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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's No Longer Always Red Lights and Sirens - News

It's No Longer Always Red Lights and Sirens - News:
In St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Anne Arundel County, Maryland, those fire trucks and ambulances blending in with normal traffic just may be headed to an incident.

While flashing lights and screaming sirens are the norm in most jurisdictions, some officials are taking a long, hard look at response methods, as the number of crashes involving emergency vehicles continues to rise.

In 2004, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation listed emergency responses as one of the 16 Life Safety Initiatives that need to be addressed to reduce the number of fire and rescue personnel killed.

But, some areas such as St. Louis and Salt Lake City are ahead of the game. Both have had "reduced response" policies in place for many years. And, Anne Arundel county adopted the procedure a few months ago.

"Every call to 9-1-1 doesn't generate an emergency response," said Capt. Steve Simpson, CHIEF medical officer for the St. Louis Fire Department.

When I first caught sight of this article, I thought they were getting rid of emergency response all together. However, that is not what this article is about at all.

The article states how several fire departments have combated accidents which occurred during emergency response. They have instituted a tiered response. Tiered response basically groups calls into three responses: Hot, warm, and cold. Hot - everything runs lights and sirens, Warm - just the first due runs emergency and the second due runs silent, and Cold - silent response. For example Structure fires = Hot, ALS calls = Hot, Broken arm = warm (possibly), bloody nose = cold. Of course any officer can upgrade or downgrade the response. This is just a guideline. I think it is a good idea, although I do not think we have a problem with accidents during emergency response. This might be an effective program to be proactive to an issue other Departments are facing.

Roanoke Fire-EMS Responds to 4 Fires Over the Weekend

I had previously posted on two of these fires, including pictures from one of them (scroll down to previous posts). Here are the details from Roanoke Fire-EMS on the fires.

Residential structure fire on January 27, 2006 at 813 Day Ave.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 3:42 a.m. The call was upgraded to a second alarm fire. The response of six Engines, two Ladder trucks, three Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit, the Fire Marshal, the Assistant Fire Marshal, two Administrative Chiefs, and two Battalion Chiefs for a total of 39 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was deemed under control at 6:44 a.m.

Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke and fire coming from the structure. When crews gained entry to the residence they were met with heavy heat and fire conditions which forced them to exit the structure and make an exterior attack. The fire extended to the second floor and roof. The fire then spread to adjacent buildings on the left and right side. The exposure at 809 Day Ave. sustained minor interior damage and the exposure at 815 Day Ave. sustained no interior damage, but minor exterior damage.

No one was inside the building when the fire started. There were no injuries to civilians. A firefighter sustained minor injuries after falling through the floor. He was treated at the scene and then returned to firefighting duties shortly after.

The cause and the origin of the fire are still under investigation. At this time the structure has been ruled unsafe to enter, suspending the investigation. When conditions improve, the investigation into the cause of the fire will resume. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $65,000.

Residential structure fire on January 27, 2006 at 1026 Campbell Ave.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 11:40 p.m. The response of three Engines, two Ladder trucks, two Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit and two Battalion Chiefs for a total of 26 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was quickly under control at 12:22 a.m.

Upon arrival, crews found the residence engulfed in fire with heavy smoke showing. Crews aggressively extinguished the blaze and conducted a primary search of the structure to make sure that there weren't any victims trapped inside.

No one was inside the building when the fire started. There were no injuries to civilians or Fire-EMS personnel.

The cause and the origin of the fire are still under investigation. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $25,000.

Residential structure fire on January 29, 2006 at 1502 7th St.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 9:27 p.m. The response of three Engines, one Ladder truck, two Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit and two Battalion Chiefs for a total of 23 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was quickly under control at 10:03 p.m.

Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke and fire coming from the structure. Crews gained entrance to the residence and quickly extinguished the blaze.

No one was inside the building when the fire started. There were no injuries to civilians or Fire-EMS personnel.

The cause and the origin of the fire are still under investigation. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $65,000.

Residential structure fire on January 30, 2006 at 5216 Lancelot Ln.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 7:37 p.m. The response of two Engines, one Ladder truck, one Medic Unit, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit and one Battalion Chief for a total of 16 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was quickly under control at 7:47 p.m.

Upon arrival crews found light smoke coming from the front door of the apartment. After gaining entrance, fire crews found a stove and cabinet on fire. The fire was quickly extinguished with a water extinguisher by Fire-EMS personnel.

There were three people inside of the apartment when the fire started. They all escaped without any injuries. There were no injuries to Fire-EMS personnel.

The fire started on the stove and was contained to the kitchen. The cause of the fire was unattended food on the stove. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $5,000.

Two More Charged in Russian Blaze - News

Two More Charged in Russian Blaze - News:

Prosecutors have charged two more people in connection with an office-building blaze last week that killed nine people in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok.

Watch Video

Metal gates blocking stairwells in the nine-story building trapped workers on the upper floors during last Monday's blaze. Several of the victims jumped or fell to their deaths trying to escape the smoke and flames.

Prosecutor Alexander Anikin said in comments broadcast on NTV that an employee of the state-owned Sberbank had been charged with failing to oversee fire safety at the part of the building that the bank occupied.

An Emergency Situations Ministry inspector was also charged for falsifying an inspection report, he said.

Anikin also said trash and cardboard boxes appeared to have contributed to the spread of the blaze.(Read More)

Warning: Graphic Video.

This video goes to show what Firefighters are up against while battling high rise fires.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

From Local 1568 - The Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation

Welcome To!:
Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation

Please visit for more information on upcoming fund raising events. We ask that you support each and every event by forwarding this to every friend and family member. Our support groups can help with Grace's cure.

From the Foundation:
OughtonsAt nineteen months old, Grace Oughton was diagnosed with a rapidly progressing cancer called Neuroblastoma. Grace'’s rare form of cancer requires her to travel to a specialty center where she is currently undergoing chemotherapy and other aggressive treatments at Children'’s Hospital -– Boston and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Jimmy Fund Clinic.

A group of friends and family members established the Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation to support the family and health care needs of Grace. This foundation is a charity under the umbrella of the National Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization.

Grace is the young daughter of Alec and Crystal Oughton, a loving couple who are dedicated to their community. Alec is a career firefighter and paramedic. Crystal is a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, St Mary'’s Hospital in Richmond. Grace also has a 3 year old brother, Landon.

I was in Richmond earlier this month and privilegeprivlege of hearing about this courageous little girl. She is the daughter of Henrico Firefighter Alec Oughton. Please keep them in your prayers. Check out the site at the link above.

Firefighter Blog

Check out this post over at the Firefighter Blog:

Bravest Remembered (from Daily News)

N.Y Daily News covers anniversary ceremony of Bravest's Firefighter John Bellew and Lt. Curtis Meyran.

