2019-05-29

Firefighter, I Am


1st helmet (active)
1983, I started out as a Fire Photographer, after being part of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Explorer Program.  Law enforcement activity caught my eyes, especially accident investigations, besides studying and going through a police academy, I kept up with the photography and used it for education and training purpose offering the photos to the departments that I happen to capture at the time of the incident.

3rd helmet (inactive)
Who would have thought that by 2014, I would become part of a department as a firefighter, certainly not me.  I have heard all kind of things regarding being a volunteer firefighter and I have realized that many have no idea what it takes today.  Maybe in the past, or still in some areas, the volunteers have been looked upon as the "old man's club" where a bunch of guys just sit back and drink beer and tell stories.  Now if you do any research you will find that women have joined the ranks, they go through training, get certified, some even train with "paid" firefighters, they face the same budget problem as the paid departments (if not worst), they're in the public eyes, and once the uniform (including bunker gear) is donned you can't tell who's a volunteer or "paid" firefighter.  I don't use the term "career" firefighter like many will do to distinguish the two - volunteer or paid; reason for, you have volunteers that have made it a career to service their community as a volunteer firefighter.  I myself believe that I might be under the term "career" firefighter.
4th helmet (active) Captain

I have served the community of Blue Diamond, that I am assigned to since 2014, not only have I served the community, but have gone into other communities within the department's jurisdiction to assist at the other rural stations with coverage of their station.  I did not see myself as a firefighter, little less obtaining the rank of captain, getting certifications from FEMA, IFSTA, and various other organizations and enjoying the training that is offered within the department and by other resources.  After five years of service with the department, monthly training, the reactions of the public when you're at an incident, the public service that one might get involved for a day such as Fill-The-Boot or a Show-N-Tell at a school, no one can tell who's a volunteer or "paid" firefighter.  It's a service that I enjoy very much and continue to seek more education within the field to help the communities better. 

I've learned that many folks that will criticize what you do and make some of the statements "I won't do that for free", "that's crazy", and various other statements of negativity, in my opinion either refuse to learn or just are afraid of doing the unknown and taking a chance.  I have found that in this line of work, it is not the bravery, it is not the adrenaline, and it is certainly not a phase...you got to have heart; without heart it cannot be accomplish.  In my opinion it's like the military ~ it's not for everyone, but you won't know unless you try.

(Disclaimer: This is my opinion, my view, my own feelings and it is not endorsed or backed by any agency, organization, or department.)  


2019-03-13

END OF AN ERA

Bonnie Springs Ranch (BSR) built in 1843 as a stopover for wagon trains heading to California on the Old Spanish Trail didn't get established until Gen. Fremont stopped in 1846 to load up with provisions and rest before continuing on his excursion to the Death Valley.  In 1952 Bonnie McGaugh and Al Levinson renovated and resurrected the ranch before opening it up to the public in 1958; 1974 Old Nevada was built based on a 1880 mining town, which provided entertainment to the public with it's western shows, saloon, wax museum, opera house, and various other buildings within the town.  END OF AN ERA on 2019 March 17, Bonnie Springs Ranch will no longer be part of the Red Rock Canyon on the outskirts of the Las Vegas Valley, either way you look at it either 61 years of service to the public or 176 years of existence in the area, it has come to an end.

On another note, I can remember seeing wild horses, burros, and various other animals in the Red Rock area back in the 90's, but today you only see a hand full of burros if you are lucky, no wild horses since BLM has removed them, the area is slowly but surely getting develop and the "valley" has been choking the area at a steady pace, the little town of Blue Diamond has seen some changes within itself (just two miles south of Bonnie Springs Ranch), and still developing.  Nevada State Route 160, has gone through a major face lift and still currently going through another one; I expect Nevada State Route 159, to be the next highway in the area to get a face lift once the developer starts to build where Bonnie Springs Ranch is located currently.  The "Oasis of the Desert" is no longer an oasis, it has been choked.

Tracks of the replica Old Train

Built in 1974, Ol' Nevada with Model A Car Club



Shooting Gallery inside Ol' Nevada (closed)

Rainbow Mountain under a full moon seen from BSR

Rainbow Mountain under a full moon seen from BSR
   

2019-02-11

Can't Keep A Good Man Down

From my last post where I stated I was let go from my job, two days after the incident I landed a job that is stress free! I get to hear wild animals at night and once in a while see them too.  It's temporarily since the place will be closing in March sometime, but you never know what you will see roll up to it like an old Ford Model A club.




