Why old school firefighters don’t want medals

We had back to back runs. The chief and the crew were on a squad run, headed to Greene Memorial. I was off-duty. We got a call for smoke in Hosmer, a dorm in Presidents at Antioch College. We were short-handed and rolled with three of us. I was the lieutenant. I wasn’t too worried. Most of these calls were bullshit and I was sure I’d be calling dispatch in a few minutes with my favorite status update. “Miami Lieutenant 4 to Central, 811 can handle”. That’s gonna be on my tombstone.

 

We got to the corner of Livermore and North College Streets. Dark gray billowing smoke was coming from 2 or 3 second story windows, with a little coming out of the downstairs door. Shit. I called the squad on the radio and asked what their ETA was. The answer was 20 to 30 minutes – they were just getting to Greene. I hadn’t clicked off the mike – Colin heard me say “Shit! He told me later he turned to Angie and said “Mikey’s in trouble. We need to get back NOW.” He knew I was in trouble.

 

I was the most experienced fire lieutenant and was in deep shit. On a scene like that, the first five minutes on-scene and the decisions you make in those first five minutes determine the outcome of the call. We had 3 guys, one rig, and an uncleared dorm with smoke pouring out.

 

Colin knew I needed help. He started acting as second in command from 10 miles away. He did the stuff I couldn’t do – he arranged for mutual aid and got Xenia Township-our nearest mutual aid company – rolling. He answered dispatch for me.

 

Matt, my chauffeur on 811, hit the hydrant. I had Dave, my only other member, start humping the gated wye and the deuce and a half line to the door. Our 200 foot pre-connect wouldn’t make the stretch. There went the easy plan. (Thanks to Todd Van Lehn for embarrassing me in drill by having the scene 212 feet from the rig – I’ve never made that mistake again no matter how stressful the scene was.)

 

While the crew did that, I walked up to the mass of students. I sought out the housing director. “We have an all clear on that dorm? No?” Fuck. I masked up, turned on my airpack and went. I needed to make sure no one was in there. There wasn’t time for any other options.

 

The heat and smoke had screwed with the front door and it wouldn’t open. I had the irons with me, but I just used the Dayton Door Opener, patent pending. I kicked the door open. Check later to see if it was actually open. Dark smoke billowed out.

 

I headed up the steps, yelling all the way. I hit the second floor, got down, and went to the fire room. I did a quick search , then searched the next room. Nobody. I headed outside.

 

Colin radioed me. Xenia Township was rolling. I told him we had an all-clear.

 

Matt had hit the hydrant and was helping Dave hump the 2 ½ to the door. I did a 360 rotation around the building (thanks again for the lesson, Todd). Our medic pulled up about then. Colin assumed command from me. Xenia rolled up , connected to the wye, went in, and had a quick knockdown.

 

Was it dumb? Hell yes. Would I have come up for a medal if I had saved someone? Fucking A. But there was no one there to save. I took the same risks as if I had saved someone. There’s an old saying on the fire department – save a little, risk a little. Save a lot, risk a lot. Someone might be up there – yeah, you risk a lot.

 

I risked a helluva lot. Going up to the seat of the fire solo. No backup, no hoseline, just my irons. I’m an engine guy , born and bred, but I was doing the flat out crazy job. A real truckie. There was a chance someone was up there. I needed to do this. It was my job to make that search. It wasn’t brave or heroic. It was simply my job.

 

And that’s why you don’t see many medals on firefighters of my generation. We turn ‘em down. We risk our lives day in and day out whether or not we save someone that day. We’re just doing our job. It’s luck of the draw whether or not we make a righteous save.

 

But we’re in there every day making the righteous searches. That’s our job. And if you catch us off-duty, please feel free to buy us a beer or a coffee.

 

Amazon Sales Rank with my sales numbers

I sold my first four books on Amazon today…yay me! Actually, one sold yesterday, and 3 sold today before noon. I checked my sales rank at 11 am, and my sales rank was 43,000, being #29 on the Midwest History bestseller list. By 3 pm, with no more sales, my rating had sunk to 47,198, with my bestseller standing at 31. As I write this at 7:30, my sales rank has plummeted to 75,198, with the bestseller now at #68. No new sales through Amazon to spike the totals, alas. I’ll post updates for those who are interested in how the Amazon Sales Rank bounces up and down.

The Maples Book Release Recap

A Book Release Recap, by Mikey Chlanda

The book is done, the book-signing is over. I’ll be posting pictures of the signing. The first printing is sold out and I’ll placing the 2nd printing order next week. If you’d like a copy, please put your order in so I’ll have an idea of how many to order – the order form ishere

If you can’t wait, there are photos and a short video of the event on Facebook under my page, or you can see them on Sam and Eddie’s Open Books Bookstore page.

