THANK YOU, FIRE SERVICE
BY BILL MANNING
As you will note from the announcement on the following page, the editors of Fire Engineering recently won a prestigious national business trade press award for outstanding journalism for our December 1993 issue, “The World Trade Center Bombing: Report and Analysis” (“Best Feature Series of Articles,” December 1993 to November 1994, from the American Business Press). Naturally, we are very proud; the recognition is one of the high points of our careers as editors.
I received the award at a gathering of editors from around the country. My only regret is that acceptance speeches were not part of the program. I had one prepared, however–just in case. I wish to share the main points of it with you now.
“Thank you very much. I`d like to recognize three individuals in the audience without whom our December `93 issue would not have been possible: FDNY Chief of Department (ret.) Anthony Fusco; FDNY Battalion Chief and Fire Engineering editorial advisor Ray Downey; and Glenn Corbett, P.E., professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Fire Engineering technical editor. (Gentlemen, please stand and be recognized.)
I am blessed with a very talented and hardworking staff and publisher, and I thank them for their dedication and for putting up with me.
I also thank all the people, too numerous to mention, who work so hard behind the scenes at the offices of Fire Engineering and PennWell Publishing.
Most of all, I thank the firefighters across America.
Remember them, my colleagues, as you lie awake in the early morning darkness and hear the sirens in the distance. Remember there are people on those fire apparatus, with families like yours. People who bleed and cry just like you do. Remember their commitment to life–your life and every other life in your community. Remember where they are going and why, when you hear the sirens in the night.
Remember that firefighting is not about parades and dalmatians and gleaming trucks with gold leaf scrollwork. It`s about making the call, making the commitment, at two in the morning when you and I are comfortable in our beds. It`s about entering the pit of hell on earth–whatever the hour–because that is what they have sworn themselves to do because, for them, it is the right thing to do.
As long as the firefighter strives for excellence in training to prepare for the battles, there will be Fire Engineering. We will continue to try to achieve the excellence the firefighter demands of him- or herself–because the firefighter deserves no less.
Thank you for this award. I accept it on behalf of my staff and all firefighters across America.”
My friends, we are nothing more than your “information broker.” “Excellence in” equals “excellence out.” We achieve excellence only in direct proportion to your own commitment to life safety and dedication to fulfilling that commitment with excellence. Thank you, fire service, for giving Fire Engineering the tools that allow us to serve you. We look forward to growing with you in excellence together.