2019-01-27

It's A New Year

Today, 2019 January 26, has been a great day!  I was treated by my love one to dinner and a concert.  An invited break from everything that has already taken place and we're only twenty-six days into the year; not only have I had to look for a new place to live after being in one place for over ten years, but as luck would have it...or some will say God has a plan and has closed a chapter...I have been let go from old my job after being with the crew since 2004.  Hindsight, the old company sold to another company back in 2016, and many of us have said and felt that the new company will get rid of the old crew one way or another; we have seen the injustice that had taken place such as new employees not knowing what "on time" means, work ethic out the window, thin skinned, and twisting everything to the point where they are not at fault, but playing the victim regardless if it is a lie.  Yet, the old crew with one simple mistake and no record on their file, are simply terminated.  Experience is out the window and loyalty as well.

Due to my upbringing I strongly feel that God has a plan for me, it is in my belief and opinion that He had placed me where I was and am to this day, He was the one that opened the doors and has closed some and His guiding me in the next adventure of my life.  Without Him I strongly believe I would not be typing this nor breathing.  I give Him thanks every day for what I have, for being where I am as a Volunteer Fire Captain, being the person that I am, and having the people that I have in my life.  Therefore, 2019 will be an interesting adventure has it has already started to show and testing of my faith.  The day I was let go, I read what the accusations were and laughed, for everything that they have said were lies, then I remember that my Saviour was crucified after the being falsely accused of the "crimes"; I was never given the opportunity of facing my accusers as our Constitution states, which tells me the integrity of the company is false and bias.  In fact, it allows me to seek and let God guide me to my next adventure. 

2018-05-28

I'm Not Dead!

As you can see, I've have been busy and not on here by the last Blog posted in 2017!

Quick recap: promoted to Volunteer Fire Captain with the Clark County FD Rural Division; achieved Fire Instructor I; have a photo project for one of the Chiefs; working and trying to relax all at the same time...oh, and trying to keep up with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Some photos can be seen and or purchased at my page and I try to keep it up to date, so keep checking it about every other month.






2017-01-29

Welcome To My Fucking Life

Welcome to my fucking life. Single, but my heart is taken; loner; hermit; got a daughter, but I have more of a daughter from a friend's daughter; misunderstood; people think when I speak there's something between the lines - not; I have a hard time expressing myself be it verbal or written; I keep things to myself instead of voicing them; I rather hold my feelings inside instead of making them known afraid it would be taken the wrong way, which in turn it leaves me wondering what if...; they say I'm weird; I unintentionally deceive people so they don't get close; I read too much into something; over think things; expect the worst; very very few people I trust; family is number one (this includes those I call family); my imagination takes the better part of me; I can't sleep at times and when I do, I still don't sleep the brain stays overly active; I see things most don't; I don't trust anyone (except my extreme short list); in my opinion after I'm dead I'll be surprise if after a month anyone would remember me; I'm afraid of relationships and yet when I think I want to give it a try I talk myself out of it; I don't like changes especially once the rules are set; I'm afraid that if I speak my mind & voice how I truly feel I get ignored or shoved to the side until I leave...guess I'll be this way my entire life; probably one reason I feel like an outcast; therefore, I hide behind the camera(s) & in the rural areas.  Yes, I love someone, but I'll keep my thoughts and feeling to myself & let my actions to show it - which gets me in trouble because it's misunderstood and I rather just walk away then try to explain and myself.  You figure with all the rejections I have received in my life time I'll be immune to rejections...naw it still cuts deep.

2016-12-08

General Notification

FYI - just because... I know I don't have to, but I am.
Recently, sometime between 2100 hours on 2016 December 5th (Monday) and 1000 hours on December 6th (Tuesday), I had discovered that one of my cameras is MIA. Short and to the point, photos that were taken on the 5th and prior are no longer in my possession, I did not have a chance upload to my computer the photos that were taken on 2016 December 5th and those that were already on the SD card I only have them on my computer and/or on my webpage (http://www.photographybytmckinnon.com)