The Academy

The Academy Newsletter

The Academy Newsletter is a weekly publication delivered straight to the ISFSI members inbox. Each issue includes member submitted articles focused on various training topics in the fire service, in addition to upcoming events and other news.

Open Call for ISFSI Content Writers

By: Brian Ward

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write an article? It is a challenge for all of us, especially when we step outside of our comfort zone. Stepping outside of our comfort zone is the toughest hurdle and you should be commended for putting yourself out there, in your own way, attempting to make a difference. I’ve been fortunate to have a few mentors, who I have met right here through the ISFSI, who answered these same questions for me and gave me opportunities. For those who are considering writing an article here are a few tips which have worked for me on my journey.

· Just write - Pick a topic and write all that you know about it. Give it a couple of days of rest and then review it again for consistency and cohesiveness. Revise as needed.

·Allow a friend or two to review it. Maybe one inside the fire service for the technical review and then one outside the fire service for understanding and flow.

·When considering a topic look for something which you are passionate about and have knowledge on. Passion always carries over in the article – it’s contagious.

·Think in terms of the nuts and bolts of the information. When I read your article, I’m looking for the parts that will help me implement the lessons learned inside my station or department.

·Set the reader up with an opening snap shot (paragraph) of your topic, then a few paragraphs explaining one of the following (what happened at the incident, knowledge or skill you’re sharing, specific points you are attempting to convey) and lastly follow-up with a call to action, lessons learned or a strong recap of why this article was important.

· Attempt a co-write, sometimes bouncing ideas off each other is the best way to just get started putting words down.

· Remember the Man/Woman in the Arena (Theodore Roosevelt) analogy. I promise you that someone didn’t agree with, disliked and put down everything I have ever done. However, the only feedback that matters comes from those who are inside the arena with dirt, sweat, blood and tears on their face attempting to make a difference. Never let fear of failure keep you from pursuing perfection!