Brainstormning last night was actually more effective than I had expected it to be. My first idea was fire dogs. I realize after speaking with the fire chief this morning that the only real interest I had in fire dogs was finding out, well, what they were for. Of course there's the rumors that dogs can seek out fires better than humans because of their sense of smell but that doesn't really seem like a modern necessity. Someone actually asked about it in class and his response was that dalmatians are commonly deaf. Now I am even more confused. I don't understand how that comes in handy to firefighters at all. Talking about it did, however, help me to recognize that I'm really not interested in studying fire dogs, especially since the Winter Park Fire Department doesn't even have one.
The other topic that I'm thinking of researching is corruption within the fire department as it developed into an official organization. I read an article recently in the Orlando Weekly about Kevin Beary's retirement from the Orange County Police Department and all the outrageous abuses of power that went with his position as sheriff. Growing from a cooperation of volunteers to a department of federally employed professionals must have been a process with its share of profit seekers and exploiters too. It might be a little broad, but I think I'll look into it.