"The Last Alarm," a poem written and read by Angela Meyran, 11, daughter of FDNY Lt. Curtis Meyran (right), who was killed in a Bronx fire a year ago yesterday:

"My father was a firefighter
He rode in a big red truck
And when he'd go to work each night
He'd say, "Mom, wish me luck"
And Dad would not come home again till sometimes the next day
A fireman's life is easy
He eats and sleeps and plays
And sometimes he [doesn't] fight fires for days and days and days
When I first heard these comments, I was too young to understand
Because I knew when the people had trouble, Dad was there to lend a hand
And my father went to work one day and he kissed us all goodbye
Little did we know that next morning we'd all cry
My father gave his life that next day when the fire got too hot
And we wondered why he'd risk his life for someone he didn't know
But now I realize the greatest gift a man can give is to lay down his life down upon the line so that someone else might live
So as we go on from day to day and we pray to God above, say a prayer for your brothers. They may save your loved ones."

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fire at 1026 Campbell Ave. SW

Structure fire at 1026 Campbell Ave. SW - Flames coming from house. Cross streets are 10th and 11th. More information in the morning.

Fire at 813 Day Ave.

Thanks to FF Daniel Goodwin for the pictures
The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a residential structure fire on January 27, 2006 at 813 Day Ave.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 3:42 a.m. The call was upgraded to a second alarm fire. The response of six Engines, two Ladder trucks, three Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit, the Fire Marshal, the Assistant Fire Marshal, two Administrative Chiefs, and two Battalion Chiefs for a total of 39 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was deemed under control at 6:44 a.m.

Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke and fire coming from the structure. When crews gained entry to the residence they were met with heavy heat and fire conditions which forced them to exit the structure and make an exterior attack. The fire extended to the second floor and roof. The fire then spread to adjacent buildings on the left and right side. The exposure at 809 Day Ave. sustained minor interior damage and the exposure at 815 Day Ave. sustained no interior damage, but minor exterior damage.

No one was inside the building when the fire started. There were no injuries to civilians. A firefighter sustained minor injuries after falling through the floor. He was treated at the scene and then returned to firefighting duties shortly after.

The cause and the origin of the fire are still under investigation. At this time the structure has been ruled unsafe to enter, suspending the investigation. When conditions improve, the investigation into the cause of the fire will resume. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $65,000.

From what I hear, FF Randy Smith is who fell through the floor, and he was not injured in the fall.

Comments on Blog Lead to Firing of Pennsylvania Paramedic — Emergency Medical Services (

Comments on Blog Lead to Firing of Pennsylvania Paramedic — Emergency Medical Services (
Plymouth Community Ambulance, already under investigation for questionable spending, is dealing with another problem - an employee whose Web log got her fired.

John Durante, acting president of the ambulance's board of directors, said yesterday that the employee was fired Jan. 13 for misuse of a computer and "inappropriate comments" about emergency victims on her blog.

Durante declined to identify the former employee other than to say she was a female paramedic. Durante said he had not seen the photos and text on the woman's blog.

"It's a personnel matter and I can't say anything else," Durante said.

The site, which is no longer available over the Internet, reportedly contained photos and captions of people who needed Plymouth Ambulance's services. One image showed Mexicans jumping from a building fire with the words "Mexican jumping beans" as the caption, according to the Times Herald of Norristown.
Just another horror story of someone totally out of there realm. It seems as though this medic has violated moral barriers, ethical barriers, and patient confidentiality.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Weekly Call Statistics

Well here it is Friday, so it is time again for my weekly call statistics. Yeah, I know I missed last week, but you didn't miss anything. I have different news this week. I ran a call. It hardly counts though. I had to hop on the engine to ride down to training and we were toned out for a possible car fire on I-581. Chief 2 drove up on it and disregarded us. I did learn one thing, my leather bunker boots tightened up on me. It was really a site, me trying to put my gear on. They are going to start calling me the tinman soon, if I sit still too long I will rust. So technically the call does not call as far as ARFF calls go. I am however supposed to be on a rotation on the engine, which is another story, so I will keep both stats. Maybe I can come up with an image for my stats.

ARFF - 0
Engine - 1

Online Picture Database - Flickr

I received an email from Jerry Fuhrman over at From on High, he sent some pictures of a customized truck. The truck appears to be a tribute to September 11th among other things. I have attached a picture. If anyone knows anything else about the truck please let me know. I would like to incorporate that information here.

I have added the rest of the pictures of the truck to the Roanoke Firefighters Flickr. Flickr is an online host for pictures. Check out what else is on there. If you have other pictures to add, send them in and I will post them for all to see.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Raleigh Addresses Minority Firefighter Recruitment - News

Raleigh Addresses Minority Firefighter Recruitment - News:
Raleigh city leaders want to establish a partnership with Shaw University as part of a plan to recruit more minorities to serve with the city's firefighters.

A special City Council task force is looking to actively change the makeup of the Raleigh Fire Department, of which only 16 percent of the force is made up of minorities and women.

"We know we have a problem, so I say 'No more business as usual,'" Raleigh City Councilman James West said Tuesday.

Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen said that although progress has been made over the past four training academies -- minority and female hires stand at nearly 27 percent -- more needs to be done.

In addition to partnering with Shaw University to recruit candidates, city leaders will look to minority firefighters to take a more active role with recruiting at the high school level. Read More HERE.

First of all, I understand why Departments need to actively recruit minorities. That being said, I am all for recruitment. Here in Roanoke, it seems there is more of a need now for Paramedics than minorities. I know that this is a touchy subject. The way I see it, I could care less what race, gender, creed, or sexuality the person next to me is, as long as they are trained and competent. The truth is that Fire Departments should be searching for the right candidates period. FD's should be seeking the individuals who are willing, able, courageous, brave, motivated, dedicated, and selfless, among other things. The FD's should be recruiting young, in high school, and continuing in college for the right individuals. The potential candidates need to be taught what will be expected of them, and to what standards they will be held. For example, potential candidates need to know that a DUI conviction will eliminate them from hiring. In the past FD's might have looked over it after a couple of years. The candidates need to know what will be expected of them so they can prepare for their future and seek the training they might need to get the job i.e. ALS certification. Realize that if your FD is not actively recruiting these candidate another FD is. Most FD's want the percentages of the various ethnicities in the department to equal that of the general populous. Wouldn't it make sense that if you actively recruit high school students and collegians in your city/area you will end up with as diverse a workforce as the area population. I am not a recruitment guru, that is just the way I see it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Roanoke Firefighters Blog Returns to its Roots

Roanoke Fire Department Roster 1907-2006

That is right, today the blog returns to its roots. I promised you a roster in the beginning. Over 300 posts ago, the plan was to give you a roster of every firefighter ever in the Roanoke Fire Department. I have finally gotten it to the point of publish. Realize that this is an ongoing process. There will be information to add, correct, and delete. The roster, which is part of The Maurice Wiseman Project, incorporates almost 1300 firefighters since the Department went paid in 1907. Local 1132 would appreciate any and all information be sent to Please check out the roster and look for your name if you are one of Roanoke's Bravest, past or present. Be sure to check for relatives to. Travis Collins and myself have been working on this roster for a long time, we are up front in admitting to possible errors. Please be patient with us as we work to correct any mistakes. Also look for the roster of the Volunteers in the future.

Check out the Roster here

Showcasing 300 Hundred Years of Treasures: The Virginia Room, Past, Present and Future

"Roanoke, VA - On Thursday, Feb. 9, Roanoke Public Libraries will present "Showcasing 300 Hundred Years of Treasures: The Virginia Room, Past, Present and Future" from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Main Library, 706 S. Jefferson St.

