100+ Must Read Books For Firefighters

Ok, I admit that I haven’t read them all….and some are picture books, others fiction, and yet some are simply leadership books and are not catered towards firefighters. However, this list of books includes many which are revered as the most important for firefighters to read and others are personal favorites of myself and other readers.

If you have one to add, please let me know and I will add it!

These are great ideas for Christmas gifts for that special firefighter in your life as well!

In alphabetical order…


Air Management for the Fire Service – Mike Gagliano

Even though firefighters have strapped on some type of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for more than a century, the proud history of fire service always revered the toughest of the “smoke eaters.” Intermittent use of SCBA, lack of proper procedures and training, and sometimes even those time-honored fire service traditions resulted in a tragic loss of life. The toughest of these lessons are here for all firefighters to read and learn. Proper use of SCBA and PASS devices, stricter enforcement of procedures, and an unflinching adherence to the rules will benefit firefighters in every department.

America Burning: The Report of the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control

Discusses the most significant fire safety problems in the United States in 1973. Also includes recommendations for fire loss reduction.


Bagpipe Brothers: The FDNY Band’s True Story of Tragedy, Mourning, and Recovery – Kerry Sheridan

bagpipe-brothersAfter the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, New York City’s Emerald Society Bagpipe Band of firefighter-musicians took out their instruments and prepared to bury their dead–343 brothers in duty and in blood. Many firefighters alternated between playing their instruments at funerals and digging for the missing in the rubble of Ground Zero. The Irish American tradition of funeral bagpiping became the sound of mourning for an entire nation. Bagpipe Brothers tells the unforgettable story of four firefighters in the band, who struggled to bring peace to their families and themselves while searching for the dead, coping with the endless round of funerals, and rethinking the meaning of faith. Their experiences illustrate the grief and recovery of the nation in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

Blood & Fire: Part 1: Vendetta – K M Bozarth

When Firefighter Samantha Espisito-Carelli lands her dream job, she doesn’t realize her ex-flame is also a firefighter at Laurel Run Fire Department, not to mention, was her New Jersey State Trooper husband’s once best friend; the drama really flares when a cunning arsonist targets Sam’s shift and the new Captain with ‘white helmet syndrome’ makes life a living hell. The lives of Firefighter Sam, her State Trooper husband Holt Carelli, and Sam’s ex, Firefighter Aaron Shaw, unfold as they suffer setbacks in their personal lives, and do the unthinkable on nothing but faith and adrenaline in their professional ones. An emotional and thrilling work of fiction, that gives an inside look into lives of professional heroes. Blood & Fire is surely the most epic firefighter saga since Ladder 49 and it’s predecessor Backdraft. “This book is a quick, fast read that was hard to put down. It has a blazing pace and keeps you turning the pages to find out what’s going to happen. Having worked on a fire department for ten years I can say that Bozarth nails the emotional reality of being a female firefighter and the job in general. Station life. Truck work. Camaraderie. Male communication (or lack thereof)…Bozarth has compassion for all her characters, even the flawed ones. She captures the way men talk and bond and how a woman perceives them…I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to read about a life in the fire service…” –Gea Leigh Haff, from THREAD OF STEEL, Firefighter/Paramedic/Rescue Diver at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue

Brannigan’s Building Construction For The Fire Service – Glenn P. Corbett & Francis L. Brannigan

buildingi-constructionFor over forty years, Brannigan’s Building Construction of the Fire Service has been the fire service’s most trusted and comprehensive building construction resource available. Now in its Fifth Edition, this bestselling resource continues to honor Frank Brannigan’s legacy by continuing his passion for detail and extensive practical experience. His motto, “Know your buildings,” impacts every aspect of this text. This Fifth Edition now features: Coverage of the National Fire Academy’s Fire and Emergency Services in Higher Education (FESHE) Building Construction for Fire Protection course objectives. New stand-alone chapter on New, Light, Green (Solar), and Modular Construction. Enhanced emphasis on tactical considerations found throughout the text. Trust Brannigan’s Building Construction of the Fire Service to provide straightforward information on different building types and their unique hazards needed to keep fire fighters safe on the job.

The Brave: A Story of New York City’s Firefighters – George Pickett

Every so often a writer of substantive talent appears through the smokey background to perk up our interest in firefighters and firefighting. George Pickett is just such a man….In The Brave you will come to know him and a valiant group of men as they speed from alarm to alarm in downtown New York, where the buildings are tall and for the most part old, where bums and drug addicts populate the streets, and where the fire companies hardly ever rest.

Tom Brennan’s Random Thoughts – Tom Brennan

For the first time, the entire 18-year collection of Tom’s “Random Thoughts” columns from Fire Engineering magazine are assembled and presented in book format.

Bringing Everybody Home – Phil Burns

B-Shifter: A Firefighter’s Memoir – Nick Brunacini

b-shifterMost firefighter memoirs are painfully idealized and should come equipped with a bag-pipe soundtrack. If thatʼs the kind of book youʼre looking for, my advice is to move on because B-Shifter will most likely disappoint you. The first 3 chapters of B-Shifter are about family. Brunacini devotes the first chapter of the book to chronicling his fatherʼs (Alan Brunacini) 48-year career with the Phoenix, AZ Fire Department. Alan is world renown as one of the fathers of the modern fire service and a pioneer for firefighter safety. Nick connects his fatherʼs zeal for improved firefighting safety procedures by vividly describing a diner fire where his father died for a few minutes. The next two chapters are devoted to Nick and his brother and sister growing up in a family where the only logical end was joining the fire service fraternity. Nick makes the observation that fire departments more closely resemble cults (or severely dysfunctional families) than a regular workforce.

Building Construction for the Fire Service (Third Edition) – Francis L. Brannigan

Protect against the life-threatening dangers of building collapse! Extensively updated, revised, and expanded, this 3rd edition text shows you how to recognize the signs of building collapse before it happens–so you can get out while there’s still time. You’ll be informed about critical topics such as: The toxic combustion products of vermin- and moisture-resistant treated wood. The outcome of multi-million-dollar lawsuits involving some fire-retardant treated plywood. The total collapse hazard to post-tensioned concrete buildings under construction. The dynamics of the “stack effect”… and more! Photographs and illustrations help you visualize key concepts, so you can spot dangers on the job.

Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder’s Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart – Dan Willis

bulletproof-spiritSuicide, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and many more emotional and stress-related problems plague the first-responder community. Hundreds of thousands of these brave public servants have unwittingly become victims of the professions they once loved. However, the suffering that results from a professional life of sacrifice and service can be prevented and mitigated. As a law-enforcement veteran, police captain Dan Willis has witnessed the damage of emotional trauma and has made it his personal mission to safeguard and enhance the wellness and wholeness of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, emergency-room personnel, and soldiers. Bulletproof Spirit offers field-tested expertise designed to be used by all first responders — and their families — to heal themselves and continue serving with compassion and strength.


Call the Fire Brigade: Fighting London’s Fires – Allan Grice

A gripping account of the most dramatic emergencies attended by a senior member of the London Fire Brigade during the 1970s

Can’t send a duck to eagle school – Mac Anderson

Capitol City Fireman– Jake Rixner

Every little kid dreams of being a fireman, most grow out of it; those who don’t just want to work in a big city at a busy firehouse. These are the stories of one man who did just that. The adventures are both entertaining and informative and one can almost smell the smoke and hear the big diesel engines roar as we race from one emergency to the next. So climb aboard, and hang on tight for the ride of your life.

