Book Review: Fire Chief
Reviewed by Ron Coleman
Daniels, Ed, Fire Chief; The Story of a Volunteer Firefighter, copyright 2011, Charleston NC
Fire Chief: it is a title that is applied to a specific group of individuals who dedicate themselves to performing leadership in a firefighting organization. If you add the prefix volunteer fire chief, you add an entirely new dimension. Being a volunteer fire chief brings out the best in many and the worst in some. But one thing is for sure in almost all cases, there are millions of stories to be told based upon carrying that rank.
Ed Daniels has written a book that is very personal with respect to his experiences in performing in that job. Using a literary device which I will not reveal here, he draws a remarkably strong bond between his personal experience and the evolution of the events that occurred in his lifetime serving as a volunteer fire chief.
As we all know there are a lot of life stories that are converted into books. Why would you want to buy this book to add to your library? I can only answer that in a very personal way. As I read through the various chapters I had this amazing feeling of Déjà vu. Many of the things that he talked about I have born witness to myself. There were several cases where I had a real lump in my throat as I proceeded to go through the section knowing full well what the outcome was going to be at the end of the chapter.
Chief Daniels (retired), has woven an interesting tale that may appear to be a personal adventure but in many ways contains lessons that can be learned by anyone who aspires to be in charge of other human beings who have to perform in stressful circumstances.
As went through the various chapters, I kept having reflection on my own personal experiences. The phrase “been there – done that” kept coming into mind frequently as Ed revealed both the strengths and weaknesses of what happened to him as he served as a fire chief in Colorado.
As a veracious consumer of anything with the word fire in its title, I was delighted to start Chief Daniels book. But, believe it or not, when I finished it, I was sorry. I wanted to hear more. This is a man that many of you out there can relate to. It possesses the heart, the head and the hands of what is best about serving in the role of fire chief in our communities. I would strongly recommend it for your reading pleasure.
Volume 3, Number 2 ® Page 7, National Fire Heritage Center Newsletter