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Sunday, February 27, 2011


Many great developments this week:

Monday 02/21/11

NBC’s Doug Shimell is covering the story and is coordinating with NBC affiliates in the other cities as well. 
Tuesday 02/22/11

  A meeting with the gang at the Autism Speaks - Greater Delaware Valley Chapter was very productive. Christina, Ann & Kelly gave me some great ideas for getting the word out and were very supportive of The Voyage for Autism Awareness. They are working on activating the local Autism Speaks groups in each of the cities that I will be stopping. They also made a valiant attempt at catapulting my Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter) skills into the 21st Century, with limited results! I look forward to our next meeting as these three are very pleasant people to work with, and are very passionate about their work.
Thursday 02/24/11

  The Philadelphia Fire Department has embraced our efforts to increase awareness for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Fire Prevention Division is currently developing a regional Fire Prevention Campaign, to be launched in conjunction with The Voyage.
Autism can present a serious challenge to First Responders and requires a different approach when developing a Fire Prevention program.
 Fires and Medical Emergencies are, by nature, chaotic. A family calls 911 for an emergency; Firefighters and Paramedics arrive on scene with lights and sirens, wearing full body Personal Protective Equipment, wielding axes and defibrillators. For many affected by autism, those arriving to help can be perceived as a threat, adding to the chaos. The Campaign will address issues concerning Autism and how families affected can effectively prepare Fire Escape Plans, and prepare for the arrival of First Responders in emergency situations.
  Fundraising to support the regional Fire Prevention Campaign and The Voyage for Autism Awareness will be set up through The Philadelphia Fire Department Historical Corporation, a 501(c)  nonprofit corporation also known as The Fireman's Hall Museum , with details to follow. Donations to Autism Speaks will continue through the DONATIONS link to my web page, and go directly to the organization.
 Saturday 02/26/11

  Thanks to Assistant Chief Donald Heinbuch, BCFD for allowing me to meet with the crew at Baltimore City's Fire Boat 1.
   I met with FF. Mike Hineline (BCFD's Special Events Coordinator), Fire Boat 1 and other interested members who have enthusiastically embraced The Voyage for Autism Awareness. They're coming up with a lot of great ideas to help make the event a success in Baltimore. 
  Capt. Jake was kind enough to hang over after be relieved by Lt. Danny Thompson and his 'A' Shift. 

Lt. D. Thompson & Fire Boat 1 . . .

 Fire/Rescue 1 returns from investigating a van in the river; turned out to be unoccupied:
  Looks like they've done this before!

  Next stop was Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD. 
  Besides designing kewl, great looking boats, John C. Harris and the gang at CLC are known for their customer service. They're always really busy, but always take the time to answer your questions. When I stopped by, they were busy preparing for David Fawley's  Annapolis Wherry Tandem boatbuilding class, which starts 02/28/11.
  To help make The Voyage a safer trip, John gave me some really good advice for adding flotation and a kick-up rudder to my Northeaster Dory . David snapped a shot of (L-R) me, John and Mark Stevens. Mark did an awesome job instructing the Dory class I took last year.

  From Annapolis I visited D.C. Fire & EMS Dept's Fire Boat Station on the Potomac River. Right in the heart of our Nation's Capitol, Fire Boats 1, 2 & 3 are housed with the Metropolitan Police Dept's Harbor Patrol and protect some of the country's most valued treasures. 
  Lt. Ricky Johnson was a great help, offering some great logistical information and awesome Firehouse Hospitality for kicking off The Voyage for Autism Awareness on Saturday, April 16, 2011.
  DCFEMS Public Information Officer, Pete Piringer is also on the project, with MPD's Lt. Paul Niepling assisting with regional contact information through Maryland's Department of Natural Resources.
  Here's a nice shot of the "John H. Glenn, Jr.", aka Fire Boat 1 with Lt. Ricky Johnson's Platoon 2 and The Washington Monument in the background:

Coming soon:
A trip to FDNY's Marine 1 in Manhattan . . .

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