A firehouse cookbook was released by a retired Rockford firefighter.

It takes someone very special to be a first responder. The job is not easy. You're putting yourself in harm's way to help someone you've never met before. There's no predicting what they will experience when they show up that day. Anything can happen and it usually does. Plus, they're working long strange hours. I appreciate everything they do for the community.

For example, the firefighters are on for 24 hours straight. That means not only are they on the job during that timeframe but they are also at the firehouse for the downtime too. It including cooking, eating, cleaning, sleeping, preparation, and more. It's like having a second home with another family. Think about how much work one is and then double it. When they aren't fighting fires, the crew is doing their chores. Just like at home. Divided up between the group and rotated.

I've been fortunate enough to meet some great first responders in our community. Many years ago, I got involved with the Guns N Hoses Charity Hockey Game. It's an annual event between the Rockford Police and Fire Departments. That's when I first got to know Mike Riley, aka Riles, who is a Rockford Firefighter. We've gotten to be friends since then.

Like I said earlier, the crew rotates the different duties including the cooking. There's one thing at Mike's station when it comes to cooking during his shift, he's the chef. He's such a good cook, it's a request from all his co-workers. It's a big responsibility. He has to plan the menu, doing the shopping, meal prep, and then cook. You have to remember, these are firefighters. They need hearty meals. There's no frozen dinners for this bunch.

I've been lucky enough to be invited as a special guest for lunch down at Riley's station a couple of times. I will vouch for him. The food was amazing. There's only one problem when the siren goes off, there's no waiting until after dinner to head out. It's go time immediately. The feast just has to wait. That actually happened while I was there.

Since Riles has been doing the cooking at the firehouse for so many years, he always gets requests for his recipes. He vowed to put out a cookbook someday. Well, now he's retired from the fire department. Of course, he had a lot of extra free time besides because of the pandemic. His dream became a reality. The cookbook is done and available for purchase. It's called "Cook and Ladder Company No. 1: A Firehouse Cookbook.

For more info, HERE.

The book is available through Amazon, HERE.

He was on my show this week, if you missed the interview check out the Podcast, HERE.

I suggest picking one up. It would make a great Christmas present.

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