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Friday, March 31, 2006

Steamer #1 and Greene Memorial United Methodist Church

Hoekay, So this is the picture I have been seeking for a while. Although this is not a very good image. I had found the image on the VT imagebase, but I lost it somehow. Special thanks to Gavin Miller of Troutville Fire for delivering this CD with very important images to me. I am indebted. There are definitely some great images on this CD. We have a lot of them, but there are some that fill in gaps for us.

The picture above is of the Test of First Size Continental Steam Engine Roanoke Va. Sept. 5 1909 in Roanoke City. Although it is hard to see, the test was to show City Council that the stream made from the engine could actually reach the tallest part of the Greene Memorial United Methodist Church. If the Church seems familiar, it is still standing at the corner of Church Ave. and 2nd Street, adjacent to the Municipal Building.

Below is a picture of the men either right before or right after the test of the Steam engine. Shown is the apparatus. This is Steamer #1 stationed at Fire Station #1.

If anyone has a better picture of the top picture or any other for that matter, I would love to copy them and get them back to you. Thanks.

This is amazing

You guys have overwhelmed me with great comments on my ability to test your attention to detail. Check out this test off of and let me know how long it took you to find the differences in the two photos. I have to admit, it took me several minutes. The bad thing is that it is so very obvious once you figure it out.

Check out the puzzle here

Then let me know how you did.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Light Bulb Burning for 80 Years at Oklahoma Station - News

Light Bulb Burning for 80 Years at Oklahoma Station - News:
Some light bulbs promise to burn for several years, but there's a bulb at an Oklahoma fire station that's been going strong for nearly 80 years.

Even when the town is quiet, every firefighter knows there is equipment to check and maintain.

"Air pressure looks good. Never know when that nice little buzzer is going to go off," fire chief Steve Slayton said.

Slayton checks hoses, tanks, boots and helmets, just as generations of fire chiefs have before him.

"I started here in 1985 as a volunteer. I became full time in 1987," he said.

Old pictures tell the story of Fire Station No. 1. Horses pulled the pumpers 100 years ago. Then came the first engines, always newer and with better equipment.

The fire chiefs have changed through the years, but somewhere along the climb toward present day, something special took shape in the shadows of the upstairs dormitory.

Back in 1927 someone installed a light bulb. At the time it wasn't a big deal, but as the years passed and the light stayed on a sense of illuminated pride took shape.(Read More)
I read this whole article, and the only thing that I could think of is this: If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Not one person called the light bulb antequated or wanted to switch the lightbulb out with a new one even though this one is working.

Blog will be on hold a couple more days

Today my computer gets reformatted. Hopefully I will be back up and running tonight. All in all it will be like having a brand new computer. The problem is getting everything back to my preferences. So just be patient and wait another day or two until things get back to normal.

In the meantime, send me your comments, questions, ideas, or gripes. I haven't checked my email in three days now, so I am sure I will have some good stuff once I do.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

P.K. Hundley Retires After 30 Years of Service

Preston K. Hundley was hired on as a firefighter on January 19, 1976 (merely a year before I was born). P.K. has spent the last several years assigned to Ladder 1 C-Shift. He is retiring with 30 years on the job. It is good to see another one of Roanoke's Bravest retire with good health. Good luck in retirement. P.K.'s last day was March 27, 2006.
L-R Eddie Carter, P.K. Hundley, Richard Carter, and Kenny Walker
The only one left out of this picture is Kenny, the rest have retired
P.K and Johnnie Lester receive Firefighter of the Year awards
at a Christmas Banquet
P.K. at an unknown event (above)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Computer issues hampering the blog

Ok, here is the deal. I am not typing from my computer. Actually mine is fixing itself right now, and has been for most of the day. I received a new motherboard for my laptop the other day, and since then I have been having serious problems with my computer. I believe it is all centered around a faulty driver for some random hardware in the computer. The point is that I attempted to create a post earlier to tell you of Lt. P.K. Hundley's retirement. I was planning on adding some photos, and information about his career. However, I will not be doing that now. On the other hand, I will be waiting for my computer to fix itself. I will not be able to post this evening either, because I have plans. So you will have to wait til tomorrow. Plan on it being a multiple post day. In the meantime, I am always looking for leads on stories for the site. So let me know if you know of anything.
The Local 1132 site will be updated in the next couple of days. Check out the new format on the frontpage of the site. I will chronicle any updates, etc. on the front page. This will probably eliminate the need of the Local 1132 news wire. Look for more updates in the future.
Hopefully I will have the computer fixed properly soon, and get back to the regular programming.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Digital ink : Firefighters Are Healthy, Too

I find this story interesting because I have been trying to eat healthier at the station and at home. I have found myself eating more salads than anything. I can understand how someones cholesterol could get high though. Some of the stuff we eat on a regular basis is not very healthy.
Check out the story and follow the link. The Firefighters who are featured in this story have their own website.

Digital ink : Firefighters Are Healthy, Too:
Firefighters Are Healthy, Too

This morning over breakfast, my boyfriend was talking about the atrocious eating habits of firefighters and how really, it’s no surprise that heart attacks are the leading cause of death for that occupation.

After breakfast, I hopped online to read the New York Times online and as it turns out, not all firefighters are unhealthy. A group of five firefighters at Firehouse 2 in Austin, TX have gone vegan. This happened after one firefighter received the results of a cholesterol test — his level was 344. “High-risk” is considered 240 and over. So, they changed their ways.(Read More)
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Roanoke Virginia Real Estate Blog : Blog Archive : Flexible loans for law enforcement, firefighters, teachers & healthcare workers

Check out this information on flexible loans for Firefighters and the like.

Roanoke Virginia Real Estate Blog :Blog Archive : Flexible loans for law enforcement, firefighters, teachers & healthcare workers:
Flexible loans for law enforcement, firefighters, teachers & healthcare workers

HomeTown Bank is now offering very flexible loans solutions for all, and with special flexibilities for law enforcement officers, firefighters, teachers and healthcare workers. If you fall into one of those classes and have been thinking of buying a house, I recommend talking to Joanne Polly, Vice President and Mortgage Consultant at HomeTown.(Read More)
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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Station 6 gets a Makeover

Chuck Mills, a firefighter at station 6, stripped down and repainted the Gamewell Fire Alarm Box out front of station 6. I have to admit that the Box looks very good. Where is the box number at. I wonder if it was missing or if Chuck just hasn't put it back on the box yet. Remember that this is one of the last Alarm Boxes still in service in the City of Roanoke.

Now you have to check this thing out. Chuck took a normal two door locker unit and knocked a dent out, prepared it for paint, painted it, added a couple of coats of clearcoat, buffed it, added some diamond plate, and added some reflective striping. This locker looks like a compartment fell off a fire truck. Either way, nice work Chuck.
This is a picture of the new Service Truck 1. The truck is the same old thing, but they are adding a box on the back end. The SCBA bottles are in the front compartment on both sides laying horizontally instead of vertically in the bed like they had been.

