Mon, 8 Feb 2010|
Chief Bobby Halton welcomes the crowd at the FDIC 2009 Opening Ceremony.
Please welcome the education director for FDIC. And the editor in chief of fire engineering. Bobby -- yeah. Good morning. And welcome to FDIC 2009. This marks the 81 assembly of the world's greatest gathering of firefighting professionals. Thank you all for coming and sharing. In this unique celebration. Those -- this morning we've been privileged to participate in several beautiful ceremonies. All deeply rooted in our profession. And all deeply symbolic of what we hold his precious all deeply connected to our passions. Are faith. And our purpose is fitting that we celebrate here because now more than ever much that we hold as precious and fear is being threatened we need to hold on tightly. So what we know inspires us and others to do -- great worthy of great respect -- worthy of great -- And we know and our hearts with these needs are and we would say that we know the one we see them we think about what does that really mean. No -- about having an emotional connection. For example we all know instantly how we feel about our country every time we -- the -- Or how we feel about our military. Every time we see -- -- People see their most sacred values and symbols whether it be the flag the capitol building the White House the statue of liberty. People see more importantly who we are and what we represent through the symbols of our work. The meeting and the importance of these symbols. Must be passed on from generation to generation. Or we risk losing the true intent behind. Today our communities need us to represent. What they see in the symbolism. Of a fire truck. Whether we want to admit it or not we are what other people believe -- to date now for the professional firefighting. That's an honorable calling. But the degree of responsibility. We want -- symbolize the best of what others expect from us but because we're human. We might fall short of being perfect firefighters. But belonging to this community is about simply get back up and continuing to serve. Now the writer Kurt Vonnegut. And Indianapolis native. Whose words are up here on this stage. Once said that the fire truck is the most -- symbol of man's inhumanity. To man. He did not say the fire man -- the fire woman. He said the fire truck is the most -- symbol and he chose to fire truck for a very specific reason. More than ever we need to embrace what find it meant by those words. He was telling us that this is our fire service that the fire service is us and without ownership. It comes -- heavy responsibility. Being worthy to represent me and humanity demand it's something that we cannot take lightly. It's words express how other people -- -- what our mission is. And what we symbolized our communities. When -- could identify the fire truck. He did it because it symbolizes. Serving a much higher purpose. And that purpose is self sacrifice for others. The fire -- presents the greatest believe you could ever have another person. Symbolizes. Humanity's greatest -- -- grew up. Selflessness. Community expects to see that sacred honor and -- And we. Expectancy. In each -- Occasionally stumble and we will come up short and have bad days that's inevitable but the symbol of the fire truck. And our sacred honor will continue along. This fight our individual frailties -- knew what he was doing when he chose the fire truck to symbolize our sacred honor. He understood what a powerful symbol -- fire truck is he understood but. How important are sacred honor years. He understood it doesn't represent one man and one woman but rather this collective spirit but not me. And cowardly. But -- -- and it's strong -- -- obvious to all of fire truck is daring and innovative as powerful he saw the fire truck is fearless and dedicated. And competent and most of all -- thought as compassionate. Non judgmental -- forgive. -- we see our profession. This is what we must strive for ever to -- comment reflect -- sacred -- the -- -- symbolizes just doesn't come from the protection of life. It also comes from the willingness to take risks in the protection of other people's treasures. Those treasures like the art they might be an -- when -- peel off home the pictures of the loved -- a business or even the family -- Recently someone suggested that the only time that we shouldn't burn building as when there's a life. But that ignores the importance of what makes a community. It's commerce and structures. In the righteous cause -- firefighter safety we have spent. Are powerful -- redefining and reexamining our -- ground operations and our culture and our behavior and we will and we must. Boldly continue this worthy and meaningful work. We celebrate the fact that we have spent the last decade working hard to make a difference in our -- safety. Firefighters safety and were blessed to have -- many wonderful programs -- excellent results but we must caution ourselves. Because occasionally and our passion to make our profession it more effective and safer. We have tried to control the uncontrollable. And we can never forget. That is our principles that matter most of we must always be willing to put other's welfare. And tomorrow. Because there will always be those who need us far more -- we need them. The fire truck more than any tool. -- presents to every community that there are members of that community are willing to -- Replace their own precious time their -- collected treasures -- own humanity. In the protection of other lives and who will execute well thought out well supported and skillful fire attacks. When it's possible to save other people's treasures we must -- And respect that sacred honor. We must answer this call to. To