The Future of The Fire Critic with the PennWell Acquisition of Elsevier Public Safety Group

As many of you know by now, Pennwell ( and FDIC) bought the Elsevier Public Safety Group. I was actually mistaken and thought that PennWell had bought Elsevier…that is wrong, they have only purchased the Elsevier Public Safety Group. This includes: JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services),, and the EMS Today Conference & Exposition (the JEMS Conference), EMS Insider newsletter, along with FireRescue magazine,, FireEMSblogs.comLaw Officer magazine,, and the publishing contract for APCO’s Public Safety Communications magazine from Elsevier, Inc.

Read the press release on the acquisition here

The part that directly relates to The Fire Critic is the acquisition of since is a part of that blog network.

I would like to clarify the relationship between and The domain is owned by me. The artwork, namesake, and content unless otherwise credited, shared, or embedded is mine as well. Basically, I am a part of the network because they asked me to be a part of it and I wanted to be a part of it. At any point, they could have dropped me, or I could have removed my blog from the network.

I imagine this is the same for all of the other blogs, but I cannot speak for anyone else. is a network of blogs. It was built by Go Forward Media and later sold to Elsevier Public Safety Group. It was an ingenious idea that has really paid off for Fire and EMS bloggers. The collective power of a central location for readers to locate MANY of the best that Fire and EMS blogging has to offer has given the bloggers the ability to continue building their network while expanding the collective network at the same time. This idea has worked in many niche markets.

The network, and those who run it, has never had any editorial oversight on this blog. Of all my questions when I joined the network, this was the one that meant the most to me. I simply couldn’t move my blog to a network that was going to edit or censor my words.

Fire Engineering already has a firefighting blog network built as a part of While the backend of the network really doesn’t compare to that of Don’t get me wrong, the blogs contained within that network are written by some of the great leaders of the fire service. Their content and topics are rich with content not found many other places.

What does all this mean to The Fire Critic?

I am not really sure…I have been assured that nothing much will change. Do I welcome the changing hands? Sure. In the end, the reason why I am a part of the network is to build my following, help the blog grow, and increase the reach. If PennWell can do it better, then it seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. And…to be completely honest, the advertising revenue royalties I get from the network advertising is nice, if PennWell can increase it I welcome the change!

I guess you could say that I am not worried about the network. It is a no brainer to bring the original Fire Engineering blogs over to the network and leave it untouched. A mild facelift wouldn’t hurt since the network has not really changed appearances since it debuted several years ago.

You just never know what happens next. I will know more in the future, as the acquisition is completed and everything settles down.

Then again, they might not want this blog on their network anymore. That is unlikely though.

What does all this mean to you, the reader?

Nothing really.

You the reader will continue to get great content, links, info, events, pictures, video, and whatever else I through up on Actually, I am working on selling one of my other sites as we speak that will open up a little more time for me to focus on The Fire Critic.

No matter where is hosted, you will continue to get the goods.

What’s Next?

I look forward to the change and have been assured it will not be an issue. You never know, this could end up paying dividends for this site and culminate with an even larger network of blogs for you to find some of the best content in one spot!

In the end, while the network has changed hands…this blog has not. I still own The Fire Critic/

Keep sending in content!