For all you Roanoke Life Saving Crew fans out there

These are some other patches I have received, let me know if you have any others.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Roanoke Firefighters Caption Contest #2

This picture is courtesy of Go ahead and leave your caption, just click on comment below.

On a serious note: If you think that you are missing posts on this blog all you have to do is sign up for email notification. There is a box located in the right sidebar where you enter your email address and simply sign up. Once a day you will be notified on new posts to the site. You will get a summary of the post and a hyperlink directly to the post.

2006 Roanoke Valley Fire Fighters MDA Golf Tournament

The 2006 Golf Tournament to benefit the MDA will be held on June 9th this year at Ole Monterey Golf Course. B-shift will be working this year. That is the way it goes. Look for a lot of the same this year, with hopefully some differences. FF Tina O'brien will be heading up the Golf Tournament for Roanoke City this year. She will need some help, so let her know if you would like to help. Otherwise, mark that date down on your schedules and plan on being there. Tee Time will be at 8:30 or 9:00 am. Rhett "The Hook" Fleitz will be playing in the tournament. If I had time to straighten out that 400 yard swing I have I would be dangerous.

By the way, Everyone is welcome to play in this tournament.

Roanoke City Fire Patches

Below are the Patches of the Roanoke Fire Department, Roanoke Fire-EMS Department, and Roanoke City EMS. I do not have the exact dates for everything, and I am relying on my readers to assist me in documenting them. If you know of any to add, let me know. I do have one more patch to add, but I do not have the image of it yet. So consider it a surprise. As far as I know, the first patch of the Roanoke Fire Department was the first one below. Prior to that patch, the men wore Class "A" (Suit) type dress. The men would take off their coats and put on a fire coat. If you go way back to the Volunteers (1882-1907) the men might have worn overalls, or suits depending. The badges that the men wore were a different story. Currently we are given a badge when we are hired. When we are promoted we are given a different one. The thing is that there is no personalization. No badge number like they had in the past. You aren't allowed to keep your firefighter badge when you get promoted. I think that if you had a badge number, and a badge that had the number on it, that it would mean a lot to the firefighters.

Roanoke Fire Department
? - 1970's
This Patch is referred to as the Sealtest Patch because it looks like the same as the Sealtest Logo shown to the right.

Roanoke Fire Department
Firefighter's Patch
Late 1970's - 1996
This Patch is referred to as the "Blue Patch". If you were hired before the merger you are a "Blue Patch" according to some.

Roanoke Fire Department
Officer's Patch
Late 1970's - 1996

Roanoke Fire Department
Chief's Patch
Late 1970's - 1996

Roanoke Fire Department
Administrative Patch

Roanoke Fire-EMS Department

Roanoke City EMS

Roanoke Fire-EMS
Roanoke Regional Airport
Airport Rescue Fire Fighting

Roanoke Fire Department
Roanoke Regional Airport
Airport Rescue Fire Fighting
Pre- Merge

Roanoke EMS - Volunteers and Part-time EMS

Thanks to Travis Collins for scanning these images. Look for them soon at The Maurice Wiseman Project.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Roanoke City Council Campaign 2006

Most of you all know that there are 3 positions open this year for Roanoke City Council. I have posted the names of the candidates I know of below. You can find more information on them (HERE). I am not going to endorse any of the candidates on this site at this time due to my position with the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association. The RFFA has not held interviews yet, and I will be there for most of them hopefully. I will say that I have met most of the candidates. I have heard this and that, but I like to form my own opinions.

I will explain my view of elections Locally, Statewide, and Nationally. Who is going to support me the best as a firefighter? Who is going to put the most money in my pocket? Who is going to support my Brother/Sister Firefighters and I across the nation? Who is going to make the funds available to enable Fire Departments to live up to everyone's expectations?

Those are the bare bones ideals that help me decide on a candidate. Don't get me wrong, I do care what is going on over in Iraq, as well as the rest of the World, and no I do not believe in abortion. But these are not the issues which I feel truly effect me the greatest. Plus it seems as though my Candidate choices have fallen in line with my secondary issues.

As far as Local elections are concerned. I am single issue. Either the Candidate supports Firefighters/Public Safety or not. Some have a track record either way. Others have said one thing...BIG SHOCK COMING...and done the opposite. So hopefully the Roanoke City Council can be rounded out this election for our benefit.

Keep an eye open for future information on the Candidates.

Democratic ticket:
Granger MacFarlane - Virginia Senator from 1984-1991.
David Bowers - Roanoke City Mayor (1992 - 2000); Roanoke City Council (1984-1992); Attorney.
William White - Roanoke City Council 1990-2002; Accountant.

Republican ticket: Leadership for a Change
Mark McConnel - Architect at Katz McConnel + Associates Architectural + planning firm downtown.
Stuart Revercromb - Director of Adult Ministries at Raliegh Court Presbyterian Church.

Independent ticket: "For the City"
Alfred Dowe - Representative at the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.
David Trinkle - Geriatric Psychiatrist.
Gwen Mason - Former Manager of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.

Other Independents:
Bill Lockard - Runs his own Handy Man Business.
Chris Craft - ?
Carl Cooper -Transition Counselor at the West End Center for Youth.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mayor Harris names 125th Celebration Committee

ROANOKE, VA - A dynamic mix of historic reflection, cultural recognition and celebration will be in store for Roanoke in 2007 as the city celebrates its 125th anniversary. It may be just Spring 2006 right now, but the city already is preparing for the year-long event.

Mayor C. Nelson Harris announced plans for the 125th anniversary during a news conference today (Wednesday, March 22). He also introduced the co-chairs and members of the Celebration Committee, a group of citizens who live in or have close ties to Roanoke, and who have been tasked with helping to shape upcoming events.

"As we prepare to celebrate this milestone, we want to ensure that those plans involve individuals such as these committee members, who represent the rich culture, history and love in Roanoke," Harris said. "I thank them for volunteering their time and talents to this group."

The members of the committee are:

Honorable Clifton (Chip) Woodrum, Co-Chair
Dr. Wendell Butler, Co-Chair

Ms. Elizabeth T. Bowles
Mr. M. Caldwell Butler
Mr. H. Clarke (Duke) Curtis
Mr. Warner Dalhouse
Ms. Doris Ennis
Ms. Pearl Fu
Mr. Robert A. Garland
Ms. Brenda Hale
Ms. Kathy Hill
Mr. A. L. Holland, Sr.
Mr. George Kegley
Ms. Taylor Kiefer
Mr. Forrest Landon
Mr. Michael Ramsey
Mr. Craig D. Walker, II

Harris said that they plan to honor this anniversary with a series of activities and special events to be held throughout the year, culminating in an arts festival in the fall, which could develop into an annual event.

