Working during the holidays is a fact of life with your profession. Holidays can include any special day: the big game, the season finale, the family milestone, etc. Even if you get the time off, a big event can result in you being recalled. While others get to spend time with their family and friends, you end up on the streets working calls – calls that are probably the worst ones of the year. Here are 9 tips to make the best of it: Continue reading 9 Tips to Make the Best of Working the Holidays
As the holiday season quickly approaches, remember to thank those who perform necessary but often under-appreciated jobs. First responders are known to have one of the most straining jobs, taking a toll on the responder’s moral. Giving thanks is a great way to show first responders how much you care about their work for the community. Even a small amount of gratitude can help these responders through a difficult time and push them into a positive state of mind. Continue reading Ways to Thank First Responders
Often people have preconceptions about who firefighters are and what goes into their work. Many assume that firefighters are simply heroes that show up to put out fires, but don’t typically know much about them. There are many things that firefighters might want civilians to know about their line of work that most simply aren’t aware of. Here are a few things you might not be aware of about firefighters, which will hopefully help showcase not only the heroic efforts of these men and women, but the diligence and dedication that goes into their jobs. Continue reading Things You Might Not Know About Firefighters
Firefighting is listed as the most stressful job of 2015, and managed to get third place in 2014, according to careercast.com. This is very easy to imagine, given the incredibly stressful situations firefighters put themselves in when they’re called to act in a moment’s notice, responsible for not only their own lives but the lives of others as well. Keeping a clear mind is not only important, but essential to doing the job as a firefighter. Here are a few tips that might help keep your head clear. Continue reading Keeping a Clear Mind as a Firefighter
Firefighters have a long and colorful history, with many of the most famous figures in Western history playing a big role in forming the firefighting profession we know today. By understanding where professional firefighting originated we can appreciate it not only for saving countless homes and lives, but also for the cultural heritage firefighters have all over the globe. Continue reading History of Firefighters
Galls is proud to sponsor such a worthy challenge — a challenge that gives the true heroes of our day the chance to not only showcase their athletic excellence, but also the opportunity to demonstrate their national pride. That is one of the reasons why we want to honor you by partnering with the World Police & Fire Games.
These games allow sworn public safety professionals — such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders, and customs and corrections officers — the prospect of competing at an Olympic-worthy level. In fact, this international sporting event is even larger than the London 2012 Olympics, with more than 12,000 athletes from 70 countries. Participants are grouped by country, providing them with an unforgettable opportunity to display patriotism and loyalty to their homeland. Although many of these athletes come from different parts of the world, they come together for a mutual goal: to prove their athletic excellence in more than 60 sporting events, giving them a chance to qualify for more than 1,600 medal events. There is no shortage of events either, with the Games covering the gamut from angling to wrestling.
However, we would be remiss if we failed to mention a part of the Games that transcends athletic ability and backgrounds, and it’s the inherent camaraderie factor. Participants are in a unique position to network with likeminded athletes who have committed their lives to the same purpose: the safety and wellbeing of others. These athletes share a common thread that binds them, regardless of their chosen field or discipline — and the chance to share techniques and stories is a valuable by-product of the Games’ success.
The particular event we are sponsoring is the Toughest Competitor Alive, from June 27th to June 30th, which is an athletic challenge consisting of eight disciplines: 5K Cross Country Run, Shot Put, 100 Meter Dash, 100 Yard Swim, 20’ Rope Climb, Bench Press, Pull-ups, Obstacle Course. As the Proud Toughest Competitor Alive Sport Host, we are eager to be a part of this respected competition. The Games are made a reality by the support of sponsors from around the globe. For us here at Galls, partnering with the Games is our way of saying thanks to you for laying your life on the line every day to protect us.
Did you know?
The World Police & Fire Games Federation, a nonprofit organization run by the California Police Athletic Federation, established the World Police & Fire Games. The first games were held in San Jose, California in 1985, to give public safety officers the occasion to contend in prestigious venues at a global level. Today, the World Police & Fire Games is an international sporting event. Held biennially, the World Police & Fire Games will take place in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, from June 26th to July 5th, 2015. Upcoming Games will be hosted by Montreal, Canada in 2017 and Chengdu, China in 2019 and will also span a 10-day range.
The games continue to grow, with both the attendance and number of participating countries steadily increasing. In fact, the Games have begun to draw as many as 10,000 entrants and a staggering 15,000 to 30,000 visitors. The international community eagerly bids for the rights and opportunity to host this dynamic event.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate and thank our firefighters who will be on call during the holidays to keep our communities hazard-free. With that said, firefighters need to eat too – and they eat A LOT! Honor these heroes this holiday season by cooking up a blazing storm and bringing it over to the local fire station. Here are a few recipes your firefighters are sure to devour!
