This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

long runnin’ joke around the kitchen table a number of years ago was the comparison of the business world and

the Department Administration. Many felt that if a business ran a company in the same manner as the Administration ran the Fire Department, well, they’d be out of business in no time. Ob- viously our time line wasn’t very accurate! None the less, the organizational structure, leadership, motivation, trainin’ and takin’ care of employees are a few of the common bonds shared between a private business and the fire department.

Through the efforts of Dave Wagner, I

was given a copy of a newly written book en- titled “LIGHT A FIRE UNDER YOUR BUSI- NESS.” This book was written by Tom Pan- dola and James W. Bird, both retired from the LAFD. I had the pleasure of workin’ with Tom when we were both firemen at FS 9. Tom was appointed to the Department

in November of 1977 and did his probationary rotation in Battalion 1. FS 10 was his first as- signment and Captain John Peterson was his first TFC. Tom promoted to A/O in 1981 and was assigned to FS 1. In 1983, he promoted to Captain I and spent time at 13’s, 83’s and 100’s. In 1987, Tom promoted to Captain II and was assigned to FS 88. He also did tours of duty at Air Operations, 5’s, 27’s and 105’s. Then Tom promoted to B/C in 2000 and

was assigned to Battalion 14. In 2003, Tom de- cided it was time for a new adventure and he retired. The refreshin’ aspect of Tom was the fact that, through his many promotions, he re- mained the same level headed guy he was as a fireman.

Part of Tom’s new adventure after re-

tirement was his desire to write a book. He had thought about this for many years and finally, with help from Jim Bird, the encouragement of Dave Murray and help from others, the book was completed. In fact, it just became available at the end of April, 2015. Tom was always good with managin’

people and creatin’ an environment that en- couraged teamwork and empowerin’ people to perform at their highest level. So that’s what Tom’s book is all about.

It bridges the business world environment with the Fire Department. Both of these cultures rely on management and leadership principles to overcome challenges to successfully complete a mission or to maintain a winnin’ corporate culture.

July 2015 • 33

The highlight in the book for me was

Tom’s take on “Ordinary People Respondin’ to Extraordinary Situations.” He said, “It is not the ordinary person who becomes extraordi- nary. Rather, it is the right leadership creatin’ the right culture that allows ordinary people to be capable of extraordinary outcomes, thereby providin’ all that is necessary to succeed.” Congratulations on a well written book

Tom. If anyone is interested in readin’ this book it’s available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon, both of which can be accessed on-line.


Researchers for the Mas- sachusetts Turnpike Author- ity found over 200 dead crows near Boston recently and there was concern that they may have died from the Avian Flu.

A bird pathologist examined the re-

mains of all the crows and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely not Avian

Flu. The cause of death appeared to be due to vehicular impacts. However, durin’ the detailed analysis it

was noted that varyin’ colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzin’ these paint residues, it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car. MTA then hired an ornithological be-

haviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills. The ornithological behaviorist determined that when crows eat road kill they always have look-out crows in a nearby tree to warn of impendin’ danger.

He discovered that while all the look-

out crows could shout “Cah,” not a single one could shout “Truck.”


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