I can say for certain that I learned a lot, see where I needed to improve, and look forward to attending more of your classes.”
Thank You, Paul Michael
Let’s face it; the fire service is the first line of defense for the citizens of our communities’, states and country. In desperate times people turn to you, the fire department with the expectations that you are going to protect their lives and property, quickly bring their situation under control and prevent their property from incurring additional damage. I know it sounds like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but speaking from experience, what appears to be impossible is manageable for the prepared person.
Please let me introduce myself, my name is James Hook, I presently hold the rank of Battalion Chief with the Edison New Jersey Fire Rescue and Emergency Service. I have been employed by Edison Fire Rescue and Emergency Services for approximately 31-years. In my years of service I strongly believe I have upheld my responsibilities and performed my duties admirably by gaining the education, training and experience for the position/positions and ranks that I held and currently hold. Please believe me when I say that it was definitely not easy to continually train, gain the most up to date education, and most of all gain experience that is required to continually function at your highest level.
I consider myself very fortunate, in that over my career I had strong officers who pushed me hard to keep learning and served with even stronger partners on the engine companies, the truck companies, and the rescue companies that I have had the privilege to be assigned to. Some days I considered it a blessing and a curse, as I usually worked at the busiest houses and on the busiest equipment, but during each run I gained firsthand experience and sharpened my problem solving skills. There were many late nights studying for promotional exams and very early mornings writing research papers for college both at home and at the fire station. At the fire stations, empty lots, acquired or abandoned structures my partners and I would train on our equipment day and night and we would supplement our training by always reading up on new equipment and techniques in trade journals, text books and internet. Somehow 31-years breezed by in the blink of an eye. I have the white helmet, the white shirt, gold badge the education, experience, training and network support base, and most of all the respect of the men who I supervise.
Where do I go from here? Well, since the fire service is a dynamic or constantly evolving calling/vocation, I continue to take classes, such as the classes offered by Superior Fire & Emergency Response Training.
While I consider Battalion Chief Seeburger and Captain Disbrow friends and brothers who have my utmost respect, they are also very knowledgeable seasoned veterans of the fire service, and experts in related fields of study. Most of all, these two gentlemen are realistic as they offer their knowledge, skills and wisdom at very reasonable rates, convenient times, instruction at a very comfortable pace, in a virtually stress free environment.
The only obstacle from you becoming the strong, knowledgeable leader, the Protectors of the Thin Red Line, who are going rise to the occasion and confidently lead the fire service into the future, is you. Rise to the occasion, get your education, become confident, strong and most of all be prepared! If you do not believe me then perhaps you will believe the words coined by one of our great forefathers and perhaps the first recorded fire chief in the United States, Benjamin Franklin. “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”. Do you have déjà vu or do the words look familiar? I started this testimonial with this simple yet very profound quote and words to live by. Stay Well, Stay Safe and thank you for taking the time to read this testimonial!”
James A. Hook
Battalion Chief with the Edison, NJ Fire Rescue and Emergency Service