become that physical embodiment of what our communities need in the -- virtues of the symbolism behind the fire truck it matters deeply. That when the scared to threatened. Here are sirens -- here are air -- that there are parts Verizon hope. And the picture -- he's not ignore me put it on medal of honor it's a fire truck recently I was told a story that it. It shows -- well. Tension movements in -- even -- judgments. It will firefighters and -- midwestern city responding to a multifamily. Apartment fire complex. But the fire was -- it -- this exploding meth lab and when they arrived. About separated the fourteen apartments -- involved in flames the fire fighters in route we're told this woman on the phone with a dispatcher trapped in -- rear bedroom. The dispatcher told her that wire wrap herself in a blanket and lay low. As the firefighters battle this fire that -- Thatcher told them but the trapped woman was no longer responding well. The last thing that she's that was god help me. Please god help me. The dispatcher -- reassurance. Firefighters were common. Firefighters are working on the third floor outside this heavily involved apartment. It's blowing fire out every window but they realize that this -- apartment where that woman was trapped. The firefighters could make it to that back to war. He told the other four. You -- for -- -- standby should he needs any assistance getting back out. The fire fighter and entered that heavily involved apartment and despite the dangers to himself. He made it to that back bedroom door he found that unconscious woman he picked her up and back -- that same inferno he carried her out to safety. That woman's alive today because of that man's heroism. But during the briefing several days later chief officer was a personal friend of -- -- good man good virtuous man. He stated that he felt those firefighters had taken to greater risk. He felt that the actions they took were far too risky. And that he never wanted them to do anything like that again. Young man who made the grab. Stood up and says with all due respect chief when I was hired here. The chief of department told us that we will risk a lot. To save a lot. And that's exactly what I did. That for his -- a lot to -- a lot. It comes from the NFPA 15100 respect that passage but. I think it's dated incorrectly. I think in order to be true to what our communities it back from in order to be true to our sacred honor that -- should read we. Will risk everything. To save -- life we won't risk everything including our own lives they have a favorable light. That is what our sacred honor means that is what the embolism of the fire truck represents that's why we're called the -- Want. It meant when he that is the great symbol of man's inhumanity to man. Embolism. Sacred honor and not just worms -- lofty ideals. We -- these words come to life in Clarence center New York this year. This -- when continental flight 34. Fluent in the ice and -- -- stable. The pilots -- greatly we control the aircraft but she. Fell. On -- home and cars that are you. Two of the residents that home policy like that before 330 to -- passengers and crew. Firemen in the fire when parents involved your art department. Did not only do what the citizens of Clarence center expected they would do. They rose above and beyond you occasion and although they couldn't save the 49 -- -- the homeowner from that tragic event. They honored that sacred trust they did their best they did everything they could. To leave the property on either side -- that -- -- from becoming adult and destroyed they let that fire claimed no more property than what it had when they arrived. Today in this room are those heroes from the Clarence center volunteer fire department and they -- denied to you that they were heroes they would save if they could not have done it alone. The Clarence center guys and gals are you here which -- pleased that. -- it -- -- case would say that he couldn't have done it without assistant chief Tim Norris who was the first man on scene that night. And chief Norris would say that he couldn't have done it without the other members of the Clarence center volunteer fire department. And all of that learned on her volunteer fire departments would tell you that they couldn't have done it without the 22 other fire departments who responded that day. And they were successful. And this is according to chief case because of how they studied here at FDIC. Because of having trained here -- FDIC and because of how they honored. -- -- -- -- humble men and women in the arts and volunteer -- department. And they would say that they're just regular fire fighters. But we know that like the firemen and -- -- of the Clarence center volunteer -- apartment. That we -- -- FDIC. And we have studied here -- FDIC and we -- exercised our minds and we have exercised our bodies and our minds and our bodies are ready. But in a deeper sense we have exercised our hearts and our hearts are ready ready to be the symbols of man's humanity -- -- And if god calls us to put ourselves between the threaten life -- man. And danger. We will not disrespect that trust. We will not fall short of our sacred honor. Communities today need their fire service career volunteer like to rededicate ourselves. To our core value. A servicemen. -- these and via the sacrifice. And we will not complain. Called -- -- compromise. And we will not fail. We'll be tested. And we will prove ourselves as worthy to ride in man's most -- symbol most inspiring symbol the fire truck. It's about our nation's expectations. It's about our principles and it's about the sacred honor of the fire service. Thank you god bless you all god bless America and welcome to FDIC. 2009.