Author:Gary R. Ryman
Publication Date:April 20, 2011
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Having served over thirty years in fire departments across three states, Gary R. Ryman brings a unique perspective to the firefighting experience. The son and father of firefighters, Ryman ignites the fire, smoke, blood and fear spanning three generations of the “family business.” He recounts his early days in upstate New York learning from his father, the department fire chief. He describes the blazes he battled with a career and volunteer crew in the crowded suburbs of Washington, D.C. He examines the mentoring relationship established with his son as they respond to the calls of a volunteer department in rural Pennsylvania. Overall, Ryman shares both the personal and professional turning points that define a firefighting career.
Gary R. Ryman is the second of three generations of firefighters. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland and has been employed as a fire protection engineer for over twenty-five years. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in American History. Ryman is married with two children. His oldest son makes up the third generation of firefighters in his family, which makes him feel both old and young at the same time.
One thing you will notice about me is this: I don’t read a lot of memoirs. But, I love everything to do with firefighters, cops, or military. Something about those heroes that really tug at my heart. So, I jumped on the chance to review this book, and WOW! I was literally blown away by the style of writing, the way the author instantly reached out and grabbed, only to pull me into the heat of the firefighting action and life of a real life hero.
This is far from being a “light” read, though you will become so engrossed in Mr. Ryhman’s story that you will be at the end before you know it. You follow him and his father and son on an unforgettable journey of what it takes to be a firefighter. I can’t imagine what it would be like, but after reading this, I feel as if, for a time, I was able to experience every laugh, every tear, every happy ending, every heartache, that these brave, brave men endured. It was an incredible feeling.
I highly recommend that you get this book. It’s a 5 book rating in my opinion, and I know that if you love stories about or by true life heroes, then I know you will love this book. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but more importantly, it will make you see just how much these firefighters go through, and what it costs them to put their life on the line in our time of need.