Chief: The Life Of Peter J. Ganci, A New York City Firefighter – Chris Ganci

This full-color, photo-illustrated picture book is not only a loving tribute from a son to his father who gave his life on September 11th, but a bow to all of the firefighters who are heroes everyday. Pete Ganci was Chief of the FDNY. He was funny, brave, determined, and, ultimately, selfless. On September 11th, he died doing what he loved most–fighting fires and saving lives. CHIEF is a chronicle of Ganci’s career, written by his youngest son, Chris. But it is also the story of what firefighters do every day.
Illustrated with personal pictures from the Ganci family and professional photos from the FDNY, this is a portrait of a man who loved his job. And it is Chris’s effort to honor all those who sacrificed their lives on 9/11 and who have continued to risk their lives everyday since.

The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy – Stewart O’nan

circus-fireThe acclaimed author of A Prayer for the Dying brings all his narrative gifts to bear on this gripping account of tragedy and heroism-the great Hartford circus fire of 1944. Halfway through a midsummer afternoon performance, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus’s big top caught fire. The tent had been waterproofed with a mixture of paraffin and gasoline; in seconds it was burning out of control, and more than 8,000 people were trapped inside. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of survivors, O’Nan skillfully re-creates the horrific events and illuminates the psychological oddities of human behavior under stress: the mad scramble for the exits; the hero who tossed dozens of children to safety before being trampled to death. Brilliantly constructed and exceptionally moving, The Circus Fire is history at its most compelling.

Code Blood – Kurt Kamm

Colt Lewis, a rookie fire paramedic, is obsessed with finding the severed foot of his first victim after she dies in his arms. His search takes him into the connected lives of a graduate research student, with the rarest blood in the world and the vampire fetishist who is stalking her. Within the corridors of high-stakes medical research laboratories, the shadow world of body parts dealers, and the underground Goth clubs of Los Angeles, Lewis uncovers a tangled maze of needles, drugs and maniacal ritual, all of which lead to death. But whose death? An unusual and fast-paced LA Noir thriller. Code Blood was awarded FIRST PLACE in the 2012 International Book Awards Fiction-Cross Genre category

Collapse of Burning Buildings: A Guide to Fireground Safety – Vincent Dunn

collapse-of-buring-buildingsChief Vincent Dunn, a 42-year fire service veteran, has updated his best-selling book which examines the dangers of structural failure caused by fire. This is the second edition of the first textbook written to warn firefighters, company officers, and fire chiefs about exactly how structures collapse when destroyed by fire–and examines the subject of burning building collapse in great detail. More importantly, this book, unlike any other publication, instructs firefighters and fire officers in how to survive burning building collapse.

The Combat Position: Achieving Firefighter Readiness – Christopher Brennan

Firefighting is combat and should be viewed as a warrior’s calling. Firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to protect others, a selflessness rooted in the same noble drive as the military warriors who defend our nation. This book about combat is meant to be a guide for those who seek to follow a warrior’s path, the path of the fire service warrior.

On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace –  Dave Grossman & Loren W. Christensen

On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory – then discusses new research findings as to what measures warriors can take to prevent such debilitations so they can stay in the fight, survive, and win. A brief, but insightful look at history shows the evolution of combat, the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans, followed by an objective examination of domestic violence in America. The authors reveal the nature of the warrior, brave men and women who train their minds and bodies to go to that place from which others flee. After examining the incredible impact of a few true warriors in battle, On Combat presents new and exciting research as to how to train the mind to become inoculated to stress, fear and even pain.

Commish – Leo Stapleton

This is an insiteful and entertaining examination of firefighting from one of the best in the business.

Common Valor: True Stories from New Jersey’s Bravest – Frank Viscuso

Frank Viscuso wrote this one for us relating incidents from his career as a firefighter in New Jersey.

Crucible of Fire: Nineteenth-Century Urban Fires and the Making of the Modern Fire Service – Bruce Hensler

crucible-of-fireCrucible of Fire describes how the practical knowledge gained from fighting nineteenth-century fires gave form and function to modern fire protection efforts. Changes in materials and building design resulted directly from tragedies such as fires in supposedly fireproof hotels. Thousands of buildings burned, millions of dollars were lost, the fire insurance industry faltered, and the nature of volunteerism changed radically before municipal authorities took the necessary actions. The great fires formed a crucible of learning for firefighters, engineers, architects, underwriters, and citizens.


The Downwind Walk: A USAR Paramedic’s Experiences After the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 – Steve Kanarian

The Downwind Walk lets you experience the tragic events following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001 through the eyes of an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) paramedic who went into harm’s way to rescue the victims, which rapidly included many of his “brothers” and “sisters” of the New York Fire Department (NYFD) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The author was a member of the EMS FDNY in the Bronx who was deployed with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) USAR team at Ground Zero. He went downwind with the USAR team after they set up operations and donned the proper protective clothing and breathing protection. Their mission was to take a first hand look at that mass casualty incident (MCI), assess the damage and losses, and make an estimation of resources needed to mitigate the incident. The reader is invited to take the downwind walk with Steve as he recounts the events, sights, smells and vivid memories of that unforgettable September . . . from eye level at Ground Zero, in his dusty boots.


Effective Company Command for Company Officers in the Professional Fire Service – James Page

Engine Company – John Salka

In his new book, Battalion Chief Salka, a nationally recognized speaker and author with years of service in several career and volunteer departments, looks at both the similarities and differences in the engine company operations practiced by fire departments throughout the United States and discusses in detail the equipment, staffing, and operations of engine company firefighters at structural fires and emergencies in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine 57 – John M. Maclean

When a jury returns to a packed courtroom to announce its verdict in a capital murder case every noise, even a scraped chair or an opening door, resonates like a high-tension cable snap. Spectators stop rustling in their seats; prosecution and defense lawyers and the accused stiffen into attitudes of wariness; and the judge looks on owlishly. In that atmosphere of heightened expectation the jury entered a Riverside County Superior Court room in southern California to render a decision in the trial of Raymond Oyler, charged with murder for setting the Esperanza Fire of 2006, which killed a five man Forest Service engine crew sent to fight the blaze.


Fahrenheit 451: A Novel – Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

The Final fire – Dennis Smith

Mystery Novel

Fire Chief: The Story of a Volunteer Firefighter – Ed Daniels

Retired Fire Chief pens reflections on his life as a volunteer firefighter. “Fire Chief” by Ed Daniels shares experiences and sacrifices until now known only to the volunteers themselves. In his first novel, “Fire Chief; The Story of a Volunteer Firefighter,” author Ed Daniels recalls his life as a volunteer firefighter in the mountains of Colorado. Based on actual events, the book takes readers into the heat which countless volunteer firefighters face every day throughout the world. Most people don’t realize that the majority of the firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics who respond to fires and accidents in rural areas are volunteers. These First Responders sacrifice time with their families and their careers, responding at a moment’s notice to protect the lives and property of those who need them. While he fictionalizes his characters and locations, “Fire Chief” describes Daniels’ actual experiences and encounters in frightening detail.

Fire Department Special Operations – John Norman

fd-spec-opsRay Downey wrote the first edition of The Rescue Company in the early 1990s. Building on Downey’s legacy, John Norman has written Fire Department Special Operations to take into consideration the earth-shattering events, funding increases, research advances, expanded capabilities, and changes in regulations and standards that have widened the knowledge gap since the publication of Chief Downey’s book. Fire Department Special Operations is an excellent guide for agencies and individuals in establishing, staffing, operating, and maintaining heavy rescue units in the many forms they may take. It is also an ideal training resource for the officers and individuals assigned the duties that a rescue firefighter must accomplish.

