About Being Michael Brown – G. Not D

I’m not Michael Brown, well, yes I am but I’m not THAT Michael Brown Ever since Hurricane Katrina, my namesake (no relation) has given me quite a career hit. You see Michael D. (read Darn-it) Brown is a different person than me, Michael G. (read Good guy) Brown. Michael D. was the director of FEMA. I’m pretty sure he was asked to leave FEMA after the Katrina debacle. Michael G. (me) works for FEMA also but as an Urban Search and Rescue employee. We were both at Katrin. I was working as the Rescue Operations Chief (deputy) in the flooded streets of New Orleans. I’m not so sure where the other guy was, but I sure got blamed for being him a lot. And in spite of being part of some pretty awesome rescues in the name of FEMA, no one said, “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.” During a quick interview for the NBC nightly news on Interstate 610 in New Orleans, some brilliant producer decided my likeness was good enough to make me the FEMA director (see picture above). Imagine my excitement when millions of Americans suddenly realized the director of FEMA now personally directed US&R rescue operations! We were one in the same, apparently.

It was a complete field day after that. When D. left FEMA, the people who know me vaguely assumed I had finally goofed up my career beyond a reasonable doubt. I know I have the ability to do it, and I’ve seen me try, but not this time.

A couple of years ago my friends started sending me Mike Brown Sucks buttons. That Mike Brown is the General Manager of the Cincinnati Bengal’s NFL football team. It even has a Web site: http://www.mikebrownsucks.com. Two examples can’t quite qualify as a plethora, but in this case it’s too close for comfort.

To set the matter straight, I am Michael G Brown, retired battalion chief from the Virginia Beach (VA) Fire Department, Task Force Leader of FEMA US&R Virginia Task Force-2 and Operations Chief (deputy) on IST-Blue. I’m the same guy who contributes to Fire Engineering magazine and is on its editorial advisory board. I work for a company called AMTI when I’m not on FEMA deployments. I wrote a book on rope rescue, I like little green apples, and don’t like when it rains in Indianapolis in the spring time. So if we get a chance to see each other at the FDIC this year, please don’t confuse me with the other guy.

Michael G. Brown can be reached at mbrown@amti.net.

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