The Virginia Room will open wide its doors, inviting you to see maps, documents, newspapers, books, and photographs recording three centuries of Roanoke Valley and Virginia history. Learn what the Virginia Room is doing to preserve the original materials in its collections and to provide access to these materials, including plans to digitize fragile and frequently used books and photographs.

Enjoy an in-depth tour of the research area and the secure, temperature-controlled Special Collections room. Take advantage of this opportunity to see rare items from Special Collections, including a 1682 indenture from England, a 1754 land patent signed by the colonial governor, Lord Botetourt, and the Roanoke Beacon newspaper of 1823. Other items on display will be an 1886 map of Virginia "Mineral Resources and Railway Facilities," George Davis photographs and glass plate negatives, and Sanborn Insurance maps from the early 1900's.

Several thousand Virginians and researchers from 33 states and countries came to the Virginia Room last year to look at its 40,000-plus items, including books, photographs, maps, family history, and clip files. Don't miss this opportunity to find out why. "

If you guys want to feast your eyes on some history, come to this event. This is the world of research that I live in on occasion. I only get to the Virginia room to play about twice a month though. You would not believe the history that abounds in that room.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Frequency update - New Page on Local

Botetourt County Fire/EMS frequencies:

Fire 1 453.900 (Wide Band) Main Dispatch chan.
Fire 3 453.6375 (Narrow Band)
Fire 5 453.8625 (Narrow Band)

Check out the new page added to the Local 1132 website. If you have anything else to add or correct please let the webmaster know. You can view the site HERE.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Roanoke Cursed

Roanoke Cursed:
1889: A curse is borne

It's now called the Mayor's monument, located at the corner of Jefferson and Elm, just inside Elmwood Park.

Not sure what it is? Here: mayors monument Looks imposing. Important.

The carving on the granite is nearly faded. Parts of it are illegible, other need to be touched and traced to be clearly made out. It dates back to 1893, and the inscription upon the side reads "an Industrial Monument to Mark the Progress of the City of

Check out this and other history at Roanoke Found. Also check out Just another Day in Roanoke, a blog, that Keith keeps up on Roanoke's history.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Breaking news from The Roanoke Times -
Breaking News
Fire kills 85-year-old woman in Roanoke

Breaking news from The Roanoke Times -Breaking NewsFire kills 85-year-old woman in Roanoke:
Breaking News
Fire kills 85-year-old woman in Roanoke
Updated: 11:12 AM
Northwest home sustains an estimated $80,000 in damage.

By Shawna Morrison

One person was killed in a house fire in Roanoke early Saturday morning.

Roanoke Fire-EMS got a call about a blaze at 4526 Eden Drive N.W. at 2:26 a.m., said spokeswoman Tiffany Bradbury. Crews arrived to find the rear of the home, located off Hershberger Road just east of Valley View Mall, engulfed in flames.

It took about half an hour for crews to gain control of the blaze. They contained the fire to the home’s rear addition.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Bradbury identified the victim of the fire as Delores Zimmerman, 85.

The fire caused an estimated $80,000 in damage to the home, Bradbury said.

This is a report I got from a Firefighter on scene:

Intial responders found a 1 1/2 story residence with heavy fire showing. A man was on the porch with a shotgun, he had been trying to 'blow the locks off to rescue the elderly resident" they escorted him off the porch to his house ... shell casings were still on the porch - the elderly lady was found deceased as well as her cat --- the fire started in the rear of the house it was dispatched at around 225am --- E10 cleared from the scene at 1030AM and E13 L2 INV 1 PD 282 and off duty lead investigators still on scene at this time - i know that 2 medics, 3 engines, 1 ladder, RS1, BC2 were on scene ( i know E10, L2, E2 E13 M10 were on scene, but i don't know who else)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chicago Firefighter Descends From A Ball Of Fire - News

Chicago Firefighter Descends From A Ball Of Fire - News:
Chicago Firefighter Descends From A Ball Of Fire
Three of Chicago's bravest were harmed in the two-alarmer

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries battling a fierce morning blaze at a North Side office building Friday. Watch one firefighter's dramatic descent from a ball of fire unfold in these photographs.

� Video: Injured Bravest Descends Ladder
� Slideshow: More Images

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780) -- Chicago firefighters were battling a two alarm fire at Cicero and Peterson on the Northwest Side Friday morning. The fire was burning in a strip of businesses. One firefighter suffered some minor burns.

WBBM Newsradio 780's Kris Habermehl reported from his vantage point over the scene in WBBM's traffic helicopter that Cicero and Peterson were both closed near the fire scene at 6013 N. Cicero. A thick column of smoke also was visible from the Edens Expressway, affecting both inbound and outbound traffic there.
This is one hell of a video. Click the link at the top for the full story on I attempted to post to this earlier, but I couldn't find a decent lead on the story. I just got an email from an IAFF brother down south a bit:

"I am a firefighter with the city of Greensboro, N.C. Fire Department (22 stations, ISO Class 1) and a member of IAFF Local 947. I work in Carolina but I live just outside Danville, Va. In Pittsylvania County.

There is a neat story today on about a fire incident in Chicago where a truckie gets burned making an escape down his companies stick. Thank goodness he made it. I figured you might want to post it. They have a hyper link to the video.

I think a lot of your blog. It is great you show Roanoke Fire’s history. It would be neat if you could put on some history of the Roanoke Life Saving Crew. As a volunteer for several years I am a history buff of the early volunteer rescue squad stuff. Julian Wise is kind of like a hero to me for all his efforts.

Keep up the good work."

I always appreciate the emails and comments. Keep them coming in. I will certainly add a little about the Roanoke Life Saving Crew in the future. I aim to please. - Virginia Fire/Police Frequencies

Here are the frequencies finally. I told you I would get them, and even got a request recently. I was let down to know that these had been submitted by a Roanoke City Firefighter, who apparently has been holding out on me with these frequencies. I have to say that he has definitly come through with the pictures though. He is credited at the bottom. Check out the link to the site for the rest of Virginia. Now I just have to find that scanner of mine. And yes, I am still interested in and working on Live Dispatch hosted online. I will work on hosting these frequenies on the Local 1132 site.

