Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting back in the Swing of Things

Hello everyone!! I hope all is well and the summer has been kind to each of you. Let me first say, "THANK-YOU" to each of you for your support, kind words and encouragement over the past several weeks. I am not sure we would be standing and capable of breaking a smile had it not been for the calls, notes and hugs from so many. My father-in-law was a remarkable man who touched so many lives; the cards, calls and people dropping by have been a constant over the past seven days. With the help of the Los Angeles Fire Relief Association and the members of the Historical Museum at the old Fire Station 27 in Hollywood; I am not sure I would know what to do. The men and women of these organizations have been helpful beyond words. The memorial for my father-in-law has been set for August 22, 2009, 1000 hours at the Museum at Fire Station 27 in Hollywood. I am sure the celebration of his life will be one I will boast of in a future blog.

A lot has been going on around San Diego since I last posted. I will begin writing in depth this week. I spend the afternoon today at Pam and Mike Stence's home; celebrating the graduation of Ashley Elizabeth Griffin-Stence from UC Santa Cruz. Ashley is the daughter of Officer Gerry Griffin who was killed in the line of duty in 2003. Ashley graduated with a Baccalaureate of Science in Marine Biology and is working as an intern at Scripps. Dad is no doubt smiling down on his daughter; the proud father that he was; boasting to everyone around what Ashley has accomplished. Gerry's sister, Leslie was there, as was Keith Blackburn and wife Dawn; along with many other family and friends. Gerry is gone but not forgotten and his daughter will forever be watched over by Gerry and his friends still here on earth.

Promotions are around the corner; August 18, 2009. The paths to the Chief's offices have been well worn over the past several weeks. Some very well qualified candidates have made their pitches for promotion and given the Chief's food for thought. The direction of the department will be shaped by these promotions and the men and women chosen to lead us through these tough times. Good luck to all who seek promotion. If you are being considered for promotion; you have earned this honor through hard work and dedication. But, if you are not chosen this time around, do not give up; it does not mean you are not qualified or ready. Begin your strategy for studying and take the upcoming test again. The need for additional candidates for future promotions is already present. As the economy improves and stabilizes more promotions will take place. By preparing now, you will be in a position to be considered in a matter of a few months.

The summer is slowly coming to a close with few major incidents or problems. Be mindful of your officer safety and continue to take care of each other. As the summer winds down, do not let your guard down and relax. As the heat and humidity rises and tempers flare from the stresses of life, anything could happen and happen in a matter of seconds. We made it through the first 40 days and more adjustments to staffing will be necessary to continue. New officers will be released from training soon and it will be even more important for experienced officers to take these "enthusiastic" new officers under wing and guide them through their continued learning processes. Share your experience, knowledge and wisdom and help keep them safe and teach them to be safe as well. You owe it to them and to yourselves.

Be safe and again; Thank-You all for everything. You made my life easier and helped me make it through each day.

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