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad With Broccoli (Serves 2 – 4, multiply as needed)
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for garnish
4 green onions chopped, save half for garnish
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I recommend Franks)
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, make the buffalo sauce dressing and cook the chicken and broccoli. In a measuring cup or small bowl combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and seasoned salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the broccoli for about 5 minutes. You want it to just start to soften, but still be crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the same pan and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add 1/4 cup or so of the buffalo sauce and cook until the chicken absorbs the sauce.
When the quinoa is ready add the chicken, broccoli, carrots, shredded cabbage and as much of the dressing as desired. Toss well. Add the blue cheese and half of the green onions. Toss again and serve warm with extra blue cheese crumbles and green onions.
-By Half Baked Harvest
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (Serves many)
- 1 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce (plain, no spices)
- 1 – 19 oz can diced tomatoes (plain, no spices)
- 1 – 5.5 oz can tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine (or beef broth if you don’t want to use wine)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- For extra nutrition, see below in Notes.
In a large frying pan, brown the beef with the onions and garlic. When the beef is cooked through, drain it, then return to the pan.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, oregano, basil and salt & pepper.
Simmer for about 1 hour, covered.
For extra nutrition you can add any chopped up vegetable to the sauce that you like: bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms. Just fry them up first in a frying pan until they’re cooked yet still crisp. Then add them to the sauce and cook as directed.
Or you can add pureed yam or pumpkin.
If you don’t want to use ground beef, any ground meat works well in this recipe (especially ground chicken or turkey).
-By A Pretty Life
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Serves 6)
Cook Time: 30 mins, plus 6 to 10 hrs cooking time
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
- 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)
Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.
FINALLY, the holidays have arrived. It’s time for classic holiday movies, colorful gingerbread houses, and extravagant fire department light shows! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite light shows for your entertainment! We hope you enjoy and stay safe this bright holiday season.
Little Creek Vol. Fire Co, 2013
This video is an excerpt from their annual company video.
Montesano Fire Department, 2011
This department decided to decorate their ladder truck for the local Festival of Lights Parade. This was their first attempt at putting lights to music. There was over 10,000 lights and about 200 hours dedicated to this project.
Fort Lee Fire Department, 2007
This effort was part of the Christmas Lights Lane Goldstein.
Long Hill Fire Department, Station 20, 2010
Long Hill Fire Department’s Satellite 203 ‘Santa’s Sleigh’ decorated and ready to go at the 2010 Wallington NJ Holiday Parade.
St. Marys Fire Department, 2011
The City of St. Marys puts on a light show in preparation for “Letters to Santa 2011.”
The Colony Fire Department, 2011
This is an excerpt from the Christmas Light Show Spectacular.
To us, Instagram might be fun and games. But for firefighters, it’s a way to share the epic and dramatic sights they are exposed to every day. Take a look at some of our favorite Firefighter Instagram accounts.
Gregg Boydston is a hotspot firefighter, whom travels the United States fighting forest fires. You could only imagine the kinds of things he sees on a day-today basis. Greg is committed to bringing photography to the forefront of the sights, as his firefighting duty. As he put it, “My office is most people’s motivational posters in their office,” and he must share it with the world. Gregg’s photographs capture the crude reality of fighting fires, the toll it can takes on people and wildlife, and the raw beauty that natural disaster can render.
They say skateboarders are known for having a keen sense of creativity and artistic value. Second-generation firefighter and avid skateboarder, Gabriel Angemi is living proof of this theory. Growing up on the streets of Camden, New Jersey, Gabriel has seen more tragedies than most people will see in a lifetime. Photography is his way of sharing his story and also asking for help in the city he calls home. His photographs capture the hardships and crime that Camden faces every day while also praising his devoted troops of firefighters.
Most fire departments try to avoid sharing the harsh conditions of crisis scenes. However, the Compton Fire Department took a different approach. As their Instagram caption states, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the realization that there is something more important.” The Compton Firefighters are proud of their work, and show it for what it truly is. It might be a little controversial, but by being so overt, you can vividly see the mark they leave on the Compton community.
It’s that time of year again! You know the drill…Change the clocks and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors! Two-thirds of home fires occur in buildings with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. It is crucial that we use this time as a reminder of the importance of smoke detectors and the impact it can have on you and your family’s safety.
Here are some pointers from the National Fire Protection Association regarding smoke alarms:
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
- For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.