"For 125 years Roanoke has been, and continues to be, a wonderful place to live and work," Harris said. "It is only fitting that we celebrate our anniversary in a way that truly embraces our community in 2007 and in years to come."

Following the announcement, the committee convened for its first meeting. As plans proceed the committee hopes to continue to receive ideas from the community on aspects of the city that should be celebrated, Harris said. The committee is also is hoping to hear from businesses and residents who have been a part of Roanoke for most - or even all - of the city's 125 years.

Additional information about the city's 125th anniversary will be available in upcoming months. In the meantime, Roanoke citizens are beginning to brush up on their city history:

Towns formed within what is now the city of Roanoke in the first decades of the 19th Century. Antwerp was subdivided in 1801 followed by Gainesborough in 1825 (the present Gainsboro neighborhood) and Old Lick in 1834. The Gainesborough settlement remained the most populous community until 1874 when the Town of Big Lick was chartered. This tiny village of less than 500 people was to become the town of Roanoke in 1882 and in 1884, the city of Roanoke. The new town was located along the old Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad later to become the Norfolk and Western. Completion of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad from Hagerstown to Roanoke in 1882 marked the start of Roanoke's rapid growth.

For more Roanoke history, please visit the Roanoke Main Library or

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Required Training - To Pay or not to Pay

I might be a little late on this one...But I bring up a very good point. Actually, I was told through the grape vine that this article was in the paper and that I should take a close look. If you read the whole article you will notice an issue which hits close to home for Firefighters. There have been occasions where Firefighters, of all different rank, have been denied overtime for training that they are required to obtain and attend. Well I think that the comment by Bayard Harris speaks volumes. If you are told you HAVE to obtain a certain certification or that you HAVE to attend training, I suggest that you DEMAND to get paid. Of course, you shouldn't have to demand anything. Paying you to attend training that is required should not be a problem in the first place. But that is just my take on it. What does your department do? - New River Valley Current-Student wins lawsuit against tanning salon:
Although she'd been promised 20 hours of work a week and complimentary tans, Bean said she was told that she'd get 18 hours, and that she wouldn't be paid for her training time because she had received free tans.

"Our services are not free any more than we'd expect her labor to be free," Adkins told The Roanoke Times.

Failing to pay employees for training in the workplace is almost always a violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, said Bayard Harris, a labor and employment lawyer who also teaches workplace issues at Roanoke College.

If it was voluntary education, that might be a different story, but, Harris said, "It's hard to imagine that kind of educational opportunity in a tanning salon." (Read More)

IAFF Legislative Convention

I am back in Roanoke from the IAFF Legislative Convention. I learned a lot, as always. I enjoyed the speakers, especially Joseph Biden the Governor of Delaware. I will report more in the next couple of days. I also have some pictures to share. But before I go off on a personal tangent, I need to develop some pages for the Local 1132 site in order to educate you all on what is going on as well as what isn't. So look for all this in the future.

By the way, my 2002 Chevrolet Silverado got it's cherry popped up in D.C. I am the proud owner of a 24 inch long scratch on my truck. Four years without a scratch, and I get one when I am not looking. Life's a BITCH isn't it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Education of Fleitz

Like I said before, I am at the IAFF Legislative Conference for the next couple of days. Check out what I have been educated on already. I sure hope that Governor Kaine signs the legislation. This would have been helpful last year. I will keep you posted as to what else I find out. Remember Knowledge is Power.

Bill Tracking - 2006 session > Legislation:
15.2-1512.4. Rights of local employees to contact elected officials.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict the right of any local employee to express opinions to state or local elected officials on matters of public concern, nor shall a local employee be subject to acts of retaliation because the employee has expressed such opinions.

For the purposes of this section, "matters of public concern" means those matters of interest to the community as a whole, whether for social, political, or other reasons, and shall include discussions that disclose any (i) evidence of corruption, impropriety, or other malfeasance on the part of government officials; (ii) violations of law; or (iii) incidence of fraud, abuse, or gross mismanagement.(Read More)

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Here are some reader submitted pictures of the parade.
Thanks to Rachel Winter for the pictures.

I had to work today, so I was not able to make it to the Roanoke St. Patrick's Day Parade. I hope that there were enough firefighters in the Parade. I am wondering if anyone got any pics of the firefighters. If so, please send me a couple to post, or a link if you have them online already.

I will be in D.C. for the IAFF Legislative Conference for the 4 day break. I will post them when I get an opportunity.

Otherwise, talk amongst yourselves. I will give you a topic.

Check out the issue Charleston West Virginia Firefighters are dealing with.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tax Time

I know that most of you have already had your taxes completed. Most of you have probably already spent your return. I get my taxes filed by Brenda Turner from B.T.'s Tax Service O'er in Town Rocky Mount. That is right, I drive about a half hour to patronize Brenda. She prepares taxes for approximately 75 firefighters alone.

I had my taxes prepared just the other day. Brenda showed me an interesting website. I was going to share it with you all. Unfortunately I lost the darn address. However, I did find CPA Services which has a similar listing for job specific deductions. Check out the site for a 12 month worksheet.

I also learned a little bit about itemizing your deductions. Basically, you only want to itemize if your deductions are going to exceed $10,000. If you do not own a house, your deductions probably are not going to exceed that amount, so you will not do it.

If indeed your deductions exceed that amount, then you can itemize your deductions. You can claim all sorts of good stuff. Check out the list for further.

Update to the Carilion Fire

Click here for more Pictures of the Carilion fire from March 11th. Thanks Doc.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Engine 10

I started Fire Officer II class yesterday. It was a C-Shift day, so I got to go while on duty. Yesterday was also my day on the Engine. I got back to the station around 5 and the engine had already run 6 calls. We ran an additional 7 calls, 4 being after midnight. I have to admit, it was a blast. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is not easy going from never expecting a call, to running several in a day. I was driving the Engine and luckily all of the calls were familiar addresses. I don't get out much to learn the territory, but I did live close to 10's first due for 4 years. So all in all, it was a great time.

Yeah, I know, you guys are thinking "What the hell". This guy runs 7 calls, pumps a little mulch fire and runs a couple of alarms, and he is jumping for joy. Well trust me, it was a great day. Now I am looking forward to 2 cycles of absolutely nothing, except for FO II class. | Fuel truck hits plane at airport | Fuel truck hits plane at airport:
A fuel truck struck the rear of a Continental Express jet at 6:16 a.m. today at Richmond International Airport. No injuries were reported and airport officials described the damage to the plane as "minimal."

The Houston-bound aircraft was taken out of service as 44 passengers were rebooked on other flights.(Read More)
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If you remember correctly, this happened on February 8th at the Richmond Airport. I posted on the incident when it happened.

