Coming up with ideas for last-minute gifts can be difficult. But if you need extra gifts for your officers — and the Mayan apocalypse doesn't get you off the hook — books always are a good option.
One of my favorite books I received this year is The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting 1961-2011, a 200-page, coffeetable book about the Hall of Flame Museum located in Phoenix.
RELATED VIDEO: What is the Hall of Flame Fire Museum
The 66,000-square-foot facility includes a restoration shop, a small library for the staff, and 30,000 square feet of exhibit galleries. On display are 130 wheeled fire apparatus, 10,000 pieces of tools, fire marks, uniforms and equipment. The library houses 6,000 volumes and more than50,000 photos, lithographs and prints. The oldest piece of apparatus dates back to 1725.
The book is written by the museum’s Executive Director Peter Molloy and describes the collections and history of this phenomenal museum. If you can’t make it to the museum, buy the book!
Other books to consider for holiday gift giving:
- Tragedy on Luckie Street: True stories of the second-worst loss of life suffered by the Atlanta Fire Department. Donna H. Bowman, who wrote and compiled the book, is the wife of one of the firefighters who survived the 1971 Atlanta restaurant fire, which killed four firefighters and injured more than 20 others.
- Disasters Man-Made. This book by David White and Anton Riecher follows 30 industrial incidents and gives minute-to-minute accounts from the emergency responders who struggle to restore order to chaos. Incidents include a chemical plant explosion on the Houston Ship Channel, a refinery blast in Whiting, Ind., and 1,000 tons of burning magnesium in Garfield Heights, Ohio.
- Hot Zone: Memoir of a Professional Firefighter. Christopher Teale Howes, a retired district chief from the Palm Beach County (Fla.) Fire-Rescue, shares anecdotes from his 31-year career. Some are funny, others sad and grim, but they all serve to educate readers about the firefighting profession. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will receive 10% of the royalties.
- Psychological First Aid. This pocket-size book is part of the Quick Series, which also includes 400 titles on tactics and operations, and a book on “Crisis Intervention, Preventing & Recovering from Traumatic Stress and Stress Management.
Calendars also make good stocking stuffers. For $1.50, you can get the IAFC’s Safety Health & Survival Section’s 2013 pocket calendar, which includes firefighter safety and health information in simple messages that firefighters and officers can apply to fireground/EMS operations or their personal lives. For quick delivery, call 877-258-1225 Ext. 4021 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET). Proceeds support the continuing work of the SHS Section.
On behalf of the entire staff of Fire Chief, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Safe, Healthy New Year.