I can honestly say that I have enjoyed each and every day since I have found this wonderful community of book blogging. Every day there is always something new to get excited about, be it, meeting a new blogger, adding more books to the ever growing TBR list, finding a new book, discussing a book just read and the list goes on. Today, I am thrilled about another new and exciting event. Nicole, from Tribute Books, has graciously invited me to be part of her tour group and today is the first time I am hosting!! And what a way to start. With the anniversary of 911 next month, Nicole is introducing us to author and fireman Gary Ryman. So please help me give him a warm welcome to the CMash blog!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary R. Ryman is the second of three generations of firefighters. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland and has been employed as a fire protection engineer for over twenty-five years. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in American History. Ryman is married with two children. His oldest son makes up the third generation of firefighters in his family, which makes him feel both old and young at the same time.
Slightly more than a month from now we will observe an important anniversary; one significant to firefighter’s nation wide. On September 11, 2001, among the thousands of others who died that day, 343 firefighters perished. Beyond New York City, firefighters from Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland worked for days—the initial responders to tragedy, as always.
The constant news coverage increased the understanding and respect of the important service that firefighters provide throughout the country. Communities small and large recognized that these are the initial troops, not just for a terrorist attack, but in the daily battles fought against emergencies. Firefighters were feted and praised and more importantly, supported in their needs for equipment and training. Time, however, is a great healer, and the lack of successful additional attacks has lessened the importance of fire departments in the mind of many. Fires, as we all know, only happen to other people, not me. Budget problems, financial difficulties, and simply the passage of time have dulled our memories of the sacrifices made on that day and those before and since. The responsibilities of our firefighters, though, continue to increase as they are expected to handle each new hazard which arises in our communities.
Nothing has changed, however. As before 9/11, firefighters continue to be killed and injured. Thankfully not in the numbers of that day, but die they still do. Hopefully this anniversary will remind communities of all sizes of the protection afforded them by their firefighters. We think of two sureties in life: death and taxes. There is, however, one more. Dial 911 and the firefighters will come. On 9/11, and the days which follow, let’s remember that.
Having served over thirty years in fire departments across three states, Gary R. Ryman brings a unique perspective to the firefighting experience. The son and father of firefighters, Ryman ignites the fire, smoke, blood and fear spanning three generations of the “family business.” He recounts his early days in upstate New York learning from his father, the department fire chief. He describes the blazes he battled with a career and volunteer crew in the crowded suburbs of Washington, D.C. He examines the mentoring relationship established with his son as they respond to the calls of a volunteer department in rural Pennsylvania. Overall, Ryman shares both the personal and professional turning points that define a firefighting career.