Firehouse Expo Wrap-up – The Fire Critic/Iron Firemen Meetup

More Firehouse Expo coverage here and here.

We are looking for sponsors for our meetups at future events. If you are interested, please email me at

We would love feedback on what you all thought of the meetup and how we can make it better!

There is a photo album from the event at the bottom of this post, also View photos of our meetup by Stan Jaworski here. There are also two videos at the very bottom of the post.

My wife Becky and I at the Meetup

On Friday night, Captain Wines and I invited all of our friends to a meetup at Luckie’s Tavern at Power Plant Live. We had a great time. The crew from Sons Of The Flag were there. Zane Krempin even played the pipes for us. In all, we probably had about 75 people attend the meetup…which is great considering we put it all together about a week and a half before Firehouse Expo. The great news is that we raised over $1000 for the SOTF. That is exceptional news considering we had twice the people at our FDIC meetup and raised $750. Thank you to all who came out and had fun. We hope to have bigger and better meetups at FDIC and Firehouse Expo next year.

Quick Shoutout to Richmond, VA Battalion Chief Warren Cersley. He operates a Facebook group “In These Boots“. He is soft spoken, but definitely “gets it”. He has 39 years in the fire service and when we spoke, you could still hear the enthusiasm for the job in his words. 

Captain Wines, BC Warren Cersley, Rhett Fleitz

Captain Wines, Kelly Mulkins of Rolyn, and Rhett Fleitz

Captain Wines and I covered the first $600 in drinks at the bar. It is our way of saying thank you to all of our Brothers who have supported us through our journeys, read us on the blogs, and hang out with us at the shows. What was interesting is that while we were buying drinks, there was a woman there buying food for a lot of others. Once we heard about it, we had to meet her. Her name is Kelly Mulkins is an Emergency Coordinator for Rolyn. Rolyn is a Disaster Recovery/Restoration Company based in Rockville, MD. Thank you so much for coming out and having some fun with us Kelly!

Fire Critic on Facebook – Advertise on

Rob and Jami Schield of at our Meetup

We raffled prizes ($ to the SOTF) from these companies: Box Alarm Leather, (Fire Cam), Onesource Fire RescueFirefighter Art (Artist Jodi Monroe), Firehouse Dolls Calendar, Remember it in Glass, books by Kurt Kamm, Hooks N Irons Training, and potentially some I am forgetting that I will make it up to in the future.

Rob Schield and his wife Jami came to Baltimore on a pseudo vacation. Rob runs (Fire Cam). We had a blast hanging out with them. Their humor mimics mine…which means I have finally found some people who “get” me…I think.

Willie and I with the SOTF crew. R-L Captain Wines, Nathan Pilcher, Rhett Fleitz, Rob Wiedmann, Ryan Parrott. The shirt I am wearing is one of the shirts Ryan wore when he ran 100 miles to raise $100K recently. It has my logo on it and they gave me one…awesome.

Below are some videos from our meetup.

Video below by Jason Shotwell

Video below by Bill Fitzpatric