The Fire Factory – Harry J. Ahearn

Firefighters – JoEllen L. Kelly (Editor), Robert A. Yatsuk (Editor), J. Gordon Routley (Editor)

America’s first responders answer the call nearly two million times each year as the nation’s first line of defense in any emergency. Firefighters captures the spirit of the firefighting community in a riveting collection of 500 contemporary and vintage photographs. Written by experts, historians, fire chiefs, and officers, the book features first-hand accounts of courage in the face of danger; essays on urban and wildland firefighting; a look at training, trucks, and apparatus; and an overview of the history of U.S. fire departments, beginning with Ben Franklin’s Union Fire Company in Philadelphia in 1736. Also included is information on volunteering, search and rescue, emergency medical services, and response to terrorism. Firefighters enables the history of America’s bravest profession to be cherished permanently in a handsome package that all firefighters will be proud to own and display. This book will be read again and again by past and present firefighters, their families and friends, and by everyone interested in stories of bravery. It is being published in this magnificent collector’s edition in conjunction with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Fire Fighting Tactics– Lloyd Layman

Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11 – Patrick Creed & Rick Newman

Amid all the stories of tragedy and heroism on September 11, there is one tale that has yet to be told–the gripping account of ordinary men and women braving the inferno at the Pentagon to rescue friends and co-workers, save the nation’s military headquarters, and defend their country.
Pentagon firefighters Alan Wallace and Mark Skipper had just learned the shocking news that planes had struck the World Trade Center when they saw something equally inconceivable: a twin-engine jetliner flying straight at them. It was American Airlines Flight 77, rushing toward its target. In his Pentagon office, Army major David King was planning a precautionary evacuation when the room suddenly erupted in flames. Arlington firefighters Derek Spector, Brian Roache, and Ron Christman, among the first responders at the scene, were stunned by the sight that met them: a huge flaming hole gouged into the Pentagon’s side, a lawn strewn with smoking debris, and thousands of people, some badly injured, stumbling away from what would become one of the most daunting fires in American history.

Fireground Strategies, 2nd Edition – Anthony Avillo

Fireground Strategies, 2nd Edition, covers fireground organization and operational safety as well as building construction and choosing a strategic mode of operation from the point of view of those in command of both the fireground and individual companies. In addition, specific occupancy types are explored in regard to command and firefighting concerns as well as life safety concerns. Used in conjunction with the Scenarios Workbook, Fireground Strategies, 2nd Edition provides a comprehensive guide to organizing the fireground and maintaining control.

Firehouse – David Halberstam

“In the firehouse, the men not only live and eat with each other, they play sports together, go off to drink together, help repair one another’s houses, and, most important, share terrifying risks; their loyalties to each other must, by the demands of the dangers they face, be instinctive and absolute.” So writes David Halberstam, one of America’s most distinguished reporters and historians, in this stunning New York Times bestselling book about Engine 40, Ladder 35, located on the West Side of Manhattan near Lincoln Center. On the morning of September 11, 2001, two rigs carrying thirteen men set out from this firehouse: twelve of them would never return.

Firehouse – Jill Freedman & Dennis Smith

Firefighters, the unheralded heroes of our time. They risk their lives almost daily to save others from relentless flames. How do they feel about one another, and when are they afraid? This is a well deserved tribute to every firefighter in America.

Firehouse Food: Cooking with San Francisco’s Firefighters – George Dolese

firehouse-foodFirefighters are famous for their food and it s no wonder since they cook their own meals seven days a week. All that practice, not to mention the peer pressure, makes for some of the best recipes in town, especially when that town is a culinary mecca like San Francisco. Firehouse Food introduces firehouse life, its brave denizens, and more than 100 of their best recipes. We meet greenhorns and veterans, retirees and local characters, all the while enjoying terrific meals designed to cook up easy and satisfy the whole crew. The recipes reflect the diversity of the San Francisco Fire Department personnel themselves-Latin-American, Asian, African, Italian, Irish, Eastern European-with a melting pot of delectable flavors. From barbecue by the experts to a Pineapple Upside Down Cake just like mom s, these dishes are forgiving enough for anyone to try, and generous enough for everyone to enjoy. With color photographs of meals, downtime, cookery in action, and of course the food itself, Firehouse Food illustrates the daily routine that turns a firehouse into a family.

The Fire Inside: Firefighters Talk About Their Lives – Steve Delsohn

Delsohn “(captures) the heart of what firefighting is all about–bringing order to chaos, walking into the worst moment in people’s lives and making a difference . . . It’s all here: the raw, dark humor; the triumphant victories; the heart-wrenching failures. . . . A graphic, poignant, and dead-on insider’s view of the fire service” (John Gilstrap, author of “Nathan’s Run”).

Fire Officer’s Handbook of Tactics – John Norman

With this fourth edition, Chief John Norman once again brings invaluable wisdom from his four-decade-long career to firefighters aspiring to the officer level and those seeking to promote safety and effectiveness in their organization and the communities they serve by improving their own skills. In his highly readable style, Chief Norman imparts his wisdom and experience by offering advice informed by actual outcomes from the fireground and tying all the elements together into an understandable big picture.

Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire – John M. Maclean

In 1994, a wildfire on Colorado’s Storm King Mountain was wrongly identified at the outset as occurring in South Canyon. This unintentional, seemingly minor human error was merely the first in a string of mistakes that would be compounded into one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting. Before it was done, fourteen courageous firefighters—men and women, hotshots, smokejumpers, and helicopter crew—would lose their lives battling the deadly, so-called South Canyon blaze. John N. Maclean’s award-winning national bestseller Fire on the Mountain is a stunning reconstruction of the killer conflagration and its aftermath.

Fire Protection Handbook (2 Volume Set) – Multiple authors

Accept no substitutes! Stay ahead with the most trusted, comprehensive, and up-to-date fire and life safety resource — NFPA®’s fully revised 20th edition Fire Protection Handbook®. In a field as wide ranging and dynamic as fire protection, staying current with the latest research, technology, and safety practices is as challenging as it is essential. The fully updated, new 20th editionFPH®provides state-of-the-art, in-depth coverage of every aspect of fire protection so you can eliminate knowledge gaps, avoid errors, and maintain your competitive edge.

Fire Stream Management Handbook – David Fornell

To mount a successful fire suppression operation, you must follow basic fire stream management principles. This book provides 13 illustrated chapters on basic fire stream management and the theories behind nozzle operation, hoses, foam, maintenance, and tactical procedures.

Fire Trap – Richard Mann

Randy Justice puts his life on the line when he touches the smoldering clues from a corporate fire. Randy, an insurance investigator, has set up shop as Justice Investigations in the Portland, Oregon, theater he inherited from his folks. As a single parent, he must provide for Sally and Billy, his adventurous teenagers, while unraveling the truth about a deadly fire at Genetrix, a startup company in California’s Silicon Valley. The principal first-in-last-outscientist at Genetrix dies in a fire that consumes most of the company headquarters. Western Insurance must pay millions if the fire is proved an accident. A beautiful venture capitalist and the striking daughter of a competitor help Randy untangle the lies and motives that created the Fire Trap in which the scientist died.

First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department – John Salka

What does it take to lead people into a burning building? How do the leaders of the New York City Fire Department develop so much loyalty, trust, and grace under pressure that their subordinates will risk their very lives for them? As a high-ranking officer of the FDNY, John Salka is an expert at both practicing and teaching high-stakes leadership. In First In, Last Out, he explains the department’s unique strategies and how they can be adopted by leaders in any field—as he has taught them to organizations around the country.

five-alarm-leadershipFive Alarm Leadership: From Firehouse to Fireground – Rick Lasky & John Salka

Rick Lasky and John Salka are two of the most dynamic and inspirational leaders in the fire service. Their book, Five Alarm Leadership, is a compilation of leadership lessons learned, situations handled, decisions made, and problems solved during their combined 60-plus years of fire service experience. Also included is a special introduction by Chief (ret.) Bobby Halton, Editor-in-Chief of Fire Engineeringmagazine, outlining the nature of transformational leadership and its power to inspire excellence in the fire service.

The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential – By John C. Maxwell

#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell explains how true leadership works and makes it accessible to everyone. Leadership does not come from your title. In fact, being named to a position is only the first and lowest of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To become more than a boss people are required to follow, you must master the ability to inspire and build a team that produces not only results, but also future leaders.