Thanks for everyone’s support – and don’t forget – Volume 2 is coming out next year, chockful of more stories from everyone and yet more photos.

How I’m Self-Publishing My Non-fiction Book

A lot of people are asking about the mechanics of how I’m going about self-publishing “Maples: A History of the Antioch College Fire Department.” So here goes.

I put a short blurb up on gofundme.com. You can read about it here Maples: A History of the Antioch College Fire Department and maybe even donate! The reason I went with gofundme.com rather than kickstarter is I was able to withdraw the money for expenses as I went along, rather than having to wait until the campaign was over. The other difference for me was that I had no idea how much money I could raise – I didn’t want to set the bar too low. I didn’t want to be only $50 away and have someone give me the last $50 rather the $200 they might have given. But I didn’t want to set it too high, either, and scare people off. The problem with kickstarter is if you don’t meet your goal, you get zip. So I would have had to start over again from square one. Another thing that edged me over to gofundme.com was an acquaintance just had his book rejected by kickstarter.

I had my project live in 45 minutes using gofundme.com. That was huge.

It really helps to post your campaign on facebook. My first donation came through 15 minutes after I first posted it. It was from my best friend in college – and I got one or two more by the next morning.

Since I’m an Antioch alum, I also posted in the Antioch Alumni group on facebook as well as the Maples group. That brought me most of my donations. I also posted on twitter, but I don’t think I got anything going from that route – your mileage may vary.

It definitely helps to have a group like the Antioch Alumni group or the Maples alumni group that you can target both from a donation standpoint and from a research standpoint.

Since my book is so Antioch- and Yellow Springs-focused, I’m also going after grants from some local groups.

I’m using createspace to actually print the book and using their print-on-demand (POD) service to fulfill orders from Amazon.

This blog was registered at godaddy.com and it’s hosted by hostgator.com – I can recommend both companies highly. The software is free – it’s WordPress, available at wordpress.org.

If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best.

Maples Chiefs 1927-1995 – A (Fairly) Complete List

by Mikey Chlanda

UPDATE 3/28/13 – There’s been a few additions, mainly in the early 70’s, when chiefs sometimes only served one quarter. Ken Robinson, Peter Siegal come to mind

This is about a complete a list of Maples Chiefs as I can make with the information I have now between Antiochiana and alum’s memories. Please, any corrections, additions, dates, etc. – just leave in the comments, facebook me, or email me. Thanks!

Tom Shelby, chief 1927 A story in the Antiochian. The first chief of Maples!

Lincoln Bishop 1929-31

Bob Duff 1931 B Div

Leon Alschuler 1932?

R.A. Colestock, chief 1932?. AC was Tom Shelby

Hugo Poisson 1936 – 1939

Cal Young 1940-1941

James Britton 1941-1942

Peter Hansson 1941-42

Ben Berley 1943-44

Ernie Pritchard  1943-44

Dick Holman 1944-45

Bo Bonow 1944-45

John Hoke 1945-46

Ted Plaisted 1945-46

Stanley Crane Winter/Spring 1946

Frank Spayth 1947-48
Marv Fuller 1948-50
Ken Kreitner 1950-51
Dick Horn 1951-52
Ted Kuwana 1952-53
Chuck Garrett 1953-54
Connie Kruse 1954-55
Roy Snyder 1955/56
John Steele 1956-57 a div
Jim Stoner 1957 A div
Don Salmon B Div 1956-57

Henry Langeland 1957-58
Dave Hillman 1958-59 quarters I, II, and III
Gregory Van Norman 1958-59 IV quarter
Dan Beard 1959-60

Howard Helms Summer – maybe Fall 1961

Pete Fetzer Winter 1961

Howard Holman 1962-63 A Div (wp)
Tom Adams 1963
Hugh Randall  fall 63
Ed Stoughton 1963-64 A Div (wp)
Eric Libby Summer 64

Bob Corkum, A div. Chief . (cc) (late 60s) (wp)

Bob McBay, chief mid 60′s (cc)

Dave Johnson 1964-65 A Div (wp)

Robert Wasserman 1964-65 B Div (gc)

Wayne Press 1965-67 A Div.(wp, gc)
Gordon Comstock 1965-66  B Div (gc)

Roy Schramack summer – fall 1967
Carl Christensen summer 1968 (cc)
Bruce Rickenbach 1968-69 5 quarters (br)
Bill Nicholson Winter 1970
Charles Hamaker Spring 1970
Josh Alper Summer, Fall 1970 and Spring 1971
David Greenberg Winter 1971
Bridget (Gordon) Smith
Mike Moxness

Nick Graetz
David Grahl
David Southern fall 1972- winter 1973
Avram Lanskey (ds)1974
Ken Brown (ds) 1974
Peter Siegel

