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Review of a 16 day firefighting journey in the USA.

16 days have passed in the blink of an eye. My goal for these 16 days was to learn about the American way of firefighting, High rise fires and ventilation in all the ways and shapes you can find it. To describe everything I have learned is too much to write on a web page. Therefore I invite everyone to talk about it with me whenever we meet again. Of corse all the experiences and knowledge I gained in the USA will be used to make current TLO Deen training programs better and even create new ones this year. A 'fire fighting journey' is not organized in 5 minutes and definitely not only by me. In fact many people have spent a lot of time and effort in having me around and I would like to thank some of them personally for their efforts:

I would like to start with thanking the United States of America. This may sound a little odd but those who have been there before know what I am talking about. To summarize it in one phrase I would mention the limitless hospitality I have experienced here. I want to thank the following persons:

In New York: Craig Silvino. Craig organized my stay, transportation and program in New York. Craig thank you for the good times and lessons I have learned. Furthermore I would like to thank Daniel Burke for showing me around in New York. Brian Burik from rescue 1 for showing me around and Captain Morris for the ride along. Bill Kelly for inviting me to join them in the exercise at 'The Rock'. Joe Downey for the ride along and visit to squad 18. All the people at SOC for the good times and the Giant game. John Cereillo for the knowledge and ride along with squad 252. And the crews from Engine 298 and Truck 127 for the good times in their firehouse.

In Jacksonville: Richard Rochford. Richard organized everything for me in Jacksonville and he drove me all the way to Orlando. Richard thanks a lot! I would like to thank Captain Jimmy Fulford and his crew: Ron, Tom and Billy for the great reception and tour in Jacksonville. Kelly, Gordon, Brian and Larry for the good times during my second day in Jacksonville.

In Orlando: Bob Coshigano. Bob thanks a lot for all the arrangements you made, the ride to the airport and the fun we had during the shift! I also like to thank Roger for the good talks and his curiosity. Jay, Mitch, Dave and Mike for showing me around on the Orlando training facility and the good times during the 24hours we have spent. Michael for the hazmat lessons and the explanation of the Bomb squad vehicle.

In Long Beach: Jim Rexwinkel. Jim thanks a lot for your hospitality and the great experiences I have gained on your training facility. Thanks for connecting me to two great guys: Andy Aguirre and Frank Grimes. Andy and Frank, thanks a lot for the very interesting lessons of ventilation. Station 10's crew: Matt, Al & Carsten for the great times at their station. The crew of station 11: Captain Mike and Block and their crew: Andy, Seward and Jeff for the nice times at their station. Station 10 & 11: I hope you guys can make the jump to Europe!

In Los Angeles: Gregg Avery. Gregg thanks for the 2 great shifts I was able to join you and the big variety of calls I have gotten to experience in these 48 hours. Also a big thank you to your crew at station 98: Captain Duke, Brian, Jason, Steve H., Steve M., Shade, Arrin, T and everybody else at station 98. I woud like to thank station 10: captain Bedoya, captain Lloyd and their crew: Milton, Danny, Al, Caesar, Steve Garcia and Josh for the incredible high rise exercise they have organized for me! Thanks to Steve Ortiz for the former mentioned exercise and the transportration from and to station 98.

Stefan Andreasson: thank you very much for connecting me to some of the people above. Your efforts and connections have been very useful and I am grateful you have introduced me to them.

I would like to thank TLO Deen and especially Theo Deen. I thank TLO Deen for it's support and 'making it happen' of this journey. I am grateful for the great opportunity the company gave me. I also want to thank Theo Deen and therefore automatically Christa for their amazing support throughout the whole journey. It is very reassuring to know people at home are there in case you need them. Knowing that I can alway rely on you guys makes life easy!

Last but not least I want to thank you: the reader of this blog! I have received so many responds to this blog and it gives me a great feeling. Thank you all for the asked questions, given remarks and other responds I received on Facebook, e-mail and sms. Making a blog is one thing but knowing it actually inspires people to read it is very rewarding!

Theo and I will enjoy this beautiful country for another 2 weeks. Of corse you can always reach us through mail, facebook or cell phone.

Thanks a lot and: 'Stay safe!'