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FDIC roundup: Bagpipes at 25,000 feet; Buy a Nano & help the NFFF; Dave gets frisked by a VA deputy sheriff; A well deserved award & more.

I guess if you were complaining about that crying baby in seat 15A this isn't going to put you in a better mood. But if, instead, you want to bask in the afterglow of a successful and enjoyable stay in Indy the video above will fit right in. The firefighters and others aboard this Southwest Airlines flight received a special treat. That's John Flynn, a member of the Palm Beach County Firefighter Pipes & Drums Corps. The video is from the FirefighterNation.com and Go Forward Media team.

My flight back on Saturday was a bit quieter, but carried quite a few returning from FDIC. I am just catching up and checking the web for some things at FDIC that I missed while shooting and editing videos for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

While I knew about it, I didn't get to see my friend Brian Kazmierzak receive the Fire Engineering/ISFSI George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award (above). Brian is the division chief for training and safety with Indiana's Clay Fire Territory. I have come to know Brian quite well in his role as director of operations at The Secret List and Firefighter Close calls. Taking a cue from Bobby Halton, I would describe him as the brains behind the moustache (sorry Billy, but it was too good to pass up). Congratulations Brian!

Speaking of Goldfeder, after Billy's run-in at NFFF's Stop, Drop, Rock 'n' Roll with Roanoke's Captain Willie Wines Jr., a walrus at the Indianapolis Zoo committed suicide because he didn't think he could compete with these two. We should have some video up of Stop, Drop, Rock 'n' Roll in the next couple of days. Auctioneer and NFFF board member Goldfeder brought in more than $30,000 with the live auction.

NFFF also walked away from FDIC with a $10,000 check from Streamlight. In the video above you can see how to support NFFF by buying Streamlight's special little Red Nano Light with the NFFF logo. It's on sale at The Fire Store from the Witmer Public Safety Group.

One of the highlights of FDIC for me was watching the 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on Friday (video to follow, soon). I had been involved in a very small way with my work for NFFF in helping with the publicity for this event. So, I was very aware of what this was all about and how it would work. But being there and watching it up close is a very different thing. You should think about sponsoring one in your community to honor the upcoming tenth anniversary of the loss of 343 firefighters. Click here for details. Also, there is another 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb on April 6 at CFSI in Washington. Sign up here.

I needed an assistant in shooting the stair climb event. The picture above is by THE Fire Critic, Rhett Fleitz.

Lt. Fleitz was detailed to my command by his supervisor and father, Captain Wines. As you can imagine neither of us was very happy with this arrangement. We somehow got through it. The picture above, taken by Bill Carey, was shot during the event. There is something very odd about the photo, considering we were both standing. Can't put my finger on it. Is it possible Rhett has been heightening?

And then there is this picture (above). Somehow I was seated at a table with this guy for dinner Friday night. I was just there to have a meal with my friends Billy Hayes, Mike Brooks and some folks from Columbia Southern University. Erik says he's a deputy sheriff in Bedford County, Virginia. I am assuming he wanted the photo because he's a big STATter911.com fan (who isn't? …I mean, besides Fleitz). It was strange, after dinner people from other tables kept coming up wanting their pictures taken with Erik. Must be a very popular sheriff's department. 

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