UPDATE: These frequencies have been updated and can be viewed here:

City of Roanoke/Roanoke County (Motorola Type II)

City Frequencies:

856.4375 857.4375 857.7375 858.4375 859.2125

859.2625 859.4625 860.2125 860.2625 860.4625

856.4375 857.4375 857.7375 858.4375 859.2125

859.2625 859.4625 860.2125 860.2625 860.4625

County frequencies:

852.4375 853.4375 856.4625 856.9625 857.4625

857.7625 857.9625 858.4625 858.9625 859.4375

859.9625 860.4375 860.9625

FIRE-EMS Operations:

512 TAC 1 Roanoke FD dispatch

37424 TAC 2 Response (single-company incidents)

37456 TAC 3 Response (mutiple-company incidents)

37488 TAC 4 Fireground

37520 TAC 5 Fireground

37552 TAC 6 Fireground

37584 TAC 7 Fireground

13312 TAC 8 Mutual aid

13824 TAC 9 Mutual aid

1024 TAC 10 Citywide

37840 TAC 11 Citywide

30261 TAC 12 Citywide

37648 TAC 13 Supervisors

37712 TAC 14 Roanoke EMS

n/a TAC 15 Conventional/failsoft

? TAC 16 Command staff

65104 AIRPORT 1

65072 AIRPORT 2

65040 AIRPORT 3


8704 TAC 1 County fire

9216 TAC 2 County fire

9728 TAC 3 County fire

10240 TAC 4 County fire

10752 TAC 5 County fire

11264 TAC 6 County fire

11776 TAC 7 County fire

13312 TAC 8 County fire

13824 TAC 9 County fire

12288 TAC 10 County fire (ALL COUNTY)

12800 TAC 11 County fire (CO PVT)

14336 TAC 12 County fire (CO ES)

14848 TAC 13 County fire (CO SR)

Law Enforcement Operations:

16896 TAC 1 Roanoke PD

17408 TAC 2 Roanoke PD

21504 TAC 6 Roanoke PD

22019 TAC 9 Roanoke PD

26624 Vinton Police

27062 Vinton Police

27066 Vinton Police

27067 Vinton Police

18944 Police

27065 Police

27013 Police

Thanks to Kent H. McIlhany II for the Roanoke information.

Working fire 1336 Thomason Rd. SE

Fire at 1336 Thomason Rd. SE. Cross street is Garden City Blvd. The fire was toned out at 1409 hours. It has been confirmed that 3 victims were burned in the fire. Their condition is not known exactly.

On scene E11, E8, L1, E6, M6, M1, RS-1, BC1, Chief 1, Chief 3, Investigator 1, Fire Marshal 1, Fire Marshal 2.

I will report more when it comes in.


Apparently the victims were replacing a gas furnace in the crawl space when they were burned.
All three victims were transported to the Hospital.

This from the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department:

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a residential structure fire on January 20, 2006 at 1336 Thomason Rd.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 2:16 p.m. and was quickly under control at 2:36 p.m. The response of three Engines, one Ladder truck, three Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit, the Fire Marshal, the Assistant Fire Marshal, two Administrative Chiefs, one Educational/Information Specialist and one Battalion Chief for a total of 30 personnel responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke and fire showing. Crews quickly made an interior attack to extinguish the blaze and did an extensive search of the home for any victims After a thorough search of the entire structure, crews were unable to locate any victims inside of the home.

Three people were inside the residence when the fire broke out. All had exited the home before fire crews arrived. Two of the victims were transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to be treated for burns. One victim sustained minor injuries. There were no injuries to Fire-EMS personnel.

The residence sustained heavy smoke, fire and heat damage and has been deemed uninhabitable at this time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $40,000.

ADDED 1-28-06:
"A little more on the thomason fire,only 2 were transported. The second victim died last night according to this mornings paper. The investigators worked the scene afterward, the insurance companies investigated yesterday. Engine 11 were first in - victims were standing accross the street in a crowd of about 15 people when Engine 11 arrived. They were in the basement/crawl space area working on the propane furnace when the explosion occured.The victims crawled out with severe burns. FF Dinwiddie and Lt. Hylton put a fast stop on the fire but the damage was done before we arrived." - From a FF on scene

Working fire 1459 Varnell Ave.

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a residential structure fire on January 20, 2006 at 1459 Varnell Ave.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 11:59 p.m. and was quickly under control at 12:20 a.m. The response of three Engines, one Ladder truck, two Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Investigative Unit and one Battalion Chief for a total of 24 personnel responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, crews found a one story residence with heavy smoke and fire visible. Crews quickly made an interior attack to extinguish the blaze and search for victims that may be trapped inside. After a thorough search of the entire structure, crews were unable to locate any victims inside of the home. There were no injuries to civilians or to Fire-EMS personnel.

The fire began in the living room of the home in the fireplace area and extended into the attic. The residence sustained heavy smoke and heat damage and has been deemed uninhabitable at this time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Preliminary damage estimates are approximately $80,000.

Back in the Drivers Seat

I know, you are wondering why the posts have slacked off. The reason is that I was out of town. I had my computer with me, but I did not get around to posting much at all. I was in Richmond, which most of you may know is my adopted hometown. I spent the biggest chunk of my life there, including my high school years.

The VPFF has a Union hall in Richmond at 8th and Main. Several Roanoke Firefighters went down to help with the interior demolition of the building. Since then it has been rebuilt, and I might add that it is a very nice building. The building is 3 floors and has a large meeting room, offices, and even living quarters. During this time of the year the VPFF has a Legislative Director, currently Art Lipscomb from Lynchburg Local 1146, who lives in Richmond while the General Assembly is in session.

The Legislative end of the RFFA was an eye opener. I can assure all of you who think we are going on some field trip and a booze cruise that we work late hours and it is not a joyride. I encourage all of you to get involved. We had two more spots available for members which did not get filled.

There is some very positive Legislation that I posted on earlier. I suggest everyone to take a look and see. I was also able to speak with many members from several different departments. They provided insight to what they are doing about some of the issues which effect us. The "Medic" issue was brought up a lot. I heard things that other departments are doing, like:

Retention Pay - up to 3% a year as a benefit of staying.
Step pay increases - This is not uncommon, our department did it up til about 10 years ago. Basically a defined increase in pay each year you are here in conjunction with the cost of living raise.
Medic stipend - a yearly stipend for retaining your medic certification (we already have this)
Medic pay - A $1.50- $3.00 an hour increase in pay while you are on a transport unit.

I understand that our system might be different than others, and that the cost of living is less. I also take into account that some of these departments might be Counties.

As far as an answer, I am not paid for that. Of course I have some ideas. If I were a Medic, I would be downtown offering suggestions. If I were a Medic, I would want to be part of the solution. If I were under contractual obligation to become an EMT-Intermediate, I would be downtown next to the Medics to make sure that my needs are met, and my suggestions are heard. If I were a member of this Department, I would be at the next Union meeting asking questions, and offering to assist. I would make sure that MY VOICE IS HEARD.

If you are not going to take the time to help, to become part of the solution, then you need to live with the outcome. How many of you, Medics and Firefighters, still have a bad taste in your mouth because of how the merge was dealt with.

Remember, the Chief has an open door policy. How do you expect him to know what is going on if you don't tell him.

Local 1132 News Wire

Local 1132 News Wire:
2006 Firefighter Legislation
The information on 2006 Fire related Legislation can be found here. Please take a moment to look over the legislation located on our site as well as the links for even more legislation on the VPFF site. If you have any questions, please contact your shift Vice President.

Rodney Jordan, Rhett Fleitz, Jon Willdigg, and Steven McFaden attended the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters Legislative Conference this past weekend. Several Bills were discussed among the VPFF and later lobbied at Capitol Hill. The event was a success, and most of the Delegates we spoke with were very supportive of our efforts.

