Thursday, October 11, 2012
Years ago, in the 70's, I was real involved with what is now known as the "old" ISFSI (Int'l Society of Fire Service Instructors**) and I jumped in with both feet. One day I was in some sort of a planning meeting that was lead by a guy named Tim Campbell-he was a Firefighter and also the fulltime Chief of Emergency Services for Chester County, PA. What struck me in the meeting is how damn smart this guy was. Now that's coming from someone who is as basic as they come-so I am impressed easily---as I joked with Timmy years later as our friendship grew. Honestly, this was easily one of the smartest but also kindest men I had ever met in our business...he had an uncanny ability to think of or look at issues and challenges unlike few I had ever met.
Several days ago, while at the National Emergency Training Center/National Fire Academy, Tim took a fall near the front inside entrance of the cafeteria. Highly qualified EMS folks from within the NFA and locally from Emmitsburg/Frederick County were on the scene instantly, talking to and treating Tim. They were talking to him, he was talking back and all seemed OK...
The wind was knocked out of me when I was told a few days ago that Timmy had passed away. Above are my feelings about Timmy. Susie N from Firehouse has also written about him-with comments from many of his friends-so here is some of her piece:
For nearly 30 years, Timothy R.S. Campbell was a familiar face on the campus of the National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute. On Thursday, colleagues gathered in the chapel to remember the EMI professor for his tenacity for education and mentoring thousands. Campbell died on Sept. 28, a few weeks after falling in the wet hallway outside the campus cafeteria. He was lauded for his expertise in emergency management and his contributions on a number of task forces including one addressing terrorism.
“Tim was perfect for this assignment. He was a great asset,” NFA Deputy Superintendent Kirby Kiefer said. Kiefer added that Campbell was held in very high regard throughout the country. Albert Fluman, chief, integrated emergency management branch, told the crowd: “Mere words are not going to do justice for Tim Campbell…” Fluman remembered how his colleague adopted Emmitsburg as his second home, and became an expert on local information including the daily specials in town restaurants. Campbell was responsible not only for instructing but developing the curriculum for many, many train the trainer courses at EMI. “He had a large impact on emergency management across our nation,” Fluman said.
Retired Beloit, WI Fire Chief Jim Reseburg remembered: “When you asked Tim a question, he would never answer. Instead, he would take you on a journey…and you would figure it out.” Reseburg recalled the last moments with Campbell. Taking a break from a meeting in the same building as the cafeteria, the group was trying to decide on lunch plans. The former chief said his friend told him to step out in the rain, and depending how wet he was they would make the decision to drive to a restaurant or eat in. As he obeyed, he felt a tug, and realized Campbell was holding onto him laughing. “He was very happy to be here…” he said, adding that it was the last time he had with his friend.
Retired Kissimmee Chief John Chapman said Campbell embraced educating people about concept and theory of emergency management. If the powerpoint went out, it was OK, he said, because he knew his subject inside and out. “He asked tough questions,” Chapman said because he wanted his students to think and realize that’s what they’d be facing as emergency managers. Burt Clark reminisced about the times he spent with Campbell at conferences and working on course curriculum. Clark as a NFA instructor, and his friend, the emergency management expert spent a great deal of time collaborating. Clark said the two shared a bond, one that he will cherish. “Tim was part of my dash,” he said, referring to the symbol on a tombstone between the date of birth and date of death.
HERE is MORE about Timmy, take a look, if you have ever attended EMI or NFI, odd's are, you will recognize him. http://tinyurl.com/8z4p77g Rest in Peace Timmy.
**ISFSI today is very much alive and well today and lead by some of the best folks in our business-doing some great stuff-please check them out and consider membership if you have ANYTHING to do with firefighter training-it is not expensive and is an excellent investment in yourself and your crew. www.ISFSI.org