Book Review – "Hot Zone, Memoir Of A Professional Firefighter"

“Hot Zone” is written by Retired Fire Chief Christopher Teale Howes who served for 31 years with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue.

Chief Howes writing style is engaging, if he had never gone into the fire service he could have been a writer. From the introduction to the conclusion the text flows easily as he describes his initiation to the Del-Trail Fire Department in 1976 to his retirement in 2007.

From firefighter to special ops captain to chief the reader is treated to a detailed look into all phases of firefighting. This is the kind of fire service related book every prospective firefighter should read.
For the civilian reader Hot Zone’s delivery simplifies otherwise confusing terminology and tactics making the stories more easily understood.

Chief Howes pays respect to many of  his co-workers through the years and includes a chapter dedicated to the female fire personnel of Palm Beach County Fire. Seven wrote their personal stories and are included in the memoir. This is a nice tribute.

In summary this is a very special work that does not disappoint. From wildland fire response, to ems, to training, labor negotiations, department history, high points and sad losses Chief Howes presents it all without pulling punches.

The contents are well supported with well placed photographs, a detailed index and valuable glossary.

I’ve been fortunate to be asked to review many fire service related books, few were as special as “Hot Zone”! I would recommend Hot Zone, Memoir Of A Professional Firefighter to anyone looking for a story of an honorable career well served.

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Mike Morales

Retired Cal Fire/CDF Fire Captain

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