News from Local 1132. Be sure to subscribe to the Local 1132 News Wire for up to date information posted to your email.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Remembrance Flag

~The 9/11 Remembrance Flag was designed to honor and remember the thousands of heroes lost on September 11, 2001, who knowingly or not, gave up their lives for our freedom. When such a historical event as this takes place, it is our duty as American citizens to ensure that our future generations keep these memories alive; not dwelling on the sadness and devastation that occurred, but learning from the circumstances and making every effort to prevent similar tragedies in our future.

~ The 9/11 Remembrance Flag is our way of keeping the events and lost lives on that tragic day alive forever. Wherever you display this flag, people will be reminded of the September 11th incident and all others relating to it. But the greatest reminder will not be what the terrorists took from us that day, rather how we all united together, physically, emotionally, monetarily, and willingly... risking our lives, if necessary, for the freedom of our children and our children's children. More Here

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

scooby_doo_sjm: Crazy Firefighting Laws Still In Effect

scooby_doo_sjm: Crazy Firefighting Laws Still In Effect:
Crazy Firefighting Laws Still In Effect
In Alabama, You cannot chain your alligator to a fire hydrant.

In New Britain Conneticut, It is illegal for firetrucks to exceed 25 MPH, even when going to a fire.

In Chicago Illinois, It is illegal to eat in a place that is on fire.

In Marshalltown Iowa, Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants

In Fort Madison Iowa, The fire department is required to practice firefighting for 15 minutes before attending a fire.

In Louisianna, You may not tie an alligator to a fire hydrant.

Check out the link above for the rest of the post. The law from Utah is hilarious.

Rhode Island: Should Firefighter Have Jumped into Emergency? - News

Rhode Island: Should Firefighter Have Jumped into Emergency? - News:
CRANSTON -- When is a firefighter not a firefighter?

Steven Burgess thought he was a firefighter the night The Station nightclub burned to the ground. He went as a concertgoer, out on a date.

But as the fire consumed the club, the Cranston firefighter joined West Warwick's Fire Department, fire hose in hand, as they fought the blaze -- standing close enough that the heat burned his clothes and singed his eyebrows off.

The City of Cranston saw it differently. While he acted heroically and deserved praise, the city said, Burgess was no firefighter that night; he was a private citizen doing what he could to help.

Cranston denied his request for injured-on-duty status when he sought treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder stemming from the events of that night, Feb. 20, 2003.

I think that there is a compelling argument on both sides of this debate. I feel that if he had done nothing, he might have been reprimanded as well. This puts into perspective of how the localities view your assistance in the case of emergencies like this.

Would you have reacted the same way?
Do you feel that he should be covered?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

2006 VPFF Legislative Convention

I apologize to my readers, I have been in Richmond for the 2006 VPFF Legislative Convention. This has been an eye opener for me. I have been to meetings, conventions, and committees for the charitable events that the RFFA is involved in. I had not been exposed to the Legislation side of the Local. I have met a lot of IAFF Brothers and Sisters from across the State. I have learned a lot of Legislation, and the process of Bills from inception to reaching the House or Senate. I have learned what other Brother/Sister Firefighters have done in writing, encouraging, and lobbying for our rights, for our benefits, and for our future. It really is interesting to see what a bunch of firefighters can get together and accomplish. I have learned of problems that other departments have. I have learned how our Department/Local has similar problems. I have learned how other Departments have remedied situations that plague our Department. I have witnessed people telling us how good we have it, and others who tell us they are sorry it is so bad. Maybe on some issues we come out on top, maybe some we are in the mix, but I will tell you that we are on the bottom of the stack on some of the most important issues. I will be adding a lot to the RFFA website in the following week, and educating you all on the Legislative initiatives written in the Bills. We will see if we can learn something together. Let me know if you have any questions I will be back in town tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

RFFA Banquet Slideshow DVD 4 Sale

Get your very own DVD from the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association Annual Awards Banquet. The Slideshow contains approximately 500 photographs from the past 100+ years. Let me know if you would like a copy. I also have shirts from the Golf Tournament available - also $10 each. All proceeds from the DVD benefit The Maurice Wiseman Project. All proceeds from the t-shirts benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

2005 Annual Awards Banquet

The 2005 Annual Awards Banquet was held last night at the Clarion Hotel in Roanoke. The event was a success and deviated from the past Banquets in the fact that we did not have a keynote speaker. Instead, President Jordan spoke of the state of the RFFA, where we were heading, and what we need to do to be more successful. I also had a small presentation to inform and educate the attendants of and The Maurice Wiseman Project. I would have liked to have had more time to do a more polished presentation, but the truth is that I was not sure I was going to make it to the Banquet until Wednesday, and did not much more warning of the presentation. The new officers were sworn in, including me as the new Secretary/Treasurer - The others were the same as last year. We were sworn in by RFFA President Emeritus Duane Dixon. Duane retired in 1988 with 25 years of service. He is also the VPFF Secretary/Treasurer Emeritus. More awards were given out this year than in the past as well. This is thanks to Captain Teddy Adkins for developing a process of awarding other awards than just Firefighter(s) of the Year. Individual accommodations as well as Company citations were handed out. President Jordan spoke of the realization that there were certainly more events which were award worthy, but it cannot be considered unless a letter is written. Remember that this year and into the future when you witness an act of Bravery, Courage, or Selfless Brotherhood which is out of the norm.

FF Jeremy Bennington and FF Chuck Sharp receive the Firefighter of the Year award.

If you are a Roanoke City Firefighter and did not attend this years Banquet, I suggest you attend next year. If you have any suggestions for the next Banquet contact one of the committee members.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Northern Plains Fire: Firewhirl Weblog

Northern Plains Fire: Firewhirl Weblog:
More Info on Test-Taking Firefighter Mom

Here is a bunch more info regarding the firefighter that delivered her baby and then took a promotion exam (from the Houston Chronicle via

You want to see heart, you want to see dedication, you want to see someone who doesn't have time to bother with the system or question its process. You want to see a Woman Firefighter who isn't going to take a chance, READ THIS ARTICLE, Here is another article.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Roanoke City Fire Study

Roanoke City is having System Planning Corporation come to town to do a study. Included in the study, from what I understand, will be Station Location, Manpower, and Pay. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

To answer your question, the answer is no. I am not so naive to think that the study is going to come back with what I, or even most of you, want to hear. The study probably will not call for minimum staffing of 4 on the engines and 5 on the ladder trucks. The study will probably call for the close of Fire Station #1 and the combination of #5 and #9, and the dismissal of one of the Engine Companies. Maybe it will come back saying we need 2 more medic trucks. Who knows. It will certainly be interesting to find out.

It probably will not, to my dismay, call for me to be put to use. So I will remain on the ARFF crew. Because of this, and the jealousy that I have witnessed, I have decided to put a stat counter right here on this blog. The stat counter is not to measure who reads the blog or how many of you. Rather the stat counter will be a post once a week of my run tally. This being my second tour on ARFF this year, I will only include the second tour, which started...yawn...a couple months ago. Anyways, I will probably not be as strict as every Monday or every Friday like Firewhirl, who has certain posts each day of the week. I will be adding up all the runs of the week, once a week and letting you know of my progress in becoming an experienced, trained, and mildly weathered ARFF Firefighter.