41DGzSUtbNL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The 5 Levels of Leadership are:

1. Position-People follow because they have to.
2. Permission-People follow because they want to.
3. Production-People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
4. People Development-People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
5. Pinnacle-People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

By combining the advice contained in these pages with work and a willingness to learn, anyone can rise to a higher and more effective level of leadership and thus make a greater impact.

Forged in Fire: History of the Fire Brigades Union – Victor Bailey

The risks and almost casual heroism which are integral parts of the firefighters’ job have not only created an intense camaraderie among the workforce but also made their union one which inspires enormous loyalty and respect. “Forged in Fire” tells the story of the FBU not through a traditional chronology, but through a series of interlinked essays which highlights the most fascinating aspects of the union’s history. They include an account of the role played by women in the fire service and FBU during the war, an analysis of the social composition of a union once largely made up of ex-merchant seamen and an assessment of the bitter national strike in the winter of 1977-78, the only official dispute in the union’s history. “Forged in Fire” also contains a number of autobiographical pieces by both former leaders of the union, including John Horner who was its general secretary during the war years, and rank-and-file members with their reminiscences of the 1977-78 strike. Contributors include: John Saville, David Englander, Kenneth Brown and Terry Segars.

From Buddy to Boss: Effective Fire Service Leadership – Chase Sargent

from-buddy-to-bossWhether you’’re a new officer or in need of a mentor, From Buddy to Boss: Effective Fire Service Leadership is a must-have management book you’’ll turn to over and over again. Fire service veteran Chase Sargent has taken his popular course and written a no-holds-barred leadership book for the fire service in a conversational and easy-to-read style. He tells you how to accept and survive politics, deal with the fringe employees, and keep your cool — tricks of the trade that usually take years to acquire.


Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History – David M. Brown

gone-317At 3:17 p.m. on March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak beneath the London Junior-Senior High School in the oil boomtown of New London, Texas, created a lethal mixture of gas and oxygen in the school’s basement. The odorless, colorless gas went undetected until the flip of an electrical switch triggered a colossal blast. The two-story school, one of the nation’s most modern, disintegrated, burying everyone under a vast pile of rubble and debris. More than 300 students and teachers were killed, and hundreds more were injured.


Hazardous Material – Kurt Kamm

“A firefighter battles a his own painkiller addiction and the infamous Vagos outlaw motorcycle gang. When he joins the Sheriff s Department in a drone search for a meth lab in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, an enigmatic aerospace scientist joins the intrigue. Firefighting, hazardous materials, illicit drugs and aerospace technology are brought together in the fourth in a series of firefighter mysteries by award winning author Kurt Kamm “.

Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred – Earl W. Emerson

In Honor of The Charleston 9: A Study of Change Following Tragedy – Dr. David Griffin

honor-of-charleston-9Monday, June 18, 2007. Nine firefighters lost. Many grieving families. An organization spiraling into crisis. Significant reasons for change. The Sofa Super Store Fire, one of the nation’s deadliest incidents for firefighters since 9/11, marked the beginning of change. Change for people and the global landscape of emergency services. But how, specifically, did an emergency services organization in South Carolina learn at the individual, team, and organizational levels following this tragedy, and consequently, institute the needed changes for organizational development? After more than three years of in-depth research, Dr. David Griffin, the engineer on the first due engine of the Sofa Super Store Fire, studies how organizational processes and employee behaviors changed following this multiple line of duty death incident. The study centered on firefighters who officially responded on June 18, 2007 to the deadly Sofa Super Store Fire in Charleston, SC. This is a scientific research study, not a story. Change did come. Find out how the concept of organizational learning led to the changes, and how you can institute this powerful concept in your organization. This study will save lives. A portion of all proceeds will benefit The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Visit drdavidgriffin.com for more information.

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age – By Dale Carnegie

41WG+0OgDwL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_An adaptation of Dale Carnegie’s timeless prescriptions for the digital age.

Dale Carnegie’s time-tested advice has carried millions upon millions of readers for more than seventy-five years up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. Now the first and best book of its kind has been rebooted to tame the complexities of modern times and will teach you how to communicate with diplomacy and tact, capitalize on a solid network, make people like you, project your message widely and clearly, be a more effective leader, increase your ability to get things done, and optimize the power of digital tools.

Dale Carnegie’s commonsense approach to communicating has endured for a century, touching millions and millions of readers. The only diploma that hangs in Warren Buffett’s office is his certificate from Dale Carnegie Training. Lee Iacocca credits Carnegie for giving him the courage to speak in public. Dilbert creator Scott Adams called Carnegie’s teachings “life-changing.” To demonstrate the lasting relevancy of his tools, Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc., has reimagined his prescriptions and his advice for our difficult digital age. We may communicate today with different tools and with greater speed, but Carnegie’s advice on how to communicate, lead, and work efficiently remains priceless across the ages.

How Winning Works: 8 Essential Leadership Lessons from the Toughest Teams on Earth – Robyn Benincasa

Practical and accessible with workbook activities and exercises for readers to do, this book shares the eight essential elements of teamwork, using Benincasa’s exciting, challenging, and life-affirming experiences as an extreme world class adventure racer.


Incident Management for the Street Smart Fire Officer – John F. (Skip) Coleman

A new and improved version of the original best seller, Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer, is for everyone who wants to learn new ways to enhance the flow of their fire department’s management system. Whether you are a firefighter looking to become an officer, or an officer whose future probably includes the word “Chief”, you will benefit from this book. The second edition of Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer provides an overview of the Incident Command System (ICS) with an expanded look at the initial firefighting tactical and strategic considerations. It covers operations at house and routine fires and looks in-depth at the relationship between the Incident Commander and Group/Division officers at routine fires.

Industrial Firefighting for Municipal Firefighters – Craig H. Shelley

Although municipal firefighters respond to industrial fires or emergencies on a daily basis, even the largest fire departments often focus most of their training and attention on residential and commercial structures, vehicles or wildland firefighting. This book was written to specifically prepare the municipal firefighter for responses to a wide range of industrial fires, where the situation will be much different. As advances in automation and reductions in industrial fire brigades are made, it is increasingly likely that firefighters will be called to an incident at one of these vulnerable facilities due to a fire or terrorist event, and municipal firefighters must be prepared to respond.


Jakes by Leo Stapleton

Firefighting social history; Boston.

Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper’s Memoir of Fighting Wildfire – Murry Taylor

Fighting fires since 1965, veteran smokejumper Murry Taylor finally retired from his legendary career after last summer-the worst fire season in more than fifty years. After three decades of parachuting out of planes and battling blazes in the vast, rugged wilderness of Alaska and the West, Taylor recounts inJumping Fire, with passion and honesty, stories of man versus nature at its most furious and unforgiving. He shares what it’s like to hear the deafening roar, to smell the acrid burn, to feel the intense heat, to breathe the thick fumes, and to finally run for your life with exploding flames two hundred feet high and a mile wide licking at your heels.
Written with a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, “Jumping Fire is a tale of love and loss, life and death, and sheer hard work, set in an unforgiving and unforgettable landscape, that’s second only to Norman Maclean’s classic Young Men and Fire” (Publishers Weekly).


