They meet again: Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz, sitting under the banner for his favorite blog of all time, hoping that when he grows up he can be just like the editor of STATter911.com. A scene from Booth #743 last year, courtesy of Mike Legeros of Raleigh/Wake Firefighting Blog. This year the booth will have a child security gate added (read below). And feel free to write your own caption for this picture in the comments section. Just keep it relatively clean and make me laugh.
From Wednesday through Saturday I will be in Baltimore for Firehouse Expo. My time will be split, as usual, between work for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the insanity of Booth #743 (plus being part of a social media panel discussion on Saturday morning). Click here and use promo code EX79 to get a free pass for the convention floor.
Booth #743 is probably one of the few places you will visit that has both adult and child day care under one roof. It should make for an interesting mix. Our host is Firegeezer Bill Schumm. Bill will be joined by FossilMedic Mike Ward and I am guessing some other members of the cast at Firegeezer.com.
At one end of the double-wide (booth, that is) will be the crew from Firefighter Nutcast. (Did I spell that right? I sometimes have trouble spelling the word "firefighter".)
John Mitchell (FireDaily.com) and Rhett Fleitz (AKA THE Fire Critic) will be doing live and taped webcasts from the booth. IronFireman.com's Willie Wines (Rhett's legal guardian) will be on hand for diaper changes and feedings (for young and old alike).
You will probably recall that Rhett, the guy who invented the fire service blog, played the lead role last year in that critically acclaimed series of short films titled the Adventures of Fireboy from Roanoke.
I expect to be stationed at the other end of the booth from the webcasters. Schumm tells me there will be a child safety gate in the middle of the booth to keep the toddler from wandering into the adult areas.
That's a good thing, because Will Wyatt from Texas, author of And a Paycheck, Too! (right now Rhett's saying to Willie, "and I didn't even buy And a Paycheck, One") will be signing and selling books on Friday and Saturday. I'm a little worried the book's content might be a little too adult oriented for Fireboy. But make sure you buy and read Will's hilarious book. Also, check out Will's take on the singing battalion chief from Philly.
And rumor has it FireTruckBlog.com's Glenn Usdin may make a guest appearance on Saturday.
That's booth #743. Now for some more serious adventures in Baltimore:
Firehouse Expo/NFFF 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb – Make sure you are one of the 343 people to sign up for this great way to honor the firefighters who were lost 10-years-ago on 9-11. It will be at the Hilton Baltimore adjacent to the Convention Center. Click here to sign up. In addition, I will be hosting a webcast from the opening ceremony for the climb. You can hear it live by clicking here on Thursday at 1:45 PM. While I don't think I will have time to name all of the individuals climbing, if you are part of a group participating in the event, make sure you let me know so I can mention the group or department during the webcast. You can send me an email at [email protected] or tell me on Thursday.
Uno Chicago Grill Firefighter Nation, FireEMSBlogs.com and FireRescue Magazine Meetup – 8:00 to 11:30 PM at 201 East Pratt Street – Harborplace. Lots of fun and it's a benefit for NFFF. Be among the first 50 at Booth #743 and get a free drink ticket for the event.
Social Media: An Opportunity, a Curse, or Both? – 8:30 AM in Room 339. Bill Delaney moderates a panel that includes Curt Varone, Pete Piringer and me. Come join us.
Leave yourself time at the Baltimore Convention Center to spend with Better Angels: The Firefighters of 9/11. Dawn Siebel's work sponsored by the Department of Justice Public Safety Officers' Benefits Programs and NFFF will be in the lobby and is a place you will likely want to linger for a bit.