To date since the beginning of my second tour: I have not run a single Call. Not one. Zero, Zilch, flip me over I have a bedsore like Bennington (who can sleep for 14 hours straight -ask me about it). It has gotten to the point that I make sure there is money on my paycheck to see that I am getting paid for it.

Don't hate, don't be jealous. I was chosen for the position.

Firewhirl : Chock Block Projectile

Northern Plains Fire: Firewhirl Weblog:
Chock Block Projectile

This week's Near Miss report features a non-emergency event involving chock blocks:

We broke for lunch and the firefighter resumed his under carriage maintenance. At this time, the engineer decided to back up the engine from the front apron. The fireman under the center engine experienced a loud bang at his head area and the creeper almost came out from under him leaving him half on and half off. Evidently, the engineer failed to remove the chock block from the rear duals. The front tire of the engine went up on the chock block pinching it sideways at an angle, shooting it across the engine room floor.

Read the rest of the report to find out what happened.

Using chock blocks is a must in the fire service. However, with the use of chock blocks, we must develop the habit to always place chock blocks, and always remove them when moving the apparatus.

What are your department SOGs regarding chock blocks? Are your SOPs always followed? Whose responsibility is it to place and remove the chock blocks?

Firewhirl has a Near Miss post each week. You should check them out. The catagories are on the right hand side of the blog. The blog has a lot of other interesting regular posts as well.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

3 team up to run for Roanoke council

3 team up to run for Roanoke council

The ticket will campaign on its differences with the philosophy of some current leaders.

For the first time in 30 years, an organized slate of independent candidates will run together for the Roanoke City Council.

Councilman Alfred Dowe, Mill Mountain School founder Gwen Mason and city school board membe
r David Trinkle will announce their team campaign at 2:30 p.m. today at the city's Main Library on Jefferson Street.

Dowe, Mason and Trinkle could have been Democratic candidates if the political climate would have been different. But not this year.

As the city's stadium debate rages on, it has divided the public and the current council. So topsy-turvy is the city's political scene that Dowe, an elected Democrat, has decided to step away from the official Democratic nomination process and run as an independent.

This year will be another interesting City Council Election. I have heard rumors of many who will run. I know of several who will run. I wonder what the most important issue will be? Victory Stadium maybe?

IAFF: Syndicated News

IAFF: Syndicated News:

Marathon, Florida Local Leader Unfairly Suspended

January 10, 2006 - The City of Marathon, Florida has ordered the suspension of Lieutenant Robert Abad, secretary-treasurer of Marathon, FL Local 4396, for an article he wrote in the Marathon/Big Pine Free Press regarding fire department safety and staffing issues.

According to Walter J. Dix, 12th District Field Service Representative for the IAFF, no reason for the suspension was given in the letter to Abad but he was told it was because of what he wrote. The city has opposed the unionization of its fire fighters who are awaiting certification from the Florida Public Employment Relations Commission. Meanwhile, the IAFF is fighting the city’s decision to suspend Abad.

The Marathon Fire Department has a total of 16 employees, including 12 fire fighters/paramedics. Paid fire fighters are supplemented with volunteer fire fighters on certain calls.

Abad’s suspension comes just weeks after Plantation, FL Local 4430 President Jeffery Poole was wrongfully terminated from his job for forming a labor union and filing a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuit against that city. The IAFF is providing legal representation for Poole.
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Fire Videos

Check out this Fire Prevention Video. It appears that this is an attempt by High School Students to make a video aimed at fire prevention.

View the video HERE.

If anyone has any information on the stars of this.

Check out some of these other videos: HERE, HERE - from Vietnam, HERE. Or you can just search for your own over a Google Video.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


The Roanoke Fire-EMS is not perfect, it probably will never be. That is okay with me. I accept that for us perfection is an unobtainable goal. GASP. SIGH. If indeed you know of a perfect Fire/EMS Department please let me know. I will pack my bags at once... I did not think so.

The Department which I call home, is experiencing issues that are not uncommon in the Fire/EMS World. Occasionally my Brothers and Sisters need a reminder of that. We get complacent, we get comfortable thinking that we are the only ones around experiencing problems.

We are not. I assure you of that. I hope we can all agree on that fact. If not, I can give you references, however at this time I will not air out other departments dirty laundry for all to see.

One of the biggest issues effecting the department right now is the need for ALS Providers.
Brief explanation: ALS stands for Advanced Life Support, both Paramedics (EMT-P) and Intermediates (EMT-I) are recognized as being ALS certifications. The Cardiac Tech (EMT-C) is ALS, however it is being phased out and the Cardiacs are having to become Intermediates. The Paramedic and Intermediate certifications are National Registry certifications and are recognized across the Nation. For simplicity, I will refer to ALS provider as a Medic.
Fire Departments across the Nation are having problems procuring enough Medics to run the calls. Interestingly enough the growing trend is for Medics to go to work at Departments who pay more. Sound familiar, kind of like Major League Baseball. Although Municipalities have a definitive Salary Cap, and not too often is there a big differential in pay from one Medic to the other.
Just think for a minute what it would be like if Medics were drafted, oh wait, we cannot have contracts in Virginia. Or can we. It seems to me that the IAFF Locals are unable to bargain with Localities. On the other hand, the Localities are able to place "contracts" on its employees individually. Interesting.
Do not get the impression that all of our Medics are jumping ship. They are not. However, if there was a better gig close to home, they probably would migrate to the better deal. Here in Roanoke the options for a Medic are as follows:

Fire/EMS Departments - (Full Time) Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, Vinton, Franklin County, Botetourt County - All of these Medics are trained Firefighters as well.
Fire/EMS Departments - (Part Time) Roanoke City, Salem, Franklin County, Botetourt County
Private Transport Companies - Carilion, United, LifeLine

I apologize if I left anyone out, but this is not a job fair.

If you were to look at the rosters of the various departments/companies above you will see the same names once, twice, even three times. This is not a big shock, since there are not too many Firefighters who do not have second or even third jobs. These Medics work second jobs in an industry they know.
If there are not enough Medics, why not just make all the new Firefighters be Medics?
Well actually the City, County and Salem already do this. Salem only hires a couple a year, therefore it is not too hard for them to get their hands on Medics. The City and County have both made the new recruits sign contracts stating that they will get their EMT-I within three years. Now that many recruits are nearing or already passed the three year period, we will find out if indeed this process has worked or not.

Why aren't the Firefighters who don't have to become EMT-I getting it as well?

Simple, it isn't worth it Medics ride 2-3 days a cycle on the ambulance. FYI, our cycles are only 3 days long. We have a company that has only one Medic for the ambulance. He has to ride it every day. Why would a Firefighter give up riding on the Engine or Ladder truck to ride the ambulance all the time, and only for $1,796 more a year. If indeed you have your EMT-Paramedic you are looking at $3,796 more a year.

Where have all the Medics gone?

Nowhere really. Most of them are still here, they just work in other capacities. Most have been promoted. Of the original Merger Medics, from the Fire - EMS merge in 1995, there are only 3 or 4 who are still Medics. Most of them are Captains now. The Medics who hold rank, and therefore a different job description, might have to ride every once in a while to keep up their rank. These Medic/Officers are not counted as the actual Medics who ride the ambulance though. There have been Medics who have quit though. We just lost 3 recently. Two went to work for Franklin County, and one went to work for Ablemarle County.

