FDIC WRAP-UP

What an exciting FDIC! This year’s event was an incredible experience of meeting new friends, laughing loudly with old ones, autographing prints, and book signings. The popularity of Drawn By Fire continues to skyrocket and it’s humbling to see it fly off the shelves – I never would have imagined this success!
However, they real joy of the week was getting to meet new people and catch up with old friends. Those of you who know me understand the impact that both Bobby Halton and Rick Lasky have had on my career, both as a firefighter and as a fire service artist – I honestly would not be standing on the stage that I am without these two men. It is a MUST for me to catch Chief Lasky’s class every year and I was honored to be able to get this photo with two of my most valued mentors. Thank you, gentlemen!

My first FDIC was in 1997, and my very first class was John Norman’s eight-hour fire ground tactics lecture. So you can imagine my joy of sitting with him signing our books at the same table this past Thursday at the PennWell bookstore. Wow! Not that I’m surprised, but he is the nicest, most down to earth person you’ll ever meet. As with most of us, whether big city (FDNY in Chief Norman’s case) or small town, career, combination or volunteer, when you get right down to it, we are all just firemen.

The week finished up with my signing the limited edition, 2011 FDIC print at Lucas Oil stadium Friday morning. Again, fun time meeting people from all corners of the fire service landscape. Two hours and 250 prints later, I skipped lunch and headed over for my last book signing appearance.
Thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy conference to stop by and say “hello”, get a print, or buy my book – I truly appreciate it and I look forward to seeing you next year!  April 16-21, 2012, get it on your calendar now:)

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FDIC SPECIAL EDITION PRINT

Well, it’s that time of year again and I can’t wait – packing up today and heading to Indianapolis for FDIC! This will be my tenth trip and it just keeps getting bigger and better. Though my roll has changed from firefighter attendee to Fire Engineering staff, I still take in as many classes as possible and soak up as much knowledge as I can in one short week. It truly is a special place!
I am also honored to be signing a special edition FDIC only print again this year. I will be at the Special Events Stage in Lucas Oil Stadium Friday morning (there will be maps and an event schedule posted). Please stop on over and pick up your free copy – I’d love to meet you! I will also be at the PennWell books booth signing my book Drawn By Fire and meeting folks Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.
It’s almost time to hit the road and I’m excited about seeing good friends, making new ones, having some of Indy’s excellent cuisine, and getting shivers to the drone of bagpipes. The cartoon above says it all – the experience is priceless every year! Hope to see you there.