Forcing Entry is ALWAYS risky!

Forcing entry is ALWAYS risky. A veteran fired his weapon at firefighters during forcible entry in Ohio recently. . . From Fire Engineering, January, 2017 By Michael Morse In my column, “To Force or Not to Force Entry,” I discussed the decision-making process involved when responding to a well-being check. You never know who will […]

In it together

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Feeling powerless and out of control, the world and everybody in it having their way, days followed by nights, then days and nights and days again. So many people; all of them lost in their own thoughts and dreams, trying to get by, trying to get ahead, trying  to make a name for themselves, and […]

Words off the Street Podcast

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  “My name is BJ Schneider and I’ll be your host of the Podcast. I’ve been in public service for over 25 years as both a paramedic and a police officer. I took what I learned in those careers and began writing. Along with my occasional co-host Sam Bradley and regular support from fellow podcaster […]


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I spent the first decade of my 25 year career with the Providence Fire Department assigned to engine and ladder companies. The department was flush then, the coveted spots in the “busy” companies filled with senior firefighters and people who knew people. I didn’t know anybody that could get me a prime spot, so I […]

Florida Vacation in a ’62 Ford

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…We used to get in my Dad’s ’62 Ford, sit in the driveway and drive to Florida. The trip would take ten minutes or so. If we were lucky, and quick, we could swipe the keys and turn the car on, and listen to the AM radio during our travels. I must have listened to […]

Big Man/Little Woman

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At first she didn’t like me, wouldn’t listen to a word I said. She didn’t want to come with us, wanted to stay right there at the shelter. The folks who run the soup kitchen thought otherwise. They had a hundred homeless people hungry for lunch and had work to do; no time to play […]

Doing the Job

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Doing the Job 08/13/2015 Fire Engineering By Michael Morse It was a two-story cinderblock construction, commercial, unoccupied structure on a busy city street at 4:50 in the afternoon. Quitting time was 5 p.m. Smoke poured from the roof, and fire was visible on side 2. Lieutenant Steve Schora was out of the officer’s seat before […]

What’s the worst thing you have ever seen?

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Sometimes people ask me what the worst thing I’ve seen is. It’s not their fault, I’m pretty good at acting like nothing bothers me. I see them, all of them. I see the girl teetering on the edge of the bridge, see her face, see the anguish, the resolution, the despair just before she lets […]

More than a hundred died at The Station Fire

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“Don’t you make fun of me!” she shouted at the super market customers who walked past her. People came and went, some gawking, some ignoring, some just glancing our way. A spilled gallon of milk rested between her legs, a bag of groceries sat next to her, filled with what she had planned to be […]

9 out of 10

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“It’s no big deal,” she said, “just a little pain in the middle of my chest.” “How much pain, scale of 1-10?” “Nine.” “That can be a big deal.” “I didn’t want to bother you boys.” “Trust me, you are no bother. If you wait to call for two days again, then I’ll be bothered.” […]

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