David White (left) and Tim Sendelbach -

David White (left) and Tim Sendelbach

Farewell is a pretty useless word. Think about all the rock stars who announce "farewell tours" only to set the stage for their triumphant comebacks just a few years later. If they bothered to take a poll before coming back, they might find out that public sentiment was against it.

That above-mentioned word will not be used again. Changes are coming to Industrial Fire World, and I plan to participate in them. However, key to those changes is my decision to step down as publisher after 35 years at the helm.

Bobit Business Media, a leading B2B media provider, is launching a new brand, iFIRE International. The “I” represents its mission to inform, instruct, influence and inspire, which will be achieved through conferences and expositions, hands-on training, mobile apps, websites and digital magazines, newsletters, webinars, and after-action reporting, to name a few.

Industrial Fire World, acquired by Bobit in October, will be the foundation in establishing this new brand.  Growing health concerns are only a part of what influenced my decision to find IFW a new home. Nobody dedicates their life to the fire service without that service taking its toll. But, more importantly, IFW stands on the brink of accomplishing great things. It needs new ideas and resources to remain relevant as the primary information source for industrial fire and emergency response.

Anyone who feels abandoned should relax. Tim Sendelbach, Bobit's vice president and chief of public safety operations, will be leading the iFIRE International brand. He has risen through the ranks of the fire service, from firefighter to fire chief, before pursuing a publishing career. The IFW staff, including longtime editor Anton Riecher, remain at their posts to guarantee a smooth transition to a bright future.

As for IFW’s former owners, wife Lynn and I will be close by to lend advice and support when asked.

Above all, I want IFW's readers to give the changes to come a chance. Just because the graphics may be different and some of the names involved are new does not mean IFW has lost its way. It's all part of the same experiment that Lynn and I have been tinkering with since the mid-1980s, trying to find the right tools to get our message across.

The mission here remains the same. Industrial emergency response is a highly specialized portion of the fire service that deserves its own voice. IFW continues to address those many specialized concerns, giving the highest priority to saving lives and protecting property.

As for myself, I'm not going to be the old soldier who fades away. Rather than Douglas McArthur, I plan to pattern my retirement after that of my good friend Dwight Williams who came back to active duty this year after nearly a decade away. Just come up with a challenge big enough and you can depend on me being there like a shot.

Tim, the helm is yours.

On behalf of the entire team here at Bobit, I want to express my sincere thanks to David and Lynn for their tireless dedication and selfless service to firefighters and first responders around the world. We're honored and excited to carry on the legacy you've created and to continue to work for and serve the current and future readers, contributors, instructors and supporters of IFW Magazine and Industrial Fire World Conference & Exposition.

I was fortunate to have been introduced to David in 1997 at the Texas Fire Educators Conference, and I'm proud to say that his friendship and tutelage for the last 23 years has served to educate and guide me through many career challenges.

Today, I serve as the vice president and chief of public safety operations for Bobit Business Media the parent company and new owner of Industrial Fire World. In April of this past year, I traveled to Houston to meet with David and Lynn to discuss the possibility of taking Industrial Fire World to the next level with his guidance and support.  The publication of this issue of IFW Magazine represents the first step in the formal transition of Industrial Fire World under the guidance and support of Bobit Business Media and the iFIRE International brand.

As we begin this journey together, I'd like to ask for your support in helping us serve you and the Industrial Fire & Emergency Services. If you'd like to contribute to Industrial Fire World as a writer, as an instructor or as a technical advisor, please send us an e-mail and let us know how you'd like to contribute.

Finally, please take a minute to share this issue of IFW Magazine with your friends and colleagues' who may be interested in learning more about Industrial Fire World. Our goal is to help inform, train, influence and inspire those who serve and protect, we can't do it without your assistance and support.