The Last Alarm: First Responders’ Stories of the West Explosion –  Amber Adamson

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, a fire siren ripped through a quiet evening in the Central Texas town of West. Members of the West Volunteer Fire Department suited up and headed toward the blaze at the West Fertilizer Company. At the West EMS building, several volunteer firefighters from surrounding communities who were in class heard the call and went as well. Other community citizens, some trained as first responders, headed toward the fire to see how they could help. Minutes later, those fighting the fire realized they were in over their heads. As the men were working to pull out until more help could arrive, the fertilizer plant violently erupted, killing 12 of the first responders on the scene. Three of the community’s approximately 2,800 citizens were killed that night. Houses were destroyed for blocks. Hundreds were hurt, and dozens were missing. The earth shook for miles. Word spread fast as first responders across Central Texas – and soon the state and the world – learned of what happened in West. As help streamed in, volunteer and career fire fighters, EMS workers and other first responders stood shoulder-to-shoulder putting out fires, triaging the injured and evacuating the town. Over the next few days, hundreds more would converge on West to remember the fallen – 12 men who died honorably in the line of duty. That devastating night, and the long, hard days that followed forever will stay in the minds of those who were called to serve. This is their story of sacrifice and spirit.

last-man-downLast Man Down: A Firefighter’s Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center – Richard Picciotto & Daniel Paisner

On September 11, 2001, FDNY Battalion Chief Richard “Pitch” Picciotto answered the call heard around the world. In minutes he was at Ground Zero of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center began to burnand then to buckle. A veteran of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Picciotto was eerily familiar with the inside of the North Tower. And it was there that he concentrated his rescue efforts. It was in its smoky stairwells where he heard and felt the South Tower collapse. Where he made the call for firemen and rescue workers to evacuate, while he stayed behind with a skeleton team of men to help evacuate a group of disabled and infirm civilians. And it was in the rubble of the North Tower where Picciotto found himself buriedfor more than four hours after the building’s collapse.

The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge at Rescue 2 Firehouse – Tom Downey

the-last-men-outBrooklyn’s Rescue 2 has long been known as one of the country’s top firehouses, a model for departments nationwide. Recognized for their expertise and commitment, Rescue 2’s men handle only big blazes where civilians and their fellow firemen are in danger. Beginning in 1996 with legendary Captain Ray Downey’s promotion, the story follows the trials of his replacement, Phil Ruvolo, as he works to win over his headstrong men. A new Rescue 2 is forged through changes in firefighting methods and blazes that quickly become legend. Through the crisis of 9/11 and the subsequent rebuilding, Ruvolo triumphantly fills the late Downey’s boots, heading Rescue 2 toward a future worthy of its past, its heroes, its city. Filled with firefighting detail, raucous humor, and gritty real-life scenes, The Last Men Out is a new classic for an era in firefighting that is more risky, complicated, and dramatic than any before.

The Last True Hero – Phil Burns

The title of the first chapter of The Last True Hero is “No Masks, Radios, Tower Ladders, Saws, Bunker Gear” – and those words pretty much describe what the FDNY did not have when Phil Burns became a member back in 1963. In many ways Phil’s new book is a chronicle of firefighting’s transformation in New York City and the rest of the United last-true-heroStates during the forty year span of his career. Just as he did in previous works, Laughter, Tears & Muffled Drums and …bringing everybody home, Phil Burns continues to capture the moments of his fellow firefighters’ lives, whether the moment occurs while fighting a massive fire sweeping through the decks of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation, searching for survivors in airplane wreckage scattered on the congested streets of Brooklyn after a midair collision, wild nights in the South Bronx during the 1980s, or the horrors of September 11th. The Last True Hero also explores the different strategies FDNY units employ in Old Law and New Law tenements, stately Brooklyn Brownstones, residential hi-rises, and row after row of row houses, while also answering the timeless question, “If there’s nothing left to burn, why are the CO readings so high?” And, of course, the tales in The Last True Hero express Phil’s deep appreciation of the firehouse characters and crazies he encountered during his career, and the many, many lasting friendships that form between firefighters – people who risk their lives with and for each other every single day. While not every department faces the same dangers, day in and day out that FDNY confronts, Phil Burns knows that all firefighters in all departments put their lives on the line every time they don their gear and respond to an alarm. Phil Burns reminds us that in reality, every firefighter is…the last true hero.

Laughter, Tears & Muffled Drums – Phil Burns

51qxbqxesel-_sl500_sy344_bo1204203200_When Phil Burns became a member of the Fire Department of New York back in 1963, firefighters didn’t wear masks and their turnout gear consisted of rubber boots, a rubber or canvas coat, a helmet, and a pair of gloves. Phil spent a few years crawling down long hallways full of acrid smoke, smoke so think that you could cut it with a knife. Over the course of a career spanning four decades, Phil saw incidents in warehouses, tenements, high rises, ships, churches, subways, and almost every part of the five boroughs. He advanced through the ranks over the years to Deputy Chief in command of the 11th Division. It was this post that he held on 9-11, when 343 of New York’s Bravest answered their last alarm. Laughter, Tears & Muffled Drums is a collection of essays spanning the course of his career, and is dedicated to the memory of all fallen firefighters.

Laughter, Tears And Muffled Dreams: Strories from an Fdny Life – Tom Burgoyne

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t – By Simon Sinek

51VNjbPk6UL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_The New York Times-bestselling follow-up to Simon Sinek’s global hit, Start With Why.

Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job”? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.

This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general….

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations – By James M. Kouzes (Author), Barry Z. Posner (Author)

51ad5JQyiqL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_The 25th anniversary edition of the bestselling business classic, completely revised and updated

For more than 25 years, The Leadership Challenge has been the most trusted source on becoming a better leader, selling more than 2 million copies in over 20 languages since its first publication. Based on Kouzes and Posner’s extensive research, this all-new edition casts their enduring work in context for today’s world, proving how leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured, and most importantly, that it can be learned.

  • Features over 100 all-new case studies and examples, which show The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership in action around the world
  • Focuses on the toughest organizational challenges leaders face today
  • Addresses changes in how people work and what people want from their work

An indispensable resource for leaders at all levels, this anniversary edition is a landmark update and must-read.


Managing Major Fires – John F. Coleman

With 25 years of experience, Deputy Chief Coleman offers a common sense approach to handling larger, more unusual second and third alarm, or mutual-aid fires. He covers organization and structure, incident management, safety issues such as accountability systems, the rules of engagement for risk assessment and managing the Mayday, as well as fires in distinct occupancy types. Case studies are designed for departments of any size.

Manual of Fire Safety – Prekash Sesha

The Mission, The Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander – Pete Blaber

“A book about the complexities of combat that’s just as applicable for dealing with the complexities of business and our personal lives.” (Kevin Sharer, Chairman & CEO, Amgen) As a commander of Delta Force-the most elite counter-terrorist organization in the world-Pete Blaber took part in some of the most dangerous, controversial, and significant military and political events of our time. Now he takes his intimate knowledge of warfare-and the heart, mind, and spirit it takes to win-and moves his focus from the combat zone to civilian life. As the smoke clears from exciting stories about neverbefore-revealed top-secret missions that were executed all over the globe, readers will emerge wiser, more capable, and more ready for life’s personal victories than they ever thought possible.

Miss You, Pat – Sharon Watts

Captain Patrick J. Brown of the FDNY had an uncanny ability to be exactly where he was needed at exactly the right time, most especially on 9/11/2001, when he perished, surrounded by scores of burn victims he was trying to evacuate from the World Trade Center. Everyone who knew Pat agreed that he would have been nowhere else that day. And yet, Pat was much more than a firefighter. Pat was a yoga devotee. A Black Belt in karate who taught the blind. An accomplished boxer. A USMC Vietnam War vet. A Broadway musical theatre buff. And throughout it all, a spiritual seeker. Many people whose lives he touched shared their stories and memories with his close friend and former fiancee. The result is an intimate and moving book, with first-person narratives illustrating Pat’s deep and varied life. Idiosyncratic, personal memories blend with career stories that illustrate what made him such an intuitive, beloved friend, and such a legend in the FDNY. He inspires us all. Proceeds go to Bent On Learning.


One Foot in the Black – Kurt Kamm

One Foot in the Black tells the coming-of-age story of a young wildland firefighter. At eighteen, Greg Kowalski, leaves an abusive home in Michigan for California to become a helitack (helicopter attack) wildland firefighter. He finds a new family in fire crew but suffers the loss of his captain and mentor while fighting a major burn on a mountainside. In time, Greg comes to terms with the death of his captain but has greater difficulty overcoming his abusive father s influence on his life.