Interestingly enough, I have heard rumors of making the Engines ALS. Ha, dreamers. I don't mean to be rude, but if there aren't enough Medics for 6 ambulances, where are you going to find enough for 12 Engines. But I think this is all rumor. I might have inadvertently started it myself. At the last round of Cluster meetings (the one at 10- C- Shift) I asked about ALS Engines. The Chief stated that this is not a possibility.

There will be a study done the middle of January. The study will be conducted by System Planning Corporation. The study will look at pay, response, staffing, stations, etc. It will be interesting to see how it ends up.

Maybe the study will site a need for more ambulances.
What is the answer?
We all have a solution. More money? Definitely! If I were a Medic, I would be getting together with all the other Medics and discussing it to come up with a formidable solution that the majority agrees on. Then I would get the group together to deliver the plan to the Chief. I am not talking a mutiny or anything drastic like that. I am talking a decent plan, with a well written explanation of your reasonable ideas.

Just my two cents worth.

Update: Check out this Article from

Here is a preview:

Reluctant Bedfellows

There's no question that the fire service is good at what it does. We all know about the success of fire prevention and the decreasing need for fire suppression. But among many in EMS - not only those working for third services, privates and volunteers, but even among some in fire-based systems - there remains unease with the notion of assimilation. The medical mission and the fire mission are just too different, many say. In a survey conducted by this magazine last summer, just 5% of respondents thought the U.S. Fire Administration a desirable home for any new federal EMS entity.

Why such discomfort? You can probably cite several factors. Powers - who reported agreement with his separatist stance from most of his correspondents - touched on some:

  • The M is for medical. EMS is essentially a healthcare undertaking, not public safety.
  • EMS can be subsumed in fire-based services. In some cases, it's been given short shrift.
  • Cross-trained providers can't be expected to truly master such distinctly different and difficult trades as firefighting and EMS. Each is tough enough to require full-time attention to be good at.

There are other factors as well. There are differences in the types of personalities drawn to firefighting and EMS work. These providers must approach their jobs differently: Firefighters are structured, disciplined and must function as reliable links in a chain. EMSers need to be devil's advocates, outside-the-box thinkers and largely self-directing. It can be hard to reconcile such profound inherent differences, not only in single cross-trained providers, but even within combined departments.

On a macro-level, there's the larger issue of EMS identity. Just who and what is EMS? With the fire service's interest in assuming EMS and established advantages in such areas as funding, manpower and infrastructure, will there ultimately be room left for third services? For privates? For any non-fire models?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Roanoke City Engine #3

The new Roanoke City Fire Engine #3

Pictures courtesy of Chief Hoback
New engine 3 will be in Roanoke, Wednesday, January 11, 2006. Roanoke Fire-EMS should take delivery sometime next week. Time line for getting this truck in-service is approximately 30 days. Current engine 3 will move to station 13 as engine 13.

FASNY Fire Museum of Firefighting New York

FASNY Fire Museum of Firefighting New York

Check this museum out.

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Welcome to the 13th Annual International Fire Fighting Robot Contest

Welcome to the 13th Annual International Fire Fighting Robot Contest:
On behalf of the robot contest staff, it’s our pleasure to invite roboticists of all ages to participate in the 13th Annual Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest (TCFFHRC). The fire-fighting contest, the Robotics Olympiad, and the Robotics Symposium will to be held on the Trinity College campus in Hartford, Connecticut on April 8 – 9, 2006.(MORE)

Check out this contest I found on the internet. I looked around on the site and found that teams come from as far as Isreal and Singapore to compete in the competition. Check out the photo section as well.

Fire Service Construction Educator Frank Brannigan Passes Away - News

Fire Service Construction Educator Frank Brannigan Passes Away - News:
Francis L. "Frank" Brannigan, author and expert in building construction as it relates to firefighting science, passed away Tuesday morning at his home in Calverton, Maryland. He was 87.

Best known for his book, Building Construction for the Fire Service, Third Edition, Brannigan was a sought after expert who regularly wrote and spoke on the dangers of building collapse when exposed to fire. His general theme was always, "THE BUILDING IS YOUR ENEMY KNOW YOUR ENEMY. KNOW YOUR ENEMY!"

Montgomery County Fire/Rescue responders were called to Brannigan's home, which he shared with his wife, Maureen. They attempted to revive him but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

If you are in the Fire Service, even if you are not, and you do not know who Frank Brannigan is, you need to go out and get one of his books. Mr. Brannigan is the foremost expert on Building Construction pertaining to the Fire Service. Mr. Brannigan served 60 years in the Fire Service. He took it upon himself to learn everything possible about Building Construction and then teach it to anyone willing to listen. And listen they did, so he wrote a book. Then he wrote another. We couldn't get enough. I never actually met Mr. Brannigan in my few years in the Fire Service, however I can assure you I learned something from him, a lot of somethings. Even when I took a class taught by someone else, we used his book. The instructors learned from him and passed on his knowledge.

Rest in Peace Frank Brannigan. Your teachings, your books, your understanding of Building Construction will outlive all who you taught.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Boones Mill Fire hits home

A Fire in Boones Mill destroyed a 100+ year old house. The house was owned by Rodney Jordan's Sister-in-Law Gail Anderson and her Family. The fire destroyed everything the family had in the house. There are two teenage boys in the family. Rodney says that everyone is doing well and they are grateful that no one was hurt in the fire.

You can view the footage of the fire at

You can donate to the Anderson Fire Fund:

Bethlehem Church of the Bretheren
c/o The Anderson Family
4250 Bethlehem Rd.
Boones Mill, Va 24065
(540) 334-5190

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Richmond, Virginia Firefighter Dies on Way to Work - In The Line Of Duty

Veteran Richmond, Virginia Firefighter Dies on Way to Work - In The Line Of Duty:
(January 6) -- Richmond Fire Chief Robert A. Creecy announced the death of veteran firefighter Jerry W. Hall.

Chief Creecy said Firefighter Hall faithfully served as a member of the Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services for over 35 years.

Firefighter Hall was on his way to work Friday when he experienced a medical emergency. Chesterfield Fire and EMS responded and he was transported to Chippenham Hospital where he died a short time later.

Jerry Wayne Hall was 62, he resided in Chesterfield. He was a native of Pulaski, Va

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Firefighter games at Rescue Me (FX Network)

Check out these two fire games at the FX Network, home of the show Rescue Me. The games are located HERE. I think that this might constitute On the Job Training.

Red Comet Fire Extinguisher

Photo Courtesy of Firefighter Travis Collins
Extinguisher belongs to Captain Willie Wines

This fire extinguisher was brought to me to show to you all. Actually there are three in the collection. There are two yellow ones and one red one. The mount below is one of two types in the collection. You can view information on the extinguishers HERE.The extinguishers are in excellent condition and the fusible links are intact. The extinguishers were meant to be mounted to the wall. Instructions are to pick up and toss into the fire or if you are absent the extinguisher will fall due to the fusible link. This is a pretty neat little tidbit of history. There were so many types of glass bulb fire extinguishers made. There is a neat little extinguisher museum online HERE for your enjoyment.

