A recent article on MyFox Austin web site reported that Assistant Chief George Blackmore was suspended for a few hours for getting into an accident while reading an email on his BlackBerry smartphone. Like most articles about public servants that mess up, this one had the warmth of an icicle.
Being a Firefighter myself I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this article, because I know the good natured ribbing he will take for this over the next couple of months.
What most people wont be able to gleam from the article’s glowing insight (sarcasm alert) is that George Blackmore is exactly the type of Assistant Fire Chief that you would want at your neighborhood fire station when an emergency happens. Here’s what the MyFox article failed to mention about Assistant Chief Blackmore.
George Blackmore has been a Firefighter with the Austin Fire Department for the last 29 years and is currently the Assistant Chief of Special Operations and Homeland Security. During this time he has served as head of AFD’s Terrorism Task Force, AFD’s Special Operations Division, and is a current member on the Capital Area Council of Government’s (CAPCOG) Homeland Security Task Force.
As if that weren’t enough, I did some digging and came up with another fascinating story on Assistant Chief Blackmore. In 2007, he travelled to Iraq to (Read Story Here) to meet Iraqi emergency services personnel and learn about the challenges they face in a country torn by conflict and strife. While there he learned, among othe things, that a typical Iraqi Fire Station responds to, on average, 15 murders a week and sometimes has to have Police escorts to ensure they can do their jobs.
Over the last three years, the City of Austin has worked with the U.S Army to provide training and insight on city functions, infrastructure and services to military officers to help the overall stabilization effort in Iraq.
Assistant Chief Blackmore also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1982-1986 and the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1986-1996.
You get the idea, but like I said before, George has some cheap shots heading his way and I’m just not one to pass on an opportunity to throw a few. So I thought about an appropriate response and emailed Troy Cross (Head of Sales) for Vlingo and asked him if he could help out. Vlingo is the company that makes the software that allows you to control your phone using your voice, so you can see the obvious jab. Troy said sure he’d be happy to throw him an activation code.