So Others Might Live – Terry Golway

On September 11, 2001, the courage and sacrifice of the New York City Fire Department inspired the nation, giving new meaning to the word “hero.” But the heroism of the firefighters was not unique to September 11–it has been part of the FDNY’s tradition from the very beginning. Journalist Terry Golway, whose father, father-in-law, godfather, and uncles were all New York firefighters, tells as no one else could the story of the men and women, tragedies and triumphs of the FDNY throughout its history. From the original eighteenth-century volunteer force to the New York Firefighter unit in the Union Army, from the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to the arson epidemic of the 1970s, to contemporary issues of diversity and efficiency, Golway’s history holds up a mirror for firefighters throughout the U.S.In this first comprehensive chronicle of the FDNY in over sixty years, Golway weaves together stories of heroic firefighters and extraordinary fires to create a moving and original history of the city and the vocation as seen through the eyes of “New York’s Bravest.” From America’s most ambitious public-works project of the 1700s–the building of aqueducts from upstate to help control fires–to firefighter-turned-politician Boss Tweed’s backroom politics, fire and firefighters have always been an integral part of the history of the city. Lively, gut-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring, So Others Might Live offers a new view of the building of American cities and the people who made them great.As a tribute to the firefighters of New York, Basic Books will donate a portion of its proceeds from the sale of So Others Might Live to the New York Firefighters 911 Disaster Relief Fund.

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions – John Kotter

Most of the denizens of the Antarctic penguin colony sneer at Fred, the quiet but observant scout who detects worrying signs that their home, an iceberg, is melting.  Fred must cleverly convince and enlist key players, such as Louis, the head penguin; Alice, the number two bird; the intractable NoNo the weather expert; and a passle of school-age penguins if he is to save the colony.


pass-it-onPass It On: What we know…What we want you to know – Chief Billy Goldfeder

For his first book, Chief Billy Goldfeder, a 40-year fire service veteran, solicited insights and pearls of wisdom from our country’s greatest firefighters, fire officers and emergency responders. The stories that make up this unprecedented collection share many perspectives of the emergency service experience and offer invaluable, often hard-won, lessons learned. Every firefighter, from probie to veteran, can find something to take away from these factual, real-life, first-hand stories, which offer a range of emotions―from wit to heartache and basic common sense.

Chief Goldfeder is donating 100% of his royalties equally to the Chief Ray Downey Scholarship and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Every contributor fully supported the benevolent mission of this book.

Pass It On: The 2nd Alarm – Chief Billy Goldfeder

pass-it-on-2What does Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn think is the “insidious, darker side” of the fire service?

Find out from highly respected veteran FDNY Chief Frank Montagna how you should be spending just 20 minutes a day.

Read what Chief Steve Pegram says about a very special firefighter and her alarm, her sizeup, response, and attack―a battle that she could have never fought alone.

You may know FDNY’s legendary Chief Croker’s famous quote, “I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter.” Now you can find out what else Chief Croker has to pass on to you.

In Pass It On: The Second Alarm, Chief Billy Goldfeder has once again gathered leading firefighters, fire officers and chiefs from all over the country to share their wisdom and insight through short personal stories, life experiences and anecdotes. Including more than 80 contributors, Second Alarm delivers tactics, operations, tragedy, humor, knowledge, and personal perspectives from a very wide range of extremely diverse personalities. Anyone from rookie to chief (and anyone who knows or plans to be a firefighter) will find loads of great stuff in this book.

In cooperation with all of this book’s contributors, Chief Goldfeder is donating 100% of his royalties equally between the DC Raymond Downey Scholarship Charity Fund, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

Population: 485- Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time (P.S.) – Michael Perry

Welcome to New Auburn, Wisconsin, where the local vigilante is a farmer’s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, Population: 485 is a comic and sometimes heartbreaking true tale leavened with quieter meditations on an overlooked America.

Pride & Ownership: A Firefighter’s Love of the Job – Rick Lasky

pride-and-ownershipPride and Ownership holds no punches. Chief Rick Lasky takes a hard look at the fire service and finds it short on the only element that makes it effective: passion. Chief Lasky gives an upfront and honest criticism about the need to reignite the love o fthe job on every level, from chiefs on down. Key Features: History and traditions of the fire service with overviews of some of th most important fire service leaders, Detailed explanations of ceremonies for all ocasions from a firefighter’s initiation to retirement, Over 150 photos displaying the rites and ceremonies, Helpful appendices full of sample documents for fire company use.



Red Flag Warning – Kurt Kamm

Los Angeles County is burning! A serial arsonist is setting the parched hills on fire. Plunge into the infernos, and face the heat, smoke and danger with the men on the fire lines. While NiteHeat prowls in the darkness, setting fires and taunting investigators, the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Arson Unit struggles to find the fire setter and stop the devastation. Follow Fire Captain Jim Kendall as he tries to find NiteHeat before the City of Malibu burns down.

Report from Engine Co. 82 – Dennis Smith

engine-co-82From his bawdy and brave fellow firefighters to the hopeful, hateful, beautiful and beleaguered residents of the poverty-stricken district where he works, Dennis Smith tells the story of a brutalising yet rewarding profession.

Report from Ground Zero – Dennis Smith

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, forever altered the American landscape, both figuratively and literally. Immediately after the jets struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Dennis Smith, a former firefighter, reported to Manhattan’s Ladder Co. 16 to volunteer in the rescue efforts. In the weeks that followed, Smith was present on the front lines, attending to the wounded, sifting through the wreckage, and mourning with New York’s devastated fire and police departments.This is Smith’s vivid account of the rescue efforts by the fire and police departments and emergency medical teams as they rushed to face a disaster that would claim thousands of lives. Smith takes readers inside the minds and lives of the rescuers at Ground Zero as he shares stories about these heroic individuals and the effect their loss had on their families and their companies. “It is,” says Smith, “the real and living history of the worst day in America since Pearl Harbor.” Written with drama and urgency, Report from Ground Zero honors the men and women who—in America’s darkest hours—redefined our understanding of courage.

The Rescue Company – Ray Downey

Part I: Getting started – the rescue company and its people What resue is about Recruiting and staffing Rescue apparatus Tools and equipment State-of-the-art equipment Training Part II: Rescue incidents Impalement Operating on air Buried victims Elevators Airbags Utilizing the rescue company Water rescue teams Confined space Vehicle accidents Part III: Operations and planning Rescue operational plan Rope and rigging Treating victims Concrete Planning for major operations.

Rescue Men – Charles Kenney

rescue-menThe men in Charles Kenney’s family have been drawn to firefighting since his grandfather Charles “Pops” Kenney joined the Boston Fire Department in 1932. In his working class, Irish-Catholic neighborhood, there were other jobs that offered a decent wage, but none had the sense of belonging that comes with being a fireman, or the purity of purpose that comes with saving lives. Pops was on the scene of the notorious Cocoanut Grove fire in 1942; the author’s father, “Sonny” served with distinction until an explosion blew him from a third-story window; and two of the author’s brothers were “sparks” as children, amateur firefighters, whose career goals were thwarted by a court order integrating the Boston fire department and changing the rules for employment forever. One became a cop, the other a paramedic and rescue man with an elite squad sent to Ground Zero in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center. Spanning sixty years of firefighting history in America,Rescue Men captures what it’s really like to be a fireman.

Residential Fire Rescue – Mark van der Feyst, Eric Wissner, and James Petruzzi

Authors Mark van der Feyst, Eric Wissner and James Petruzzi wrote their new book to serve as a much-needed sole source reference for rescuing an occupant from a residential structure. Residential Fire Rescue covers the theory of search and rescue, practical application of search and rescue, and company training. The book includes sample lesson plans that can be customized for various skills (including VES, drags and removals); step-by-step instructions combined with photos to show the various rescue techniques and positions; and, a DVD to aid the instruction of techniques. Company officers, training officers, and firefighters will find Residential Fire Rescue an important resource.

