Homecoming for The Fire Critic in Cincinnati. Another Trip with America’s Fire Captain is in the Books!

This past weekend, Willie and I headed to my hometown. I was born in Cincinnati and raised there until the 4th grade. After that I lived in Kansas City, Baltimore, Richmond, and now finally Roanoke. I have only been back to Cincinnati a couple of times since we moved, but I have fond memories of the area and some of the culture found there.

This was yet another trip with “America’s Fire Captain” Willie Wines Jr. You wouldn’t believe the fun we have, the people we meet, the experiences we share, the food we eat, and the miles we drive. Every time we get back, others want to travel with us next time…that is possible…only after the Buckaroo jumps you in!

We got to hang out in Edgewood, Kentucky at the Kenton County Officer Leadership Symposium where I presented, with the Loveland-Symmes Fire EMS, Mason Fire EMS, Chief Billy Goldfeder, Wyoming Fire EMS, Cincinnati Fire Dept., and so many others including an Aussie Kieth Gillespie. Thanks to all for the great time!

I was in town to teach a class on social media for the Kenton County Officer Leadership Symposium. All in all, I think the class went pretty well. The topic of social media is so complex. Some don’t understand it at all, others think it is terrible, yet others are looking for more information for building their social media. I try my best to hit all three types of mindsets. Honestly, the class should be divided into 4-5 classes, but there isn’t enough demand yet. Until then, the basic/novice all encompassing social media class is what I have to offer (besides actual consulting).

Read Willie’s take on the visit here 

Keep up with Zach Green and MN8 products on their blog here

Me, Cynthia, and Willie in Kenton County

The guys in Kenton County and surrounding areas were very accommodating and welcoming. Willie and I had a blast as always.

After the class, we even met Cynthia … aka “Ms. May” of the 2012 America’s Female Firefighter Calendar . That was quite a coincidence considering there are only 12 models in the calendar. I am working on my Top 10 calendar post now. AFF was the #1 calendar last year.

As I said, I was in my hometown. Even though I haven’t lived there in around 25 years, I still have very fond memories. Gliers Goetta (aka Cincinnati Caviar), Skyline Chili, Goldstar Chili, Montgomery Inn, White Castle, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and so much more.

Enjoying Goldstar coney's at Paul Brown Stadium

I did get to have some Goldstar Chili at the Cincinnati Bearcats game vs. the WVU Mountaineers. The game was at Paul Brown Stadium where the Bengals play. I grew up watching the Bengals play at their old stadium, this was my first time at PBS.

I also got to have some Goldstar Chili. I am more a fan of Skyline Chili which is similar, but it didn’t work out.

My brother and others told me to get to Montgomery Inn. I don’t quite remember this from my childhood, but they said I would be missing out if I missed it. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it there either.

I did get to have some White Castle sliders and some Graeter’s Ice Cream though.

Mason and Loveland

Willie and Billy in the G-ride

I grew up in Mason and then moved to Loveland. Wouldn’t you know it that Chief Billy Goldfeder’s office is a mere 1/2 mile from my old house in Loveland. Chief Goldfeder gave Willie and I not 1, but 2 awesome tours of both Mason and Loveland. What a trip. We got to see the old Mason firehouse as well as the new fire stations in the area. I have to admit that there are some great guys working in that area. They were very welcoming and we always appreciate getting shown around other firehouses.

Goldfeder also took us by Fuzzy’s house. Fuzzy began volunteering in Mason in 1958. He is now a paid firefighter and has been for a pretty long time. Fuzzy has one the the largest collections of firefighting equipment I have ever seen. He also has a half dozen fire trucks at his house. It was very impressive.

Thank you to all the firefighters, Goldfeder, and Fuzzy for the impromptu tours. We appreciated it immensely.

Chief Goldfeder also made sure that we got to visit Loveland’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial. That was an honor.

City of Wyoming

Me with Captain Washington of Cincinnati at the Flashover Simulator

On our second night, we stayed with our good friend Zach Green of MN8. He opened his home to us. His wife Jennifer baked some of the best brownies and other treats as well. After a night around the camp fire with Zach and some of his friends and fellow firefighters we got up early for some training with the City of Wyoming FD. We headed out with them to Cincinnati’s training grounds for training in a flashover simulator. This would be the first flashover training for Willie and I. We had a blast. Not only was it excellent training, but the crowd we were with were fun to be around.

Needless to say, Willie and I are looking into flashover training for our department.

Special thanks to the City of Wyoming FD, Cincinnati FD, Captain Washington, Lt. Flagler (also a Chief with Wyoming), and others for making it happen!

As always, thanks to Willie for the trip. I wouldn’t have made it back without him. I drove the entire time for the NYC/NJ trip and he came through and drove the entire time on the OH/KY trip. What sucked for him was that I slept the entire way home. I was spent. Even when I woke up occasionally I was dead and went back to sleep. I guess my non-stop running had caught up with me. Willie got us back to his house around 2am and I was in bed at my house at 3am…up again and at work by 630am.

MN8 (Foxfire)

As always, Zach was a great host to Willie and I. He showed us his brand new office for MN8 as well as their brand new helmet tetrahedrons. Zach’s company, technology, and products continue to wow firefighters everywhere. I can only imagine where this technology will be in several years. The applications are endless. If you haven’t had a chance to see the products in person, check them out here. If you have an idea, thought, or improvement be sure to contact MN8! They are quickly creating a substantial following on Facebook as well!

If anyone is looking for information on the social media class I have taught look here. If you are looking for more information, consulting, or for me to teach social media you can contact me at firecritic@firecritic.com. If you would like Willie and I to come ride along with your crew or offer our “motivational” speaking that we are working on right now contact us as well.

Thanks to all who made our trip a blast!

See you on the big one!

Here are some more photos from our trip