Ken Robinson Winter 1974 (kr)
Rachel Levin Spring 1975
Al Eisemann Fall 1976 (ks)(pfk)
Nora Bonosky Katherine Shank co-chiefs Winter quarter, 1977 (ks)
Mark Trexler Spring 1978 (pfk)
June 1978 Larry Wolfe (pfk)

Brian Callaghan Summer 1978 (pfk)
Fall 1978 – Spring 1979 Peter Kurland Fall 1978 – Spring 1979
Andrew Brouard Summer 1979
Jeff Dropkin Fall 1979 – Winter 1980
Peter Kurland Spring – Summer 1980
Jason Fregeau Fall 1980 – Winter 1981

Shannon Wood co-chief with ? 1981 (mc, sw)
Kelvin Ward 1982
Gret Snider 1982
Tim Ray 1983
Rissa Fregeau nee Stuhlman 1983 – 84
Chris Grele 1984-85
Lorka Munoz 1985 – 86
Ariel Leonard 1986-87
Ry Keller 1987-88
Dave Farlow  1988-90 (2 terms)

Colin Altman 1990 – 1991
Denny Powell 1991 – 1995

Maples’ Chiefs Roster – A Work in Progress

This is what I have so far for the Maples Chiefs from the mid 60’s on. If there’s no initials next to it, I got it sourced from a contemporary news clipping, memo, etc. Ones with iniitals I got from that person. I’d like to have corroboration on any/all of these. Hell, some people couldn’t even remember when they were chief, let alone who preceded them or came after them!

One thing I have noticed – everyone seems to remember the first chief they had when they joined Maples. I know i do (hi Peter!)

If you can fill in some blanks, help with dates, or whatever, I’d really appreciate it. Please leave a message in the comments with additions, corrections, etc.

Thanks!

Tom Shelby, chief 1927 antiochian. The first chief of Maples!

Lincoln Bishop 1929-31

Bob Duff 1931 B Div

R.A. Colestock, chief 1932?. AC was Tom Shelby

Hugo Poisson 1936 – 1939

Cal Young 1940-1941

Britton / Hanson 1941-42

Ernie Pritchard  1943-44

Dick Holman 1944 -45

Bo Bonow 1944-45

John Hoke 1945-46

Ted Plaisted 1945-46

Stanley Crane Winter/Spring 1946

1947-48 Frank Spayth
Marv Fuller 1948-50
Ken Kreitner 1950-51
Roy Snyder 1955/56
Don Salmon B Div 1956-57
Dave Hillman 1958-59 quarters I, II, and III
Gregory Van Norman 1958-59 IV quarter
Dan Beard 1959-60

Howard Helms 1961 july

Pete Fetzer Winter 1961

Tom Adams (1963)

J. Edward Stoughton summer fall 63 winter 64

Hugh Randall chief fall 63

Eric Libby chief app’t 64 last meeting june 64

 

Bob Corkum, A div. Chief . (cc) (early ’60s)

Bob McBay, chief mid 60’s (cc)

Howard Holman 1962-63 A Div (wp0

Ed Stoughton 1963-64 A Div (wp)

Dave Johnson 1964-65 A Div (wp)

 

Wayne Press 1965-66 A Div.(wp, gc)
Gordon Comstock 1965-66 (gc)
Carl Christensen summer 1968 (cc)
Bruce Rickenbach 1968-69 5 quarters (br)
Charles Hamaker April 1970
Josh Alper 1970
Bridget (Gordon) Smith
Mike Moxness
David Grahl
David Southern fall 1972- winter 1973
Avram Lanskey (ds)
Ken Brown (ds)
Peter Siegel
Spring 1975 Rachel Levin
Al Eisemann Fall 1976 (ks)(pfk)
Nora Bonosky Katherine Shank co-chiefs Winter quarter, 1977 (ks)
Mark Trexler Spring 1978 (pfk)
June 1978 Larry Wolfe (pfk)
Summer 1978 Brian Callaghan (pfk)
Fall 1978 – Spring 1979 Peter Kurland
Summer 1979 Andrew Brouard
Fal 1979 – Winter 1980 Jeff Dropkin
Spring – Summer 1980 Peter Kurland
Fall 1980 – Winter 1981 Jason Fregeau
198? Shannon Wood co-chief with ? (mc, sw)
1982 Kelvin Ward
1982 Gret Snider
1983 Tim Ray
1983-84 Rissa Fregeau nee Stuhlman
1984-85 Chris Grele
1985-86 Lorka Munoz
1986-87 Ariel Leonard
1987-88 Ry Keller
1989-90 Dave Farlow (2 terms)
1991-? Colin Altmar
? – 1995 Denny Powell