Chief - Chief’s Experience, Wisdom & Wit

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in command of a battalion of men and women dedicated to saving lives and property, wonder no more. The Firefighters Bookstore’s collection of firefighter history books brings you two collections of stories from fire chiefs who directed, guided and nurtured the careers of the brave men and women who battle blazes.

These compelling firefighter history books and other stories bring you inside the minds of some of firefighting’s leading players as they navigate the tricky worlds of politics, engineering, construction, and education to bring safety issues to the forefront. These are stories filled with laughter, serious issues and dramatic moments. Discerning readers will be able to pick up inspiring lessons on leadership under pressure, as reflected in the stories taken from two of firefighting’s leading trade magazines.

Browse Firefighter History Books

Ronny J. Coleman’s “Chief’s Clipboard” offers 20 years of columns from the dean of firefighting. The book features 100 of Coleman's most influential columns from the “Chief’s Clipboard” that ran in Fire Chief magazine. These columns address a broad range of issues, from leadership, to health and safety, to politics, to dealing with conflict, to succession planning, and more. These are challenges that all fire chiefs face in the course of their daily work. Many of the columns reflect actual events and critical turning points in the careers of firefighters moving up the ranks. Coleman's real-world approach and his ability to summon the future of the fire service and place it in a universally accessible context make this a must-read for any chief officer's reading list.

Retired New York Fire Department captain Tom Brennan, the former editor of “Fire Engineering” magazine, checks in with a memoir built on the most widely-read column in the magazine, "Random Thoughts," now compiled in book format. Brennen wrote about basic tactics and strategy, decision-making, incident management and more, and addressed all issues for all levels of the fire service. Reading his advice provides insight, humor, and a chance for a better understanding of the hard-charging "Tommy Truck."

Contact Firefighters Bookstore

If you are an education professional that is interested in learning more about the Firefighters Bookstore collection, or would like advice on setting up a library for your school, office or trade organization, we are happy to help. Contact our office and we’ll be happy to steer your group or organization toward building a library of the finest books, films and creative works on firefighting and firefighters. From books for toddlers to serious adult novels, Firefighters Bookstore is the world’s greatest collection of firefighter history books and stories on emergency personnel.

If you’d like to place an order, rest assured that Firefighters Bookstore’s top priority is customer service. We welcome questions on our selection and services and offer same day shipping on orders placed before 4:15 p.m. Pacific time. Contact us at 714-375-4888 or email us at

Back to top