William D. Lewis    717-357-1209   workforward@hotmail.com

Portfolio Index

Chief Steve T. Edwards

Chief Edwards is Director of the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, and is the former Fire Chief of Prince Georges County Fire and Rescue, a department he served for over 25 years.  In these two excerpts from Chief Edwards' Legacy Interviews, he describes the incident events leading to his receiving the Medal of Valor as a young fire officer, and later in his career as Fire Chief the impact of the death of a fire fighter under his command.

One of the challenges facing today's emergency  services is generational change. Many of the incident and management experiences  of the previous generations of officers and leaders form the foundation for the protocols and operational procedures used today. But there are concerns that the new generation of emergency services personnel will not have the practical experience to fully understand the rationale and previous pitfalls that current procedures are intended to address.  The Legacy Program was envisioned as a medium to capture, categorize and make available through the internet the experiences and seasoned knowledge of the senior leadership of the emergency services, as a resource for future officers and leaders to better understand how to handle the challenges they will face in their careers. 


The Legacy Program is only at the proof of concept stage, and is awaiting further development. Below are several sample clips of legacy interviews of a few of the current leaders of the nation's fire service, presented as examples of the rich experiences that can be offered to the next generation of emergency services personnel under this program concept.


Special acknowledgements to Chief Dennis Rubin, moderator, and to Joe Schreiber,  video producer, for their fine work on this program.

The Legacy Program


Chief Charlie Dickenson

Dickenson: EMS and the Fire Service

Dickenson: Death of 3 firefighters

Dickenson: His Intro to Fire Service

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Chief Dickenson is the former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA,  the former Chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire,  and the former Chief of the Hayward, CA, Fire Department.  In these three excerpts from Chief Dickenson's  Legacy Interviews, he describes his introduction to the fire service, the incident at Bryclyn Street involving the deaths of three firefighters, and his efforts to integrate EMS and the Fire Service.

Schaitberger: The IAFF and Firefighter Safety

Schaitberger: Building the Union

Onieal: Jersey City Performance Evaluation

Onieal: Best Day as Fire Chief

Siarnicki: Several Children Lost in Fire

Siarnicki: His Dad and the Vol. Dept

Gaines: Building Safety Pgms

Gaines: Mentor Who Saved His Life

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President Harold A. Schaitberger

Harold Schaitber is the General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters  In these two excerpts from President Schaitberger's Legacy Interviews, he describes the challenges of building the union, and explains the hurdles and accomplishments involved in helping the IAFF lead the nation in Firefighter Safety.

Dr. Denis Onieal

Dr. Onieal is the Superintendent of the National Fire Academy, and is the former Fire Chief of Jersey City Fire Department, a department he served for over 24 years.  In these two excerpts from Dr. Onieal's Legacy Interviews, he describes his best day as a fire chief and explains the challenge and accomplishments of building his groundbreaking performance evaluation system for the Jersey City Department and its significance to fire fighter safety.

Chief Ronald Jon Siarnicki

Chief Siarnicki is the Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and is the former Fire Chief of Prince Georges County Fire and EMS Department, a department he served for over 24 years.  In these two excerpts from Chief Siarnicki's Legacy Interviews, he describes following his dad and starting in a small volunteer fire department, and later in his career as Fire Chief his worst day when a fire took the lives of several children.

Chief Glenn A. Gaines

Chief Gaines, deceased, was the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, and the former Fire Chief of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Virginia,  a department he served for over 35 years.  In these two excerpts from Chief Gaines' Legacy Interviews, he described an incident as a young fire fighter when his mentor saved his life, and later in his career as Fire Chief the important goal he pursued of building in his department one of the nation's groundbreaking programs in fire fighter safety.

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Edwards:  Death of a Firefighter

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Edwards:  Medal of Valor Incident