"What's it really like?"
If you're a fire fighter, someone asks you that question fairly frequently. But sometimes the person asking the question is also a fire fighter who wants to know what the job is like in your city, your town.
Battalion Chief Michael Kernan has been a member of the Baltimore City Fire Department for over 28 years. He has served in some of the city's busiest companies and battalions. His book, First Due: Baltimore, is Mike's response to the question "What's the job like?"
First Due: Baltimore contains some of the most detailed, compelling and engaging writing about firefighting - about the job - that we've had the pleasure of reading in all the years we've been publishing books about the fire service. Here's a brief sample:
"The noise of the fire fighters' air masks increased with their breathing rates as the truck guys tried desperately to beat the clock. Anyone inside was in terrible, terrible danger. Above the fire, with no hoseline for protection, these fire fighters were in terrible danger as well. The large house, filled with beds and dressers, tables and lamps, televisions, toys, stereos, closets, clothes racks and other furniture, and divided into numerous rooms connected by narrow hallways, was a fire fighter's nightmare. Entangled in any of the dozen of possible traps or lost in the confusing, disorienting labyrinth of rooms, a fire fighter could run out of air and become a victim himself. The danger was real, the mission critical. Finds those who might not have escaped. There is no more pressing emergency, no higher goal for a fire fighter This is what being a fire fighter is about."
Mike Keman has also captured the camaraderie and wonderful, at times off-the-wall, humor that prevail in the firehouse as he tells the tales of the courageous and dedicated men and women who maintain the proud traditions of the Baltimore City Fire Department.
Battalion Chief Michael S. Kernan has been a member of the Baltimore City Fire Department for over 28 years. During that time he has served in some of the city's busiest companies and battalions. Mike is a lifelong resident of the Baltimore area where he and his wife, Diana, have raised their three children. Today Mike and his wife spend every available minute at their vacation home on the Delaware Coast, near the seaside resort of Rehoboth Beach. Paperback, 273 pages.