News at 10

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Courtesy Greg Guise

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Somehow has survived ten years. Knowing the publisher the way I do, I wouldn’t have given it ten days.

There have been more than 10,000 posts since the site began. The first post on May 4, 2007 was titled “Getting blogged down.” It talked about Dennis Rubin, who had just taken over as chief of the DC Fire & EMS Department. A week ago, I was still writing about Dennis Rubin. Clearly this site hasn’t progressed much in a decade.

As far as I can tell, the only real thing STATter911 has contributed to the fire service are the acronym SMACSS and these three terms:

  • early video
  • pre-arrival video
  • arrival video

It finally dawned on me that, while I have applied these phrases to what some of us have termed “fire porn” videos, they could just as easily be used to describe the real stuff. Sorry, it’s not just the site that hasn’t progressed much.

Most of my enjoyment comes from the feedback. Good, bad or indifferent I like the interaction. A few friends have accused me of liking it a little too much — especially the negative comments. Here are some of the accusations that have come my way since 2007:

  • You’re anti-volunteer firefighter.
  • You’re anti-career firefighter.
  • You’re a racist.
  • You’re against white people.
  • Why did you put the word “volunteer” in the headline (a complaint from a volunteer on a positive story)?
  • Why didn’t you put the term “volunteer” in the headline (a complaint from a career firefighter on a negative story)?
  • You tricked me into watching a video of a vehicle explosion that wasn’t shot on U.S. soil and didn’t involve U.S. firefighters (this one, from a few days ago, may be my all time favorite).

So, with all of the bad things said about me through the years, let me defend the honor of STATter911 and actually write something positive about this rag.



Hold on, I’m still thinking.


Okay, here you go. My defense of STATter911.

STATter911 was way ahead of its time. People were calling it “fake news” well before CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Or how about this? In an ever-changing media environment STATter911 has been extremely stable. The very same employees who worked for this organization when it started are all still here today. There has been zero turnover.

On top of that, I work for the best boss in the world. He lets me telecommute every day. Though, truth be told, I think the boss sexually harassed me last Friday. The guy’s always touching me.

So, thanks for all the comments and support. Hope you stick around for the next 10. But I’m thinking days rather than years because I sure as hell can’t do another decade looking at this many shaky fire videos shot vertically. Turn your damn camera phone sideways or turn it off. And don’t get me started about music added to fire videos. The only way I will run one is if you actually have a band there with you on the fireground. And then there’s the citizen play-by-play ….

With all of that crap out of the way, there are some people I must thank for their support over the years. Rick Garner for coming up with the idea of a fire and EMS blog. Miriam Wright for helping with the name. Emily Cyr (now Emily Fawcett) for making sure I didn’t screw it up too much in the early days. Rhett Fleitz for inventing fire service blogs and websites. Dave Iannone and Chris Hebert for keeping the design, technical and ad side in order. Glenn Usdin at Command Fire Apparatus for his long support of STATter911. The many, many people who make this job easier by sending me tips about stories and videos. And, of course, Mrs. AKA Hillary Howard and Jr. AKA Sam Statter. For those who hate this site, these are some other folks you can blame besides me.

From Andrew and Mary Arnold, Box Alarm Leather

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