"As it turns out, many of them are filled with harmless salt water…but many others, typically the “later” mass produced variety are filled with Carbon Tetrachloride, a dangerous chemical that can potentially cause lung damage with just one exposure…liver and kidney damage…and even death." (MORE HERE)

I would also like to thank all of the guys who have spread the word about the Historical Project that Travis and I are working on. Just by word-of-mouth we have been able to meet a lot of retirees and speak with them about the true "Back in the Day". Just today I have spoken with Johnnie Guthrie and Corbin Wilson. The other day Calhoun Hawley stopped by, and I bumped into Pete Price the other day at Station #8. We have found these retirees to be very helpful in identifying firefighters in pictures as well as incidents, trucks, and other stuff. Please continue to pass along the information and feel free to have them stop by to see us at Station #10 on C-shift, or give them my phone number. Thanks again.

Farewell to Justin Hines

Firefighter/Paramedic Justin Hines has decided to leave the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department to become a Captain for Franklin County Department of Public Safety. Justin will be sorely missed by this department. Justin was hired on December 11, 2000. Justin is the second FF/PM to leave Roanoke City for Franklin County recently. Does Franklin County have an Airport?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

RFFA Annual Awards Banquet

This years RFFA Local 1132 Annual Awards Banquet will be held January 14th. I am almost finished with a project for the evening. It is nothing that will astound you, however it might just be available for purchase, not for my profit unfortunately. You will just have to see.

I might also have another surprise for the evening, we will have to see.

I need an idea, something good, something momentous. I would like to do something related to the History of the Department, however I do not know exactly what to do or how to do it. What would you like to see? I would like some ideas. Please feel free to let me know. All ideas will be heard. Thanks in advance.

DUMB QUESTIONS? Welcome To 2006. - In The Line Of Duty

DUMB QUESTIONS? Welcome To 2006. - In The Line Of Duty:
When the final reports come out about how we died in 2005, it will look almost identical to 2004. Nuth'n new. And the changes are happening nationally but not always reaching the local level. It's going to take a lot more work, more time and much more of a serious commitment by everyone who "crawls down halls" and we will then start seeing more changes that matter to our future. After all, just look at what the IAFF, the IAFC, the NFFF, the NVFC, the USFA and others are all doing for us, their members, to improve firefighter survival. But if it doesn't happen on a local level, it will be a waste of time.

Without boring you, the solutions are often easy. It's just a matter of how badly we/me/you want to reduce the numbers, starting with a serious commitment by the firefighters and officers on each piece of apparatus, in every firehouse, to have everyone go home. Duh.

From a firefighting tactical standpoint, we suffer a minority of firefighter deaths all be it some of the absolute most horrific. Want some solutions to the "firefighting" death issue. We want some questions answered that some clown you work with may call dumb. Read these two superb pieces by retired FDNY Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn. He covers most of it.

50 Ways Firefighters Die

50 Ways FF's Live

Check out this very informative article by Billy Goldfeder on

Alaska Terminal and Restaurant Structure Fire - Photo Stories

Alaska Terminal and Restaurant Structure Fire - Photo Stories:
Frontier Flying Service terminal & restaurant structure fire on December 26, 2005, in Barrow, Alaska.

The temperature at the time of fire the was at 0, with slight winds.

No entry was made because of the size of the fire, and the amount of involvement upon arrival.

Check out the article above for some pictures of an ARFF crew in action. No not the Roanoke Regional Airport, actually an airport in Alaska. Just in case anyone is keeping track, I still have not run a call on the ARFF crew since I got moved back. I carry around a bottle of oil like the "Tinman" so I don't rust.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Breaking News - Fire at Roanoke College

Salem Fire Department is on scene of a large fire on the campus of Roanoke College. Numerous Roanoke County Fire Apparatus are filling in throughout Salem. Salem consists of only 3 stations. I understand that Elliston, Cave Spring, and some others are filling in Salem and other Roanoke County Stations.
Ok, apparently the magnitude of the fire was high because of the fact that there were Fire Companies filling in Salem and surrounding Fire Stations.

The fire was actually at St. Pierre Salon.

Roanoke City units are on scene of a single family dwelling fire at 2222 Hanover Ave. NW, which was just marked under control. I will update as I find out more.

Maybe I should pull out the old scanner and program it for Roanoke frequencies.

There were no confirmed injuries at either of the fires.

Paul Combs - Editorial Cartoonist

Paul Combs - Editorial Cartoonist. I am sure you have seen some of his work. I know it hangs in several firehouses in Roanoke City. You can view the biographical information of Paul Combs HERE.

See his work HERE.

Comic #2 - The Usual Suspects

New Movie: The Usual Suspects

I think this is hilarious. I will continue to post these as long as they are clean and not offensive. The person who sends these in would like to remain anonymous. I will respect his/her wishes. If you are involved in a "picture" and do not like it, I will remove it immediately.

Outsider Looking In

I thought that I would share this email I received today. This just goes to show an outsiders view of our Department and a comparison across the State. I realize that this is only one persons view, however it is far easier to be critical. So thanks for your kind words Brother. I hope you don't mind my posting the email. Our Department is made up of a very diverse workforce. Our Firefighters are easily the most experienced around and the most dedicated. Here is the email sent to me below:

"Hey Rhett, I have been doing a lot of web browsing of different departments in Va. and have noticed that Roanoke is one of the best as far as call volume and personnel. The pay is average maybe even a little on the low side, but all in all you guys have your act together. The info you put on your blog is like no one else's. As an outsider looking in and trying to collect as much information as I can it is really helpful to me and other firefighters interested in employment with your city. Just thought you would like to know that and by the way THANKS A MILLION!"

Thanks for the kind words Brother,

Your Welcome

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Rhode Island City Charges Firefighters Union 'Rent' for Use of Trucks in City Council Demo - News

Rhode Island City Charges Firefighters Union 'Rent' for Use of Trucks in City Council Demo - News:
CRANSTON - In September, the firefighters union put on a demonstration of how firefighters do their job, at one point taking City Council members, the media and Mayor Stephen P. Laffey's top administrators through a smoky building in full protective gear.

Beyond its intended educational value, union leaders said, the demonstration made for a good time and, perhaps, signaled a warming in their relations with the mayor.

But a few weeks later, the union got a bill from City Hall demanding a $450 "rental" fee for the two pieces of apparatus -- an engine and a ladder truck from the Fire Department's backup fleet -- it used in the Sept. 17 event.

"We've never gotten a bill before for anything," said Paul Valletta, president of Local 1363, International Association of Fire Fighters. "I don't know where this rental thing comes from."

This is an interesting article. It shows the thin grey area relative to so many Departments and the organizations which represent their employees. I wonder if the City in question bills for other events?

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Structure fire at 102 18th St. SW

Structure fire at 102 18th St. Apt. 5. Time out 16:05 hours. E-3, E-5, E-7, E-9, L- 1, L-7, M-3, M-1 responding for heavy fire. E-5 was interior 1. Primary search has been completed and no victims were found. This is FF Kevin Taylor's first day at E-5 and his welcoming mat is a structure fire.

Photos courtesy of Capt. Kent McIlhany