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I'm an 18 year volunteer firefighter...

  ...and I spent most of my day Sunday attending various services and ceremonies.

I agree and disagree on your point about the reading of the names. You're right--reading the
names doesn't serve any real purpose, yet I'm having a hard time coming up with a better way
to do SOMETHING to acknowledge the sacrifice of 343 of my brothers (and of course the
NYPD and PAPD responders) every year.

When you're part of the extended family of firefighters the way I am, it still cuts deep.
My former department has had a simple memorial and service ever year since 2003, and was
recently awarded a piece of steel from the WTC, which was integrated into a very well done
permanent memorial, built almost entirely by the members, and dedicated on Sunday.
You can see it here if interested:

As for communications issues, it may seem as simple as a consumer device, but its really not.

Remember what we do and where we operate. We need radios that can be relied on to work
in the middle of an inferno, in the dead cold of winter in bone chilling temps, and with the ability
to get somewhat wet without giving out on us. All the while we're normally wearing bulky
protective equipment--the gloves are thick and not very flexible, so you need something very
simple to operate/key up when your mobility and dexterity is compromised.

I love my iPhone, and have even had it in my pocket during fires, but I certainly would not
want to rely on it for critical communications, and don't want to take my gloves off next to
a 400 degree wall of flame to text out a mayday message that AT&T might deliver... or might not.

I do wish the powers that be would ditch the hyper expensive encrypted digital systems and
stick with simple analog trunking though--the audio is sometimes more understandable with
background noise that way, and not having the extra bells and whistles (and the added costs
per radio of paying for the proprietary codec) saves money. The radios, while expensive and
with their own quirks, generally do fit the above criteria, and I'm glad to have them when I need them.

The FDNY's radios had issues, but part of the problem was the sheer size of the incident
would overload any system--you simply can't realistically plan for that type of incident.

Chris, a shot of Chinaco for you and your crew.

Whatever you're getting paid, tens times that would be more like it.

You guys should get laid and a bucket of money every time you enter a burning building.


And you're right - do not get an iPhone because they don't work in crowds.



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