In similar news, Roanoke had an Airport Alert the other day. B-Shift was working. Thus keeping my ARFF calls at 0.

Aldermen learn what it's like to be a firefighter

This article was sent to me in odd form. The article was scanned and sent via email. Usually I am sent the url for an article. I was unable to find the article online, and I do not know when it was printed. Basically the Anne Arundel (Maryland) Firefighters, both career and volunteer, got some of the Aldermen together and put them through mild fire training. In the end, the "training" gave the Aldermen an up close and personal look at what we might be up against. The "training" also helped the firefighters out when it came to budget items. Click on the pictures to view the articles a little bigger.

Roanoke's Newest Lieutenants

Photo Courtesy of Roanoke Fire-EMS
Here is a picture from Tuesday's Promotional Ceremony. L-R is Jeff Peay, Jeremy Bennington, and Jason Crouch. All promoted to Lieutenant. Congrats Men. In other news, Jimmy Poindexter of Salem Fire Department was promoted to Lieutenant as an EMS Supervisor. Jimmy's Father, Grandfather, and Uncle worked for the Roanoke Fire Department. His Father retired in the 90's, I believe 1999, but don't hold me to it.

To the Rescue Museum

I received some news today about the "To the Rescue Museum". I posted some information on the museum a while back, and was told that it had closed down. Well sure enough, the Museum is no longer at Tanglewood Mall. For whatever reason, Tanglewood Mall decided not to renew the lease and offered the Museum a smaller space. The Museum could not fit in the smaller space and closed its doors. Currently, the exhibits, history, and artifacts are in storage. The Museum may open again locally, although there is also interest in moving it to Northern Virginia or Virginia Beach. I also understand that the local Fire Departments are trying to formulate a solution. It will be interesting to see what happens. You can visit the To the Rescue Museum online.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Roanoke Firefighters "Firefighter of the Year Award"

The next "project" for The Maurice Wiseman Project is documenting the Firefighter of the Year Award for the past however many years. Currently this is what we have:

Firefighter of the Year Award
Year Honoree
1967 Carl Holt
1968 Gary Moorfield
1969 Nelson Reed
1981 James Patton & Randy Obenchain
1985 William Gayle
1986 Roger Guilliams
1992 Harold Kelley
1993 Cecil Boyd
1997 Willie Wines
1998 Keith Blankenship & Wayne Hall
1999 Robert Early
2005 Chuck Sharp & Jeremy Bennington
? Johnny Lester & PK Hundley

Yes we realize that we have a lot of holes in our list here. But we are relying on you all to help us out. So leave a comment or call me or email me.

As for the awards, Captain Adkins headed up a project to broaden the awards that the RFFA gives out each year at the Banquet. This year there were Company Citations given out as well as the coveted "Firefighter of the Year" Award. I think that this is a great step in boosting moral and increasing the pride among the Firefighters. I also think that there is more that can be done.

I have always wondered why our Department doesn't decorate its firefighters with citations, awards, medals, etc. I have always felt as though this would benifit the Department as a hole by increasing the morale and giving the firefighters more pride in their job. I don't mean everyone would be walking around like Flavor Flav with a huge gold medal around their neck. I am talking about the Fire Services version of the Military Medals and awards.

Check out what the Valley Stream Fire Department does. I am sure there are other websites out there with examples on the internet. Check out what the FDNY give out as Medals for Unit Citations.

It really doesn't matter if the Deparment does it or not. The RFFA could do it. However, in order to wear your "decorations" on your Class A uniform, the Department would have to consent.

So what do you think? If you aren't with Roanoke City, what does your Department or Local do?

Firefighter seriously injured

Thanks to Blog from on High for the lead on this story:

Firefighter seriously injured:
A Hillsville volunteer firefighter was seriously injured Monday morning while trying to save a house.

22-year-old Chris Hawks had just gone in the front door of a burning home in Fancy Gap when there was a glow and a flash of flames. Hawks got trapped inside. His best friend and fellow firefighter Scottie Turmin actually pulled him to safety.

Hawks suffered first and second degree burns on about 20 percent of his body. He was transported to a Winston-Salem hospital Monday afternoon. (Read More)
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Monday, March 13, 2006

Caption Contest

Lets here it. Rarely is a firefighter at a loss for words. So lets see who can come up with the best caption for this picture. The picture is courtesy of I already have the next caption picture picked out. If you have a good picture, send it in.

What gives?

Check out this job posting in this Sunday's Roanoke Times. Ablemarle is offering to pay there firefighters almost $8000 more than Roanoke City. The medics receive almost $8000 more than that.

Don't get the wrong idea, I am not saying everyone should jump ship and run to work for Ablemarle. I am probably the only person in the City whose call volume would go up instead of down. What I am getting at is that how can you keep your morale up if you open the paper to see that firefighters are making so much more money doing the same thing only a couple of hundred miles away. How can Roanoke City compete in recruiting competent trained ALS providers if they could make $13000 more in Ablemarle.

Yes, I realize that Ablemarles job posting talks of pay up to these limits if the experience and training warrant it. Well I believe that I fall under those parameters.

It is no secret as to how much money a firefighter makes, it is public knowledge. That being said, if Ablemarle hired me for the fullest amount due to my experience and training, I would get a pay raise. Mind you, I have been with Roanoke City for 7 years and I have been promoted once.

Roanoke Times - job postings

The County of Albemarle is looking for positive, energetic people with a great attitude to serve our citizens as Firefighters and EMS Providers. Qualified applicants are required to take a physical agility test & written exam to qualify for an interview. We are currently accepting applications for:
Must possess current Virginia State Firefighter I or equivalent, EMT-C, EMT-I, or EMT-P. Starting salary up to $46,207 annually depending on experience and qualifications.
Must possess current Virginia State Firefighter I or equivalent AND EMT -B to apply. Starting salary up to $38,310 annually depending on experience and qualifications.
(Read More)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

2006 Guns N' Hoses Hockey Game - Law Enforcement Wins

I just got back from the Roanoke Civic Center watching the Firefighters get beat by the Police Officers. It was a great game though, and it came down to a shootout in overtime to find a winner. The game ended with a tie 6-6, but in overtime the Firefighters were beat by 2 unanswered points in a tie breaking shoot out. All in all the guys all played very well. Roanoke City was represented by Eddie Fielder, Tom Mougin, Danny Hughes, and Jon Willdigg. Jon made a grand entrance, which everyone enjoyed. There was a decent crowd which stayed over after the Vipers loss to watch the Firefighters play the Officers. The event raised $4800 for MDA. Thanks to all who came out to see the game.

