POUGHKEEPSIE – Dozens of firefighters from throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond gathered at The Derby, a tavern in Poughkeepsie to hear a veteran firefighter speak while raising money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Poughkeepsie firefighter Tim Rose invited Captain Brian Butler, a Trenton, NJ firefighter, to bring his unique training lecture to the area. Captain Butler also owns Urban Fire Training, dedicated to teaching other firefighters using his experiences and knowledge gained through 23 years of fighting fires.
The series, called “A Fireman Walks Into A Bar” is presented in an animated session using “adult” language in a setting that is much less formal than classroom training and is well-received by both career and volunteer firefighters.
Butler’s barroom session covered topics including engine and truck operations, rapid rescue, high-rise fires, and a plethora of additional information that was enjoyed by the attendees. Firefighter Rose was pleased with the turnout and enjoyed the presentation. “Captain Butler tells it like it is based on things he’s learned during his career and he’s very informative.” Rose’s Poughkeepsie colleague, Brian Ineson called Butler’s presentation “straightforward with actual experience, not just textbook training.”
The funds raised were split between St. Baldrick’s, a foundation that raises money for childhood cancer research, and the family of Worcester Fire Department Lieutenant Jason Menard who died in a four-alarm fire on November 13. Menard perished after saving two fellow firefighters. He left behind a wife and three young children. Asked why the money was being split, Captain Butler said “It’s the right thing to do. Helping children and fellow firefighters is something we all take pride in.”
In addition to the money raised at the event, the Derby will be selling St. Baldrick’s signs that patrons can write on and have them hung on the mirror behind the bar. The funds raised will be donated to the Poughkeepsie Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 596. Captain Butler offers his fundraiser training to firefighters around the country. His next barroom session is scheduled for December 11 in Memphis, Tennessee.