In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam – Robert S. McNamara & Brian VanDeMark

The #1 national bestseller–an indispensable document for anyone interested in the Vietnam War. McNamara’s controversial book tells the inside and personal story of America’s descent into Vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written. This new edition features a new Foreword by McNamara. of photos. (Military History)

The Rural Firefighting Handbook –  Dominic Colletti & Larry Davis

The Rural Firefighting Handbook, 2nd Edition: The no-nonsense guide to small community fire protection. This 278 page textbook provides detailed information on improving fire suppression for the small community fire department. Read this manual and find out: • Why your department’s capability to control and/or suppress fire is dependent on the “Big Five”: time, people, agent, hardware and procedures. Why water supply is a most critical component of the Big Five and how to calculate what’s required for structures within your service area • The role of burn and response times in rural fire deaths: how to make sense of NFPA’s response requirements for your small community volunteer fire department • How new technology, Class A foam and CAFS, can increase the capability of your firefighting resources, people, equipment and water supply • How to maximize water delivery rates from draft.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
By Stephen R. Covey

to-sleep-with-the-angelsThis twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Stephen Covey’s cherished classic commemorates the timeless wisdom of the 7 Habits.

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.

To Sleep with the Angels: The Story of a Fire – David Cowan

The story of one of the deadliest fires in American history that took the lives of ninety-two children and three nuns at a Catholic elementary school in Chicago. “An absorbing account. . .a tale of terror”. -New York Times Book Review.

Steely Blue – Dennis Smith

Step Up and Lead – Frank Viscuso

step-up-leadIn his new book Step Up and Lead, Frank Viscuso–author, speaker, and career deputy chief–shares the secrets of effective fire service leadership, introduces the traits and skills essential for successful fire service leaders, and discusses the importance of customer service. Designed to help you reach the top of your profession, this new book is considered must-read material for anyone who is ready to step up and lead!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – By Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is leading a movement to build a world in which the vast majority of us are inspired by the work we do. Millions have already seen his video on TED.com about the importance of knowing why we do what we do. Start with Why takes the concept even deeper.

Any person or organization can explain what they do; some can explain how they are different or better; but very few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not about money or profit – those are results.WHY is the thing that inspires us and inspires those around us.

51AJNX1iZsL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_From Martin Luther King, Jr. to Steve Jobs to the Wright Brothers, Start with Why shows that the leaders who inspire all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way – and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired – and it all starts with WHY.

Strategy of Firefighting – Vincent Dunn

This is a “how to” book written by a “know how” person for anyone who practices firefighting strategy. Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn is passing on to the next generation of firefighters the lessons (“strategy summaries”) he learned from his years of firefighting experience. He describes firefighting strategies for the most common types of fire scenarios and identifies specific firefighting problems presented to an incident commander by occupancy and construction type. More importantly, he explains firefighting solutions and offers firefighting plans, standard procedures, action plans, ideas, guidelines, explanations, key steps, and systems of firefighting procedures. This book is not about tactics. It’s about strategy – plans of firefighting, logical ways to solve problems at fires.

Streets Smart Firefighting – Robert Bingham

Strong of Heart: Life and Death in the Fire Department of New York– Thomas Von Essen

How will we ever get through this? is the question I ask on the night of September 11. How? Maybe the answer is here, all around me. Not just in the cleanup, not just in the purpose demonstrated by all who came and labored all these months. The answer is in the enduring spirits of all assembled here. That, for me, is the miracle in all of this: having looked horror in the face, we bear the pain without losing heart.


The Texas City Disaster, 1947  – Hugh W. Stephens

the-texas-city-disasterOn April 16, 1947, a small fire broke out among bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in the hold of the ship Grandcamp as it lay docked at Texas City, Texas. Despite immediate attempts to extinguish the fire, it rapidly intensified until the Grandcamp exploded in a blast that caused massive loss of life and property. In the ensuing chaos, no one gave much thought to the ship in the next slip, the High Flyer. It exploded sixteen hours later.

They come in Threes by David Houseal

Dave Houseal became a volunteer firefighter right after high school, and he became a career member of the Harrisburg Fire Department a few years later. He seemed destined for the job: his grandfather had been Chief of the Harrisburg Fire Department, and his father had served as the Chief of the Progress Fire Department. Quite simply; the fire service was -and is- in Dave Houseal’s blood. He started his career during the American fire service’s “War Year”; a period of massive social upheaval, especially in America’s cities, that were often frustrating, daunting and dangerous times for firefighters because sometimes you had to fight more than fires. Some folks seemed to think that America’s cities were built to burn- to burn as a protest, to burn for a profit, or to burn just for the hell of it. It was a tough time to be a firefighter…but it was also one of the greatest times to become an experienced firefighter.

3D Fire Fighting : Training, Techniques, and Tactics First Edition

3-d-firefightingFour tactical specialists from the USA, Australia, and the UK contribute their expertise to this book which demonstrates how a safe and more effective approach to tackling structure fires can result in reducing the life losses dramatically, as has been shown in the countries where 3D firefighting has evolved. Book and companion CD-ROM explore new approaches to tactical venting options and fire and confinement strategies. Offers primary teaching aids relative to various forms of rapid-fire progress, CFBT (Compartment Fire Behavior Training), and tactical fire attack (smoothbore vs. water fog vs. CAFS). First-hand views from fire chiefs in New York CIty and London debate the venting vs. confinement tactics head on. Learn how to implement CFBT procedures by using the methods based on the Swedish model with safe operating procedures developed in the UK.

38 Years a Detroit Firefighter’s Story – Bob Tombrowski

Decorated firefighter and true-blue Detroiter Bob Dombrowski risked life and limb saving lives for as long as he could remember. Born and raised on the west side of Detroit, Bob narrates an engrossing account of his illustrious firefighting career, from being a trial man to retiring as senior chief. He also gives a vivid description of Motor City in its glory days and the events that led to its recent state. See major historical events such as the 1967 Detroit riot and September 11 attacks through his eyes, and be a witness to a truly inspiring thirty-eight-year career.

The Thirtymile Fire: A Chronicle of Bravery and Betrayal – John M. Maclean

“Pitilessly compelling, the sort of saga devoured in one horrified sitting.”—National Geographic Adventure. The Thirtymile Fire in the North Cascade Range near the Canadian border of Washington began as a simple mop-up operation; in a few hours, a series of catastrophic errors led to the entrapment and deaths of four members of the fire crew—two teenage girls and two young men. Each had brought order and meaning to their lives by joining the firefighting world. Then the very flames they pursued turned on them, extinguishing their lives.

3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It – Sean Flynn

3000-degreesOn December 3, 1999, the call came in to the men of the Worcester, Massachusetts, Fire Department: a five-alarm blaze in a six-story, abandoned, windlowless warehouse filled with lethal hallways and meat lockers.

Thirty Years on the Line – Leo Stapleton

The Toll of Valor – Lyle Markey

The Toll of Valor is first in a series of novels. Meet Russ ‘Duke’ Marlin – an ornery boy growing up in a small Kansas town. Duke was born to be a firefighter. Julie Goodin, a preacher’s daughter, is meant to be his girl. A family of firefighters, Duty – Honor – Valor is the Marlin tradition, and those three words transform a boy into a man. Each day, Julie matures with beauty and grace, and Duke discovers, that comes with a price. Deward Banksiana has a fetish and a pentagram tattoo, and his eye is on Julie. Quick with his fists – faster in his Mach 1, Duke and the War Horse can’t protect Julie from every danger. And Julie can’t protect Duke from the hazards of firefighting. Threats and a haunting premonition force Julie into a series of schemes to save Duke and the last resort is always the most brutal. Weakened by a constant barrage of carnage, a tsunami of tragic events hurls Duke into a syndrome known to firefighters as the Tin Man – it is ‘the toll of valor’ Julie battles her own demons, but she’s committed to bringing Duke back. With Julie by his side, Duke rediscovers Christ’s presence in his life and the power of forgiveness. Then on the morning of her wedding day, Julie awakens to the sound of a storm, or is it another premonition . . .

