How often are you truly humbled??? For me, it happens way more than I ever thought it would. First off, Young Finn and his brother Dex have managed to do it since the day they were born. Any parent will tell you that. But the feeling I’m talking about comes from complete strangers. This is the bi-product of being at the helm of what I consider to be a mildly successful Not For Profit. We get emails and messages daily from complete strangers, that just make me stop and think, WOW, we just may be onto something. Messages like this one:
Just wanted to say thank you for your recent recognition of our line of duty death on your Facebook page and website. City of Clermont Firefighter paramedic Joseph De Marinis passed away unexpectedly after his shift from a sudden cardiac event on July 14. You and your team immediately recognized him with the ringing of the bell. It truly meant a lot to our department members – especially the ones who follow your fitness posts, like me. So please pass along to your team how impressed we were, and remain, with their professionalism and honoring our fallen brother. We appreciate you, thank you!
Lt. Erik Strange, President
Clermont Firefighters, IAFF L4350
We knew when we decided to post the ringing out of Box 5-5-5 for each LODD that it would have an effect on our followers. We never thought it would have such a profound effect. We’ve received messages like the one above, not just from colleagues of the fallen, but from their family and friends as well. Each time I see them, I share them with my team, and we are all humbled. We are honored. We know that by recognizing these firefighters’ sacrifices and stressing our commitment to reducing that number, that we are doing something that is bigger than any one of us.
However, the respect and honor our fans have for our mission, goes way beyond the bell video. We hear transformation stories all the time. We hear stories of how one guy working out in the station alone, turns into 5 or 10 joining him a few months later. Those too are beyond humbling, but when we get one like the next one I’m going to share, we all shudder just a bit.
My name is Mike Houghton and I am a firefighter with Anaheim Fire & Rescue in Southern California. I used to work for a US Forest Service Hotshot crew therefore I have always been passionate about studying wildfire fatalities. I am a huge fan of your website and gear as your organizations primary goal is reducing fire fatalities by improving physical fitness. I am currently on a family road trip and we found ourselves in Glenwood Springs, CO, where 14 firefighters died on Storm King Mountain in 1994. I went out early this morning and hiked the memorial trail which allows people to hike the actual fireline the members that died attempted to use as their escape route. I brought with me one of my favorite 555 Fitness Tshirts with the thought of leaving it by one of the 14 headstones on the mountain which mark the actual spots the firefighters lost their lives. Along with a small American Flag, I left the shirt folded by Don Mackey’s headstone. He was the head smokejumper in charge on the South Canyon Fire and he heroically traveled the fireline to alert other crew members of the evacuation order. It seemed like a fitting place to leave the shirt. I just wanted to share this story with you guys. Attached below is a picture. Keep up the great work.
Anaheim Fire & Rescue
Truck 3 A Shift
Now that’s an email that makes you stop and think just a bit. In no way did this firefighter have to include 555 Fitness in his tribute. But he did. He did because he believes in our mission. He did because he sees the level of respect we show to our service. And he did because he is the type of firefighter we should all strive to be. He knows the meaning of humility and brotherhood before all others. The pride I have in 555 Fitness today is larger than ever. Our team is committed to reducing LODD’s in OUR service, because who can fix this problem better than US — firefighters. That’s what we do, day in and day out, we fix problems. Plain and simple. This is a problem and we are here to fix it.
Train Hard Do Work