It should be noted that Gary Hostetter of Roanoke County is responsible for organizing this event, as well as the 2004 and 2005 Guns N' Hoses Hockey Games. If you bump into Gary, be sure to thank him for a job well done. That goes for the entire Roanoke County Local as well.

You can view the entire Photo gallery for the 2006 Guns N' Hoses Hockey Game on the Local 1132 website. (View gallery here)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fire at 1700 Jefferson

Here is the building involved in the incident. The building sits across from the Mills.

Roanoke Fire-EMS Crews are working a fire at the new building being built across from the mills on Jefferson St. The correct address might be 1598 Jefferson. From what I understand the call went out at 1120 hours and that there were around 10 workers on the roof with the fire below them. This building is under construction and is about 6-7 stories tall. Last I heard there were only 3 men still on the roof and that the fire was on the 3rd floor.

Engine 11, Engine 3, and Ladder 1 on Scene
The units on scene were as follows: E8, E3, L1, L7, B1, B2, Service Truck 2 RS1, M3,M6, M1, Chief 2 & 3

According to a firefighter on scene it seemed as though the fire was in 5 or 6 5+ foot stacks of foam wallboard that spread to framing wood and boxes. The fire started on the 5th floor going to the roof then to the 4th and 3rd floors via a 2x2 foot support beam that had plywood around it. They evacuated 8 from the roof.

Although I believe the fire might still be under investigation to find the cause of the fire.
style="text-align: center;">Here Ladder 1 is supplied by Engine 8 (out of picture to the right) and the Aerial is used as an elevated master stream. Thanks to Travis Collins for all the pictures.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Firefighter Ed Teran Tribute

I do not report on all of the Line of Duty Deaths (LODD), not because I do not care. Actually there are several dedicated sites that report LODD's and actually give justice to the honor of the Fallen Brothers/Sisters. Instead, I report on the Fallen occasionally. I believe I did report on Ed Teran when he died. I merely pointed to another site that had all the information on his death. So tonight I was checking out the IAFF Local Listing, and updating links, and I clicked on the Riverside City Local 1067 site. I noticed the picture and link to Ed's page. So I checked it out. Here is where it gets interesting. They have got a great tribute video of his Memorial/Funeral service. The video is played to Bag Pipes and a tribute of what being a firefighter is all about. Check out the video and other photo galleries on Ed's page. There is also a decent photo slideshow on the page featuring pictures of Ed throughout his life.

Roanoke Fire-EMS Promotions

Did you know that there was a time when Firefighters where mentioned in the news all the time. Not only for the fires they put out, or wrecks they ran, or other news worthy incidents. Actually there was a time when Firefighters were featured in the paper when they were hired, promoted, retired, were awarded, and yes even when they were fired. In our job, bad publicity is bad publicity. So we can do without the firings etc. from being printed in the paper.

Since it is rare that we make the paper for getting hired, promoted, or even retiring, I figure it is my job to publicize it for us.

Last week, the Roanoke Fire-EMS department promoted FF/PM Jason Crouch and FF Jeff Peay to the rank of Lieutenant. Then today, they promoted FF Jeremy Bennington to the rank of Lieutenant. Jeremy was promoted today to fill the vacancy that Lt. P.K. Hundley will leave when he retires April 1st. The promotional ceremony for the 3 Lt.'s will be next week. I will do a story on P.K in the future. So look for that soon.

Pictured above: Lt. Jason Crouch

Pictured above: Lt. Jeremy Bennington
Sorry, I didn't have a picture of Lt. Peay

Firewhirl Weblog - Historic Fire Engines from Europe

Check out this post on Firewhirl. The site he speaks of has a lot of great photos of historic apparatus from Europe. Take a minute to check out how the apparatus look in different parts of the world. Interesting read.

Northern Plains Fire: Firewhirl Weblog:
Historic Fire Engines from Europe

If you like pictures of old fire engines this is the site for you. Check out Historical Fire Engines Europe to see lots of pictures of older fire engines from England, France, Switzerland, Norway, and others. There are some American-made trucks such as Ford, Dodge, Ahrens Fox, and Ward LaFrance. Then there are European-made trucks such as Mercedes, Studebaker, Renault, and Volvo. Cool site.

I took a quick pass through some of the pictures and here is one of my favorites - a Magirus ladder truck from 1921 used in the Netherlands.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Basketball at Fire Station #10

Here you can see Dean "The Dream" Russell, Mike "The Mason" Banks, and Rhett "Airball" Fleitz (me) out playing "Horse". Well actually we didn't play horse, we were using longer words so the game lasted longer. Anyways it was a beautiful day outside, and we enjoyed it. One thing about being assigned to the ARFF Crew is that we don't get out much. Sure we go out and ride territory each day, and do house work, and all that stuff. The thing that is missing is the calls. It is easy to get used to the laid back atmosphere and become sluggish. I have noticed that I need to begin working out if I want to stay in shape. Unfortunately my station has not yet received the workout equipment that the City is beginning to purchase for the stations. I understand that Station #10 is next on the list to receive some of the equipment. The station has some equipment that firefighters have brought in over the years, but it is hardly enough to get a decent workout out of. So I went out and bought a bicycle trainer, one that you prop your bike up on, and ride it as a stationary bike. I have been riding each day, as well as working out with what I have to work with. This is all in an effort to curb my expansion and save the City some money that they would need to spend on a bigger pants size. Either way, I plan on getting into better shape. I recently joined the YMCA, and my wife has begun working out there. I have yet to find time to get down to work out. Between the station, the Credit Union, and the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association I don't really have time to dedicate to working out. I like to spend most of my free time with my family. Hopefully I will be able to begin working out on my days off, but if not I will just step up the workouts at work. I also hope to begin riding my bike to and from work. The hardest part of this is riding from the Station to the Credit Union and getting there on time.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Roanoke Firefighters Blog is 1 year old

The Roanoke Firefighters Blog turns 1 year old tomorrow, March 9th. I have been trying to think of how to celebrate, and I had a hard time coming up with something good. So lucky for you all, I decided that I would just begin typing. That is right, I will speak candidly about what I have reported over the past year, events, and the history. I will attempt to summarize what the Roanoke Firefighters Blog has been all about.

In the beginning, I figured this “Blog” interface would be kind of neat. Although I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I decided to jump in head first. Well I had no idea I had so much to learn. After all, I didn’t have the slightest clue what html meant. I was in for an education like no other. I have not even scratched the surface of learning web page design.

After I got the blog up and running, I spoke with Rodney Jordan, the President of Local 1132, about branching out and running a website. The website would have been built around the blog. Rodney made the comment that he would rather I take over the Local 1132 site. Not exactly what I was looking for, I mean now there would actually be expectations of the site. I would be held accountable for the site, and the look of the site.

