It’s Sunday 4pm. I think I’ve slept all day just recovering from the Firehouse Expo weekend in Baltimore. I speak for us all when I say we had an amazing time. This was our first dip into the proverbial public waters of the trade show circuit. As newcomers, there were a lot of lessons learned for us. We weren’t exactly sure how we’d be received or if anyone had even heard of our movement.
As a group, the Contributors of Station Pride had invested a lot of time, energy, and resources to create this ever-evolving organization. We were excited, nervous, confident, and unsure of what might happen. The leaders of Station Pride were confident that the cornerstones of our movement were on the proper side of any debate. ie: assisting struggling Fire Departments with grant funding, assisting Firefighter owned small businesses with low-cost advertising, promoting health and wellness resources, as well as providing content to help leave the fire service better than we found it.
We met with many different organizations and planned for the future. I geeked out for a fair amount of day three after sitting with Dr. Harry Carter for about an hour and hanging out with Mike from Grant Masters. We were happy to meet our friend and Wellness Partner Chaplain Richard Phelps of FirefightersWeightloss.com
We finally met Lori Mercer from Firefighterwife.com. Her family is an absolute delight. If you’re not following all of the amazing resources she provides for Firefighter families, you should definitely give her a look.
During our trip we visited the National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial and paid our respects to those who gave everything they had for the cause. We also made a stop to check out our newly placed brick on the Walk of Honor. After the visit we, of course, had lunch at the Ott House.
While in Emmitsburg, we happened upon the National Fire Heritage Center which nearly brought me to tears. The sheer volume of historical fire service literature they are amassing is mind boggling. I was ready to move a cot and sleeping bag into the building and make a home there for a while.
Our first night at the Inner Harbor, 6 members of the Station Pride invaded Tir Na Nog Irish Bar and Grill next to the USS Constellation. We had an awesome time with Rachel (our server) who flew all the way from Ireland just to serve us a few brews.
On Friday at the Power Plant Brynn Marie slapped a Station Pride Lid sticker on her thigh during her concert and later on Saturday, Instructor Ken Burson and Station Pride colleague Chris McAndrews attended the Drop Kick Murphy’s concert where Ken Casey gave us some love.
It was a remarkable weekend. The Firehouse Expo was a bit of a whirlwind. We met so many people and exchanged so many incredible ideas, it may take months to execute them all.
The Station Pride crew had a chance to collaborate face-to-face on the future direction of Station Pride. Many thanks to all of our friends, supporters, and followers. We’re here to do good things and that will always be our mission. We’ll see everyone next year in Nashville. As well as Firehouse World in San Diego.