About Us – A Letter from the Editor

jeffGreetings from the Editor and from the staff of Southern California Fire Journal. After we launched our preliminary issues, it was quickly realized that we need a much larger office to continue our operations. After three long years the office is now open and we are starting things rolling again.

Please allow me to introduce you to our vision for the future. We, at Zimmerman Media believe in producing high quality products, and performing the best services possible for you, the customer. Southern California Fire Journal is one of our newest ventures that will certainly become one of our flag ship projects in addition to our wedding and photography business.

The new Southern California Fire Journal is a visually based digital magazine. Our photojournalism will be first class and our articles will be documentary in nature; submitted by a diverse group of professionals in the fire service. Our science and legal correspondents are the best in the business, so we will try to print as much content as possible to keep you up to date with industry standards.

We are experimenting with new digital technologies so please be patient with us. Digital magazine publications and computer design programs are coming onto market so rapidly that it has been difficult to select the best and most cost effective format for us to use. If you see some older content it is being used as place holders for future articles as we continue to design the web site.

In So Cal Fire Journal you will find articles about large scale emergencies and the contingencies used to mitigate them.   Also covered will be paramedic issues, ground breaking research and science articles from leading industry professionals. On the lighter side we hope to have articles on travel, leisure and a wide variety of hobbies that firefighters are involved in.

With our custom web edition, So Cal Fire Journal will surely become a must read when it arrives in digital format to your fire station, library, home or office. We have been designing this magazine for well over three years and now that technology and our budget have advanced enough to keep up with our business plan, it is time to pursue our latest dream: To enthrall readers and bring firefighters the latest news.

We won’t pull any punches when it comes to articles pertaining to firefighter safety and survival. Of course, we expect lively debates to ensue about some of our articles, but debate is good, it gets readers to discuss modern concepts about fire protection, and we welcome debate, which will further in depth discussions and research. We know there are lots of ways to suppress fires and all of our Departments have different SOP’S and guidelines, which is what makes firefighting so unique. Together, we can learn from each other’s successes as well as failures, and that is what makes this important reading material. Our varied ideas about fire protection lead us to understand that the more knowledge you have the better decision making process you will be capable of when you really need it.  Today’s fire-ground is a complex environment and with lawsuits on everyone’s mind there is little room for error or injury.

The Southern Cal Fire Journal web site www.southerncaliforniafirejournal.com  will also have the latest articles pertaining to the fire service and up dates on major emergencies. The web site is to act as portal for those who need news and information quickly. We will attempt to have as many links to other professional web sites as possible so that you can find almost anything related to the fire service at the touch of your fingertips.

We know there are many other sources of information, and hope to act as a clearinghouse for our readers. It is also our plan to develop a forum on our website to allow for frank discussion of pertinent topics.

Our contributing photographers, most of whom belong to the Emergency Photographers Network are some of the best in the business and have been on the front lines with many of you for years. At So Cal Fire Journal we will publish many compelling photos that other editors will shy away from.

At So Cal Fire Journal, we believe in dramatic photos that tell a story, even though they may be graphic in nature. Others images may be used strictly to record history. There are images of large fires going well back to the 1800’s, what a story they tell of the people and the era of the fire service!

Today’s talented photographers have the ability for immediate electronic transmission of their remarkable work, setting a new industry standard.  However, it takes more than a great photograph to earn the designation of a defining moment. Over the past 28 years I had some real defining moments as operations have gone well and sometimes, not so well.

Hal Buell has written an article about defining moments in News Photographer magazine, produce by the National Press Photographers Association. Hal States “The ‘defining moment photograph’ is almost always a moment of consequence that takes strength from it own reality but also from images that precede it and contribute to its power. Somehow these defining moments capture not only the subject of the instant but collect the past and peek ever so gingerly into the future”.

I can recall Mike Meadows amazing photographs of the Los Angeles Firefighters dangling from a parapet wall and an aerial ladder in North Hollywood at the tragic Cugees Restaurant Fire, Boris Yaro’s photographs from the Los Angeles Times at major emergency fires, Al Simons, Gene Blevins, Keith Cullom, Nate Rawner and Rick Mc Clure’s photographs in numerous firefighter publications. Let’s face it; the fire service creates some of the most dramatic images in journalism.  We will publish images that tell the story of the great work and the hazards that firefighters face on a daily basis across California.

Many good firefighting publications have had to close their doors over the years due to decreased advertising revenue and increased cost of distribution.  We will always endeavour to bring you, the reader, the most comprehensive and vibrant portrayal of the world of firefighting.  This is why it is vital that you let us know what you think, both with your comments, and with your subscriptions. Unfortunately rising printing and mailing costs has made it impossible to continue with the printed full color journal.

We know that there is something for everyone in the Journal and on our website. Our advertisers are also a big part of our success, so please support them as well. We have asked each advertiser for a promotional code to get you discounts on purchases, so please let them know you are contacting them as a referral from our magazine.

If you wish to submit articles please feel free to do so. Remember that articles must be factual and relevant to the fire service. Please submit a short synopsis of approximately 500 words. If your idea is accepted by our staff we will contact you in a timely manner for a complete version. Please send articles to the Editor at advancedfiretech@gmail.com. With this being said, it is time for me to get back into the field so that we can get you the best content imaginable.

Best wishes and stay safe.

Jeff Zimmerman
Editor, Southern California Fire Journal

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