So now I really had to go to school. I had to buckle down and learn html, which is what I still use primarily. I have not branched out to java, flash, dhtml, or xhtml. Give me time and I will learn more. So I uploaded my first web page to the Local 1132 domain. In the beginning, it was very shaky ground. I was uploading, changing, correcting, and crashing the site daily. All the while I was learning, that being the main point through this whole evolution.

But I digress; after all we are talking about the blog not the website, which I am equally proud of.

So the Blog took off, and I had a lot to learn. It took months for a lot of the department it featured to find out its existence. I didn’t expect everyone to read it in the beginning, but I also did not imagine I would get the numbers I do. I think the blog averages about 70-80 hits from City computers a day.

After I had captured the attention of the Roanoke Firefighters, and shown my dedication for featuring them in one of the best firefighter blogs on the internet, I asked myself “What now?” The answer was simple; I will tell everyone about us by making this a national and even international blog that features stories of all types from all over the globe. I did make the conscious decision to try to limit the stories on firefighters which were bad publicity.

Another conscious decision I made about my reporting stories was that I would be honest and true to the firefighters of Roanoke City. This is what some of you would say that got me into trouble. I could not agree more. It is no secret why I am where I am at. But is there anything I can do about this? Some of you kid with me about calling downtown and apologizing. Well maybe that would be easy for you to do, but not me. After all, I did not intentionally offend anyone. I merely stood up for something I believe in, something that most Roanoke Firefighters believe in. I never made it a personal vendetta, or attacked anyone. I merely made my point, voiced my opinion, and defended us the firefighters.

Yet you see where I ended up. Well, oh well. The way I see it is the same way a Chief explained it to me one day. He said something along the lines of “I don’t have to agree with you, I can agree to disagree”. That is the way I see it. People do things all the time that I disagree with, but I sit back and try to understand their point of view. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with them, I just try to understand.

Do you know what the most effective part of this blog is? It isn’t informing the Roanoke FF’s of what is going on, we seem to keep each other informed pretty well. It could be bringing national/international stories to light on a local level, but it isn’t. Actually, the most effective part of this blog is explaining who we are, what we do, and what we are about. The blog is a great medium between the public and the firefighters. I pride myself on this, and I hope that I am doing us justice.

Another effective aspect of the blog is recruitment. I don’t know how many firefighters email me about the department. Most are looking to compare us to other departments while they look for a department to call home. I like to pride myself on being honest. I am not going to sugarcoat everything, and most of the candidates are looking for the truth anyways. Don’t get me wrong, the message is not negative. After all, Roanoke Fire-EMS is a great department. We have our weaknesses just like any other department. But we have pride, a deep pride that comes from the history, tradition, and honor for the department which is not found everywhere.

So who exactly reads the blog? Well it is hard to tell exactly. I have posted the stats in the past, but I will break it down a little further now.

Take for instance that someone told me we had recruiters in Charlotte right now, well I have gotten several hits from the City of Charlotte. However, I usually get a couple of hits a week from that area.

The blog gets several hits from reciprocal links, like the blog listing on and the Local 1132 website, and Roanoke County’s local.

The blog has regular readers, who I hear from occasionally. I never mind a comment. I have been informed, berated, congratulated, thanked, and questioned in the comments.

Then there are the search hits. The blog gets hits from searches for all sorts of things.

It is good to see so many firefighter blogs sprout up since I started this one. By no means was this one the first. Actually the firefighter blog is actually a year older than mine.

I hope to bring this blog to you for many more years. Thanks for tuning in. By the way, you guys do an excellent job of keeping me informed. If you would like to see something appear on the blog, let me know.

In the end, I would not change a thing. I feel strong that I have brought a lot of good publicity to the City of Roanoke, Roanoke Fire-EMS, and the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association even though this blog is unofficial to all three.

Monday, March 06, 2006 .::. Volunteers, Protecting Your Dreams

Troutville Fire has pictures and some information on the Brush fire in Blue Ridge. The Roanoke Times has a new article as well. .::. Volunteers, Protecting Your Dreams:
Blue Ridge Brush Fire

At approximately 2:00 PM on Saturday afternoon Montvale Fire Department was dispatched to Quarry Road for a reported brush fire. Montvale units arrived to find a fast spreading brush fire moving quickly up the mountain side. Mutual Aid was requested from Blue Ridge to respond along with Buchanan who was to report to the Parkway where the head of the fire was traveling. As the fire began to spread rapidly due to high winds and other weather factors, Dispatch set off an all call to all Fire Departments to get crews together at their stations. Company 2 responded Truck 2, our newest apparatus which was designed with this sort of call in mind, with 5 firefighters to assist in containment. Truck 2 was assigned on Quarry Road to protect a structure until the fire threatening it was contained. Truck 2’s crew continued to stay on scene until 10:30 P.M when another Troutville crew was organized and sent to relieve them. Troutville crews stayed on scene throughout the night until released by incident command at 5:30 am Sunday morning. (Read More)

New York Daily News - Home - Lucky to be alive

Check out this story. It is almost too good to be true. Either way, this firefighter is very lucky in this freak occurence.

New York Daily News - Home - Lucky to be alive:
Lucky to be alive

Fireman saved by 'hand of God' after SUV lands on him


Firefighter Marc Kroenung miraculously walked away from having this SUV land on his head after manhole explosion in Bronx.
A manhole explosion sent an SUV flying onto a Bronx firefighter - but he was miraculously saved by his helmet when he crashed clean through a side window.

Firefighter Marc Kroenung, a 33-year-old married father of two, was helping extinguish a manhole fire Saturday when an underground explosion sent the Cadillac Escalade hurtling upward.

The giant SUV came down sideways, with the driver's side window shattering against Kroenung's helmet as the auto crashed to the pavement. He was left standing inside the overturned SUV.(Read More)
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Visited States map

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

I thought this little tool was pretty cool. There is a Country Map as well, but I am not a worldly traveler yet. I however have been to 29 states. It is interesting seeing the path across the states. That is where I flew out to California, and drove back with my brother once he got out of the Navy. That was fun.

Check out the site.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Julian Stanley Wise

I updated the post from a couple of days ago once already regarding the Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Crew. I got some information today, which probably rivals the common information found on the internet. It also collaborates Julian's employment on the Fire Department. So here is the email I received from a Firefighter from Greensboro:


I was really impressed with the article on the Roanoke Life Saving Crew. It looked like it took a lot of effort and I appreciate it a lot.

Julian Stanley Wise was employed by the City of Roanoke, Va. Fire Department as an "Executive Secretary" to the Fire Chief and then he retired and went to work for Southern Oxygen Company (This information came from an old edition of the "First Aider", a monthly newsletter of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads).

I also know that it was his wife, Ruth, who originally put
the idea in his head of actually forming a group of people
to perform rescue work. The drowning incident that Mr. Wise witnessed really bothered him for years, and he took all available first aid and water rescue training offered during the day through the Boy Scouts and the American Red Cross. He was a Eagle Scout (just like me) and was active in the scouting program into adulthood.