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – By Seth Godin

51WjbZ0neKL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature.

Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they’re enabling countless new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.

And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?

The Web can do amazing things, but it can’t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals—people just like you who have passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.
If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma leads a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, runs her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle. All they have in common is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.

If you ignore this opportunity, you risk turning into a “sheepwalker”—someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good. Sheepwalkers don’t do very well these days.

Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers. . . . It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.

Truck Company Operations, 2nd Edition – John Mittendorf

truck-company-operationsAuthor John Mittendorf has completely rewritten his best-selling book, Truck Company Operations, a must-have for all firefighters who are assigned to the truck and who have responsibilities for the truck on the fireground. The new second edition covers the many aspects, tasks, and functions of a truck company, and contains new and expanded information related to search, reading a building, reading smoke, the Ten Commandments of truck company operations, operating truck apparatus, and more–all from a truck company perspective.

Tunnel Visions – Kurt Kamm

Tunnel Visions is a work of faction a blend of fact and fiction. It weaves together the historical details of an actual water tunnel disaster in Los Angeles, the current struggle for control over California’s diminishing water supply, and a fictional plot to attack the Los Angeles water system. Digging 5 miles inside a Los Angeles MWD water tunnel in 1971, Willie Carter was one of the 17 men killed by a methane explosion in what became known as the Sylmar Tunnel disaster. Nick Carter, Willie Carter’s son, is a firefighter trained in urban search and rescue (USAR) operations. His fiancée, Cindi, is an ATF Special Agent. On a Sunday in 2014, they are swept up in a massive Homeland Security response to a terror alert in Los Angeles. At the end of Tunnel Visions, when Nick makes a desperate entry into the gas-filled Sylmar Tunnel in an attempt to save Cindi and prevent a disaster, his past and present are brought together in a shocking way.

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders – By L. David Marquet (Author), Stephen R. Covey (Foreword)

51XG0JA2sEL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_“Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers.” David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet acted like any other captain until, one day, he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn’t challenged, the answer was “Because you told me to.” Marquet realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. That’s when Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level.

Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving control. Before long, each member of Marquet’s crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. The crew became fully engaged, contributing their full intellectual capacity every day, and the Santa Fe started winning awards and promoting a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s radical guidelines to turn your own ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, where everyone is a leader.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) – By John C. Maxwell (Author), Steven R. Covey (Foreword)

51kpbZSrIIL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_If you’ve never read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, you’ve been missing out on one of the best-selling leadership books of all time. If you have read the original version, then you’ll love this new expanded and updated one.

Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this million-seller and made it even better:

  • Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated
  • Seventeen new leadership stories are included
  • Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced
  • New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths―and weaknesses
  • New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow

Why would Dr. Maxwell make changes to his best-selling book?

“A book is a conversation between the author and reader,” says Maxwell. “It’s been ten years since I wrote The 21 Laws of Leadership. I’ve grown a lot since then. I’ve taught these laws in dozens of countries around the world. This new edition gives me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned.”

25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and Lodd – Dan Shaw & Doug Mitchell

Two seasoned fire officers take an in-depth look into the causes of line of duty deaths in residential building fires, and offer incident recommendations. This book is designed to provide firefighters and fire officers “street proven” tips, techniques, and company-level drills that address and overcome the 25 most common errors that occur at residential building fires.

20,000 Alarms: The Memoirs of New York’s Most Decorated Fireman – Richard Hamilton


Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion – George J. Thompson

“When you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control.”Verbal Judo is the classic guide to the martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation, whether you’re talking to a boss, a spouse, or even a teenager. For more than a generation, Dr. George J. Thompson’s essential handbook has taught people how to communicate more confidently and persuasively in any situation. Verbal Judo shows you how to listen and speak more effectively, engage others through empathy (the most powerful word in the English language), avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies to successfully express your point of view—and take the lead in most disputes.

Vertical Burn – Earl W. Emerson

Earl Emerson is the poet laureate of men and women who make their living where the heat is, bringing to life the terror of a burning building and the moments of solitude, solace, and camaraderie that happen in between. Now, Emerson has written a mesmerizing novel of suspense about a man who goes into a fire as a hero and a friend, and comes out as an outcast–and a target.


We’re Not Leaving: 9/11 Responders Tell Their Stories of Courage, Sacrifice, and Renewal – Benjamin J. Luft

“We’re Not Leaving” is a compilation of powerful first-person narratives told from the vantage point of World Trade Center disaster workers-police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and other volunteers at the site. While the effects of 9/11 on these everyday heroes and heroines are indelible, and in some cases have been devastating, at the heart of their deeply personal stories-their harrowing escapes from the falling Towers, the egregious environment they worked in for months, the alarming health effects they continue to deal with-is their witness to their personal strength and renewal in the ten years since. These stories, shared by ordinary people who responded to disaster and devastation in extraordinary ways, remind us of America’s strength and inspire us to recognize and ultimately believe in our shared values of courage, duty, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and devotion, which guide us in dark times.

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life – Spencer Johnson

51fFDEkUyEL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_With Who Moved My Cheese? Dr. Spencer Johnson realizes the need for finding the language and tools to deal with change–an issue that makes all of us nervous and uncomfortable.Most people are fearful of change because they don’t believe they have any control over how or when it happens to them. Since change happens either to the individual or by the individual, Spencer Johnson shows us that what matters most is the attitude we have about change.

Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion – Susan Hagen & Mary Carouba

This book is a powerful collection of first-person stories told by female firefighters, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, and others who responded to the events of September 11 and its aftermath. Women at Ground Zero provides a unique perspective on the events of that terrible day through the eyes of women rescuers who risked their lives to save others. Through their heartbreaking and inspiring stories, the voices of female rescue workers and their contributions at Ground Zero are finally heard.

Wooden Sticks & Iron Men – William Noonan

Working Fire: The Making of a Fireman – Zac Unger

Zac Unger didn’t feel like much of a fireman at first. Most of his fellow recruits seemed to have planned for the job all their lives; he was an Ivy League grad responding to an ad at a bus stop. He couldn’t keep his boots shined, and he looked terrible in his uniform. Working Fire is the story of how, from this unlikely beginning, Zac Unger came to feel at home among this close-knit tribe, came to master his work’s demands, and came to know what it is to see the world through a firefighter’s eyes. From the raw material of his days’ work—alarm calls both harrowing and hilarious, moments of triumph and grief—Unger has forged a timeless story of finding one’s path, and a rousing adventure about the bravery and sacrifice of everyday heroes.


Young Men and Fire – Norman MacLean

On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service’s elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts back together the scattered pieces of the Mann Gulch tragedy.

It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy (revised) – D. Michael Abrashoff

its-your-shipThe story of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and his command of USS Benfold has become legendary inside and outside the Navy. Now Abrashoff offers this fascinating tale of top-down change for anyone trying to navigate today’s uncertain business seas. When Captain Abrashoff took over as commander of USS Benfold, a ship armed with every cutting-edge system available, it was like a business that had all the latest technology but only some of the productivity. Knowing that responsibility for improving performance rested with him, he realized he had to improve his own leadership skills before he could improve his ship. Within months he created a crew of confident and inspired problem-solvers eager to take the initiative and take responsibility for their actions. The slogan on board became “It’s your ship,” and Benfold was soon recognized far and wide as a model of naval efficiency.