- -- Do you believe in god. They just don't believe in formal religion however these these labels -- a when he died was refused the very little local military. -- form. Would anyone asks you. About liberty and freedom when anyone talks about it they're quoting Thomas -- his intent to rest in his writings. Created the break away from England for us and the British reform act of 1832. His passion helped bring liberty to friends. And one would imagine that Thomas -- would be one of the most hallowed -- his -- right. Would be -- most cherished and Howard grounds and all of America and we be flocking to it all the time. But it's not. Actually. We don't have a clue where -- body. It gets better. The enemy of Thomas in his belly Corbett after the damaged industrial revolution -- to the average realized hated -- right all along and -- campaign because again. An 1817. Nights to come to America we immediately goes to great hero Tommy -- A little farm he shocked. And you -- this rate you live in a little hole in the weeds and grass in -- -- -- America. There are however you should not live much longer forty belonged to England. His fame and has the loan is property of England and if no other country we'll show that they value that fame the people of England well. -- their opinions body and takes effect in one. But he had no money for -- monument. We've put his body under his bed what they've told you guys in 1835. Does -- inherits the body. But shortly thereafter he -- And we know little of the wife -- Thomas -- a man who wrote the book of liberty and freedom. But we do know. That Thomas -- -- common man. We are. Yet to find the intention for the greatest nation in the right. Thomas -- was not a general. He was not a chief. And he was not an -- And yet you -- an intention which become the most -- -- force in world. Although -- although to practically everyone he remains on. He's having a clear and unifying vision matters it -- or is that it defines greatness it -- nation. -- fire engineering. Our intent was given to our very first publication. 1877. -- his words -- still bind us today. On November 17 1877. YP -- and -- and told them Clifford Thompson wrote this. We commend the publication of the farmer's journal because we believe such a -- needed Michelle this guy from an independent standpoint. But many weighty topics which are for a good for the consideration of firemen from time to time. Recognizing that the duties which on their call to discharge are among the -- the fall and most important to any a lot of the. Calling for an exercise of a high degree of intelligence. Courage -- fortitude perseverance endurance. Only to be found among the highest -- man. It's Shelby are -- to cheer them on and noble work to a site them and they're honorable right right and to impress them. Upon the right examples of so many noble ones who had traveled the same path before them. And to the best extent and drop them on a means of doing their work and bearing their burden. And all. The mission afar engineering -- was a little bit of both -- line. Devoted to the interest of the fireman of the country. We live those words today. It matters not. That we have no memory of the men who wrote those words it matters not that their names are not cardinals don't. It only matters that we remain loyal and devoted to that contention. Now is the time for all firefighters. To rise up and -- dedicate themselves. To the mission. To rededicate ourselves to that hollowed ground backgrounds which are armor is bound background too which over the at some time. And the changing fast society are common understanding of has eroded. And it is a natural erosion -- predictable erosion but one that we can stop and we must stop. Before that hollowed ground. Can hold -- no longer. Now is the time to again embraced the commanders intention of the fire service we will stand together and proclaim. That we are devoted to the call we must stand together and proclaim that we are committed to the mission. We -- and and -- dedicate our goals for the purpose. Of -- war. For the -- the fire service is not about money. It's not about glory. The -- fires are not about that. And non self preservation. The mission of the fire -- about it during the highest moral calling that god has asked that any man that -- beat. Our brother's keepers. And that we live a life of sacrifice. And devotion to others now like our forefathers before us in the closing words of the declaration of independence like Thomas hate. We must also pledge are liars. Our fortunes. And our sacred honor. Our intention we must join with the same reverence -- -- -- full Paris tonight and -- The knights of Malta when pledging their fidelity the lord said these words on bended knees and detonating -- gently shoulders. -- meal and they had. I -- -- lowered. The hours of my days. And the use. Of might get. The hours of my days. And you -- -- -- -- How -- today general binding. There are no let's take. The fire service today is faced with an unprecedented. Opportunity. To modify the operational fire -- behavior of firefighters across North America. But first we need to embrace our commanders intention. And our commanders and tension must state clearly. Explicitly clearly that every community. Every community deserves sufficient numbers of well trained firefighters who will swiftly and effectively -- onto our needs. That every community. Deserves well trained firefighters fire officers who recognized -- -- most sacred responsibility. For. The safety of their -- and second. These successful professional complete of their work that every community deserves healthy and well equipped firefighters. Who will pledge to persevere to be courageous and to endure whatever -- falls that. That every community deserves to be protected by men and women of integrity who hold their sacred honor. Of sacrifice to others above all else. Duty. Honor and country. To this intention we almost solemnly -- our lives. Our fortunes. And our secret on -- To -- that intention. Makes you all remarkable men and women. And I'm humbled and honored to walk amongst you. Thank you very much -- this opportunity accomplish -- governor who can.

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