Mrs. Wise passed away a couple of years ago, and I curse
myself for not going and trying to meet her, just to talk to her about what she experienced being married to Mr. Wise.

He traveled extensively to promote the concept of the volunteer rescue squad to various communities. Mr Wise was key in organizing the Danville Life Saving & FIrst Aid Crew (1945, still going strong and 100% volunteer) where I live and also helped get the Greensboro Life Saving & First Aid Crew started in the 50's (eventually evolved into the paid Guilford County Emergency Medical Services).

He seemed to be a decent person and it is a damn shame there
is not more out there about him."

If you have anything to add at all, by all means let me know. I would love to hear it. If you see anything in a history book etc. point me in the right direction.

Feel good Story of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood in the Fire Service - Climbing for `a tough chick': - Colleagues of firefighter with breast cancer will help her make stairclimb for leukemia research:
Climbing for `a tough chick': - Colleagues of firefighter with breast cancer will help her make stairclimb for leukemia research
by Mary Swift
Journal Reporter

She's 41 and battling breast cancer for a second time.

Even so, not much reduces Bellevue firefighter Camari Ferguson to tears -- not much until she starts to talk about how others are reaching out to help her.

Then, her voice breaks and she chokes back tears, struggling with emotion.

``I just blows my mind,'' she says. ``I'm very lucky.''

She was 33 the first time she battled breast cancer. Last November, eight years after her previous cancer, she found another lump in the same breast.

Doctors tell her it is not a reoccurrence of her previous cancer, but a different -- and rare -- form of the disease.

Go figure, says Ferguson, who has no history of breast cancer in her family.

She was on duty at Bellevue's Station 2 when she got the news shortly after Thanksgiving.

She called her husband, Brian, a member of the Kirkland Fire Department. Co-workers gathered around to give her hugs.

She and Brian, who met while both were in the military, share their south Everett home with three cats, the oldest now 20. The couple has been together 20 years and married 15. They enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle that includes scuba diving, rock climbing and skiing.

``How I get to do things is say, `Oh yeah, you're not tough enough,''' Brian says with a laugh. He became a firefighter five years ago. Camari, a former prostate researcher, followed suit two years later.

Before she had surgery in late December, the couple threw a ``boob'' party for friends. (Read More)
Here is another story of how one firefighter gave another one of his kidney's. (Read More)

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Smeal Demonstration in Roanoke

Smeal apparatus demonstration at the service center. Smeal brought an engine and a rear mount platform truck to the service center for us to check out the other day. Prior to this day, I had not been around a Smeal that I knew of. Hampden-Sydney just took delivery of a 75' Smeal Sirius Quint. The pictures below are that of demo units they brought by for us to check out.

This is an engine with a 1000 gallon tank on it. The Sirius cab is roomy, however it still doesn't compare to the Quantum cab of Pierce.
This rear mount 100' ladder was impressive in its compartment space. The Sirius cab is the same as on the engine shown above. One interesting note was that in this cab, the seat belts have an alarm on them. When you sit in the seat, it recognizes the weight, and an alarm will go off if the truck is in drive while the seatbelt is not being used.

This is the hose bed. It comes out and shifts down. They boast that it will hold 1000' of 5" hose. This makes it easier to load the hose.

On a historical note, from what I understand, Walter Lambert made a similar contraption on one of our Grey Ghosts. The hose bed slid out and had drop down wooden legs to hold it up.

All in all, the Smeal company makes a decent firetruck. But then again most manufacturers do. The biggest issue when buying a firetruck is, the longevity of the truck you are purchasing, and the maintenance costs along the way.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fire on the Mountain

This is the picture from my house, the fire is about 20-30 miles away. The fire is on the border of Botetourt and Bedford Counties. The smoke was impressive today, however tonight the flames can be seen for miles as the Mountain top burns. WDBJ7 has the story here. The Roanoke Times has more of a story here. I can imagine that the Bedford County and Botetourt County Firefighters are busy tonight. I will report more as it becomes available.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Crew

I will attempt to give Julian Stanley Wise the courtesy of correct data below. I do not understand why out of several of the history books of Roanoke, Wise is only mentioned a little bit. So here you go... A look into the Roanoke Life Saving Crew. I will let you know now, there is a lot more history out there, I just have to find it.

One interesting note, which I have not yet been able to collaborate, is that if you look at the RFFA Roster in The Maurice Wiseman Project you will see Julian S. Wise hired September 3, 1932 and Retired April 30, 1945. I do not have a picture of Julian Wise, however if you follow some of the links, you will see his picture. UPDATE: A reader sent in this photo of the Roanoke Life Saving Crew. I believe that Julian is the 4th from the left in the first row. Thanks for the photo.

Pictured Guy Zimmerman, Charles Paxton, Wills.

The Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Crew was formed by Julian Stanley Wise in 1928.

"The life saving crew was given an ambulance equipped with a lung motor and collapsible boat on October 9 (1929) by John M. Oakey, Inc." (The History of the City of Roanoke pg. 697)

Wikipedia has more information about Julian Stanley Wise located.
"Julian Wise died in Roanoke on July 22, 1985, at the age of 85. In a poignant twist, the Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Squad received a call five hours after Wise's death for a possible drowning in the Roanoke River. The thirteen-year-old victim was successfully saved."(Read More)
Roanoke Emergency Medical Services website offers this:
"On a May afternoon in 1909, a boy on the bank of the Roanoke River watched helplessly while two men struggled in the water trying to reach their overturned canoe.

Bystanders shouted hoarse advice and tossed branches into the stream. The men kept crying for help -- then suddenly, they were gone.

Memory of the scene haunted the boy for years. It was a needless tragedy -- there should be a means of quick rescue for accident victims.

Just 19 years later, in May 1928, Julian S. Wise, the boy grown man, organized with nine other volunteers, the Roanoke Lifesaving and First Aid Crew, the first of its kind in America.

As its fame spread, other communities have founded lifesaving crews on the Roanoke, Va., model...

And what do the members receive for their labor and the risking of their lives?

'It's hard to explain,' Wise said, 'but once you feel a human life come back under your own hands, that's all the reward you could ask." ----- Readers Digest, February 1945 (taken from
Members are demonstrating loading/unloading a patient. This unit is an International Travelall Ambulance.

Glasgow Life Saving and First Aid Crew has some pictures located here from when Julian demonstrated some equipment for them.

From the Lynchburg Life Saving Crew:

The next thing needed for the start of Life Saving Crew operations was an automobile. In July of 1934, through the generosity of our friends at the Roanoke Life Saving Crew, we received our first Life Saving Crew vehicle. The 1918 Cadillac Ambulance, which had been previously discarded, came equipped with enough light rescue equipment to handle most ordinary emergency cases. Our first vehicle contained numerous first aid supplies, a Stokes splint stretcher, two army liters, splints, axes, and grappling irons. The new Ambulance, which was painted all white and assigned to the Rivermont Fire Station, was put into service on September 16, 1934.(Read More)

Lynchburg's Ambulance, which was originally one of Roanoke Life Saving Crew's.

Williamson Road Life Saving Crew

Waller Cecil "Pierre" Doss shown inside the Williamson Road Life Saving Crew/ Roanoke County Fire Station #10/ Roanoke County Police Department. This station was originally at Williamson and Fugate, next to where the 7 Eleven is now. Pierre was a Chief in the County. When Roanoke City annexed the area in 1949 Pierre came to work for the Roanoke Fire Department. Later on the Williamson Road Life Saving Crew moved to the station on Oakland, which now houses Lifeline ambulance.

Notice the phone number to dial for assistance.

As with everything, you are welcome to comment, correct me, or point me in the correct direction for further information. This post might have been the most time consuming of all of them, and yet I am still not satisfied with the outcome. It seems as though not too many websites have a lot of information on Julian S. Wise or the Roanoke Life Saving Crew. I had found some information on the Hunton Life Saving Crew, but I am unable to locate the url now. I thought it was hosted at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture. I think that this Life Saving Crew was the first Black crew, or the first all Black crew. I know that there are still members in the Roanoke Fire-EMS who used to volunteer with Hunton, Williamson, and Roanoke Life Saving Crew.

Look for more information in the future.

National EMS Memorial Service Releases Names of 2006 Honorees

National EMS Memorial Service Releases Names of 2006 Honorees (
NEMSMS Press Release

Oilville, Virginia - The National EMS Memorial Service today released the names of the 26 individuals to be honored at the 2006 National EMS Memorial Service to be held Saturday, May 27, 2006 in Roanoke Virginia.

The National EMS Memorial Service has, since 1992, been honoring those EMS providers who have given their lives in the line of duty. The 26 individuals being honored this year join 308 others, previously honored by the Service.(Read More)
I have never made it to one of these events, although they are held right here in Roanoke. You can find more information at NEMSMS website. The names of the honored EMS Providers will be included at the Memorial exhibit in the To the Rescue Museum which is another spot I have not been to. The museum is located in the upper floor of Tanglewood Mall.

To those of you waiting for the Life Saving Crew Post, I am working on some information. I have some surprising info. Look for that in the next couple of days. Maybe tonight. If you have anything you would like to see let me know.

Gender-Changed Tennessee Fire Captain Files Grievance Against Chief - News

Gender-Changed Tennessee Fire Captain Files Grievance Against Chief - News:
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A Knoxville firefighter claims she's being discriminated against because she used to be a man.

Fire Capt. Jamie Faucon has filed a grievance against Knoxville Fire Chief Carlos Perez and her supervisor, Mark Foulkes.

She accuses them of depriving her of a take-home car, of reassigning her and cutting out her overtime because she is a transgendered firefighter.

Faucon also says in her grievance Foulkes used incorrect gender terms when referring to her in conversations.

She says she never thought she would wind up in a situation like this but the actions that allegedly took place earlier this week left her with no other choice.

Faucon had surgery to change from male to female in March 2005. Before making the change, she says she spoke with several city officials and her co-workers were supportive.

Faucon's personal data change form notes her gender change was entered into the system in May 2005.(Read More)
I would love to comment on this, but I will refrain. If that is what he wanted to do. The whole thing about calling her sir or ma'am, well I can understand that they are confused. I can only imagine the jokes that go on in that department.

Recruit Class #15

Recruit Class #15 firefighters have been with the department for 7 years now. The anniversary date was actually yesterday, but I forgot. Here is a rundown of who was in the class, and where they are now.

Dennis Duncan FF/PM 6 C-Shift
Todd Reighley Lt. Ladder 7 -A
Travis Simmons Lt. Ladder 2 - A
Kevin Bradbury FF 2- A
Mac Craft Lt. Engine 9 - A
Jeremy Bennington FF Engine 5 - B
Kelcey Branch Lt. Engine 13 - A
Doug Hurd Lt. Engine 13 - C
Barry Kincer FF/CT 6 - A
Rhett Fleitz Lt. ARFF - C
Betty McBride - Salem FF, went through our rookie school, still works for Salem.
Beth Norwood - left to work as a nurse
B.T. Butler - Currently a firefighter in Iraq
William Hayden - Went to work for Henrico Fire
Charles Williams - Quit

Battalion Chief Roger Manuel and 1st Lt. Phil Dillon were in charge of our Recruit School. Roger was a 1st Lt. at the time and Phil was a Lt. Our class was unlike any others. We got the pleasure of going 6 days a week in order to shorten the class and get us out into the companies quicker. What I will never understand is how the instructors got paid overtime, yet the students did not. It was not pleasant at all going 6 days a week. Especially for the guys like me, who had just moved to Roanoke the week before. We had some good times. Our hangout was Sagebrush (Stagebruff if you were B.T.) Steakhouse at Valley View, now the Golden Palace. We frequented that place. Then there was the brawl on the soccer field, we turned it into a contact sport. Kincer nearly broke Beth's arm on the soccer field as well.

You want to know where we worked out? Victory stadium, we ran the steps, ran the track, laid in the wet grass to stretch, did pullups in the gym. But my favorite was when we would run, just run anywhere. Luckily we did not get the joy of running to the star as the class before us did. However, we ran a lot. Roger and Phil would just tell us to start running, so we would, and we would not stop until they said we could. We ran all over Roanoke. Then after all that they would give 13 men 15 minutes to get ready in a bathroom with 2 showers in it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Rapsheet for the week

Ok, so I have not given you the status of my call statistics for 2 1/2 weeks now. Not much to report until yesterday. Yesterday I was given the opportunity to ride Engine 10. Actually I got some seat time. I am very grateful to the crew of E10 for allowing me to ride. We had 5 calls before I had to go back to the ARFF crew. One of the firefighters had to go home sick, so we had to straighten it all out, I ended up back on the ARFF truck. We ran the following calls: Alarm at the Clarion hotel, soon to be Holiday Inn; DOA on Wentworth with M10; EMS on Liberty; DOA on Palmer with M10 - E10 cancelled in house; Smell of smoke at Petsmart. All in all it was a very good day for me, I got some seat time, and got to get out of the house. It is amazing how much you forget, and how far you get out of practice when you are not doing the job. L2 even set the platform on the roof of Petsmart to check the roof HVAC units.

Hell, it was good just to get out and do some EMS skills.

Hopefully in the future I will report on more calls, etc. But in the meantime you will have to deal with my 1 day on the engine every 2 or 3 cycles.