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Long-time Firehouse Magazine Editor Harvey Eisner Dies

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Long-time Firehouse Magazine Editor-in-Chief Harvey Eisner died Thursday night. He was 59.

"An icon, a visionary, a fireman's fireman" are just some of the ways people are remembering Eisner today.

As many, Deputy U.S. Fire Adminitrator Glenn Gaines was stunned to hear of Eisner's untimely passing.

"He did more than write about things," Gaines said. "He encouraged all of us to get involved on both local and national levels to prevent fires..."

Eisner, the former fire chief in Tenafly, N.J., wasn't willing to sit back and wait for the news to come to him. He went after it, and interviewed literally hundreds of firefighters who made the difference.

Gaines said of Eisner: "He was a visionary...He was an inspiration to our profession. The fire service and our nation have suffered a great loss."

NFFF Executive Director Ron Siarnicki said above everything: "I was proud to call Harvey my friend."

Siarnicki said Eisner "had a way of navigating all the facets of the fire service..."

Fond memories include visiting him in the show office at Firehouse World and Firehouse Expo. "He'd be in there every day holding court...Harvey was always sharing experiences and insight. He was a great asset, and truly made a difference..."

Retired Jersey City Deputy Chief Butch Cobb said he had a good conversation with Eisner Thursday morning.

"He was upbeat despite the surgery he was planning to have today (Friday)," Cobb said. "We were talking about the usual stuff, and mostly reminiscing."

Cobb said the two met as volunteers in New Jersey many years ago. "We just hit it off."

Eisner convinced Cobb he needed to share his experiences with other firefighters. "I'd never spoken before a crowd before. I was scared, but he pushed me, he pushed me hard. And, that changed my life."

He added: "A friend, a mentor, a teacher -- all wrapped into one. That was Harvey."

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