Baby Girl is anxious to go to a farm. Considering we are city living people, I suppose it's the novelty of it all. This started at a holiday dinner that one of my supervisors invited us to. He doesn’t have a farm, per se. But he has chickens, and goats and other animals. That is close enough for Baby Girl.
Me, I really respect farmers. I'm a city kid. I know more about ant farms versus a real farm. Here's what I do know. Farmers wake up at a time that military people refer to as "O Dark 30". They spend countless hours taking care of animals and crops. Season after season, they put seeds in the ground. Those seedsturn into fruit, or veggies, or whatever else. From their section of the ground, they send out things to every section of the world. All of this, without ever meeting the people they help. I never met the farmer that grows the apples that Baby Girl and I use tomake apple pie. But because of those apples, baby girl and I have shared full tummies and special memories. What an impact.
Alan Brunacini and Carl Holmes are very much farmers. Not that they grow apples, at least, I don't think so. I never met Brunacini, the famous inspirational fire chief from Phoenix, AZ. I only met Dr. Holmes, an African-American trailblazer in the fire service, once. I don't have the pictures that others have posted with them. I don't have stories of long conversations we had. But I have benefited from the fruit of their work.
My first promotional test in the fire service had Brunacini's Fire Command book as one of the study items. Many of the people who have attended the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute (EDI) continue to guide me in my fire service career. In both cases, my life and career are improved from a distance. What an impact.
It is in 2017 that both of these men passed away. One could say that they went on to oversee the fire service from a different vantage point. A new command post. And just like an emergency incident, Bruno and Holmes will still have their impact felt into 2018, and beyond without us seeing them. From the leaders that have been nourished by their work. From the organizations that still stand to continue to provide a harvest.I hope to have that kind of impact for people I may never met. I am hopeful that I am planting seeds that will provide others with the guidance they need. At one time they may have seemed to be ordinary people, but fire service history will show Alan Brunacini and Carl Holmes had an extraordinary impact.
The Motto of the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute: “All that I am I Owe, I am Eternally in the Red”
About the Author
NICK BASKERVILLE has had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 10 years, followed by 4 years in the United States Air Force Reserves. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6). Nick also has 16 years of fire service time, with 13 years of that being in a career department in Northern Virginia. Nick has had the opportunity to hold positions in the Company Officer's section of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association (VFCA), The Virginia Fire Officer's Academy (VFOA) staff, and in the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) as a chapter president, a Health and Wellness committee member, and one of the IABPFF representatives to the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance.