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Friday, December 29, 2006
Effective January 1, 2007 @ 07:00 Medic 7 will be placed in-service at Fire-EMS station 3, all part-time personnel will now report to station 3 for assigned shifts and will staff medic 7. The hours will remain 07:00 – 19:00 Monday through Friday; REMS will staff MU101, MU102, or MU103 when volunteer staffing is available. If no volunteer ALS staffing is available, on-duty personnel will relieve the part-time staff on medic 7 for the remainder of the shift and will staff the unit on weekends. If on-duty staffing is not available to staff medic 7 when REMS is not in-service then part-time staffing will be utilized on nights and weekends to supplement the on-duty personnel.
The ambulance is brand new and was just delivered to Roanoke. It will be in service ASAP, in the meantime Medic 7 will be a reserve ambulance.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I apologize, I did not have the correct URL when I posted the information on the Star City FOOLS. The correct URL is: http://www.starcityfools.com. It seems as though they meet at O'Malleys Downtown the second Wednesday of each Month.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
On the trip down to Nashville, we stopped in Bristol for some authentic Mexican food. You know, Taco Bell. Bristol Engine 3 was parked nearby so I took some pics. Check out Bristol Fire here.
In Nashville, we came upon this "incident". Apparently this BMW went into the drink. The flatbed fished him out and hauled him off. The man with the vehicle did not look to happy. Thanks to my new camera, I was able to snap this picture.
I hope that everyone else had a great Christmas.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Below is the beginning of a post I was working on the other day. I did not have time to finish it, however I thought that posting the legislative link might afford you the opportunity to learn about the up coming legislation.
In January, representatives from Locals across Virginia will be meeting in Richmond to learn about legislation affecting our jobs and benefits. Once the legislation is understood, the firefighters head to the General Assembly to meet with their respective Congressman and Representatives and lobby for the bills we want and against the ones we don't. That is a brief synopsis of what goes on during the Legislative Conference. It is a learning experience each year. Luckily, for the Virginia Firefighters we have Art Lipscomb and Robbie Bragg III who head up our Legislative Committee. Click for Link
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Firefighter of the Year award and Company Award Nominations are due by January 1st. Currently there have only been 3 nominations. The Company Awards are similar in nature to the Firefighter of the Year awards, however these are reserved for incidents and events where you cannot narrow the nomination to one or two firefighters. If you have any questions about the Firefighter of the Year award, and to submit a nomination, contact Tim Parry. If you have questions or would like to submit a nomination for a Company Award contact Teddy Adkins. Please submit a description of what the incident/event was and why you feel the firefighter(s) deserve the award. These are due by January 1st.
If you have not sent in your RSVP for the Banquet, the price goes up after tomorrow. Please be sure that we know you are planning on going. We need to have these numbers in order to get the best possible pricing at the Hotel. Rooms are available and we have blocked off 40 rooms, contact the Holiday Inn (formerly the Clarion) to reserve your room.
The "Firefighting in Roanoke" books have been selling great. We have about 100 of the 400 left on hand, contact me if you need to get one. Barnes and Noble has sold out, and is ordering more which should be in at the end of this week. If you would like a signed copy and are unable to catch up to me, there are signed copies at the Roanoke Antique Mall on 460 and at Rams Head Books at Towers Mall.
Now for the real issue for this post. Someone told me today that they were not going to participate in the flex spending offered by the City. For those of you who do not know, the City just revamped the flex spending accounts offered for health care and dependant care. There are a couple of perks, actually three that come to mind. The new benefits will be available through WageWorks.
- The money comes out of your paycheck pretax.
- The City matches the funds up to $130 a year for the health care account.
- This City match is in effect a $130 a year raise.
The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a structure fire on December 15, 2006 at 1414 Gilford Ave.
The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately
6:45 p.m. The response consisted of four Engines, one Ladder truck, one Medic Unit, one EMS Captain, one Battalion Chief, and the Investigation Unit for a total of 22 personnel. The fire was under control at 7:30 p.m.
When crews arrived, they found a fire in the attic of the ranch style home. Crews gained access and extinguished the fire.
There was one person in the home when the fire started. The resident was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. One firefighter sustained minor injuries.
The fire started in the attic and was contained to the attic. The cause of the fire was due to improper discarding of smoking materials. Damage estimates are approximately $18,000.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Scott Graham, Clayton Martin, Brian Conner, Teddy Adkins, Werner VanDamme
and Vince Stover work through a problem in class. (above)
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Todd emailed this to the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department:
As most of you by now know, I am heading to Iraq as a civilian contract firefighter. I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you and that it has been a pleasure working w/ each and everyone of you. My last day on duty with our department is today Dec. 16th. I will be around however through the Christmas Holidays. I deploy to Houston TX Jan. 8th, for a week and then fly to Dubi Saudi Arabia the following Monday the 15th. I do not know what military base I will be working on until I am in Iraq and will be stationed overseas for 1 year. For those who wish to keep in touch with me my yahoo email address will remain in use. Merry Christmas to you and your families.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Firefighter bridges time
A new book follows the evolution of services in Roanoke from an all-volunteer group in 1882 to the Fire-EMS department in 1995.
During the first few decades of firefighting services in Roanoke, firefighters such as Howard Dowdy drove and washed the horses that pulled fire wagons.
More than a century later, Dowdy's grandson, Bev Mitchell, would drive and wash the gray, and later red, fire engines.
"I imagine we respond a whole lot quicker now than we did then," Mitchell said, chuckling.
The evolution of the department, from an all-volunteer organization in 1882 to the Fire-EMS department in 1995, is documented in a new book, "Firefighting in Roanoke."
The book, compiled by Roanoke firefighter Lt. Rhett Fleitz, includes more than 200 pictures that illustrate the changes in Roanoke's firefighting services, which began almost 125 years ago. (Read More)
Circuit City’s new service, firedog, is a one-stop shop for consumers’ technology needs: www.firedog.com. Circuit City’s firedog technicians install, optimize, repair, and make technology purchases simple so consumers don't have to waste time with piles of manuals and tricky cables.
To help commemorate and launch the new firedog service in a unique, cause-focused way, Circuit City developed the contest, “firedog Across America,” which will provide great donations and prizes to local firehouses and the consumers that nominate them!
The contest works like this:
1.) Tell firedog Your Story
Tell firedog your personal story about how a local firehouse has demonstrated service to your community. If your story is chosen as one of 10 finalists, you will receive a $10,000 home “techover” from firedog and your fire station will receive a $20,000 donation.
2.) America Votes
Once the 10 finalist firehouses have been chosen, the stories will be posted on firedog.com and America will vote for their favorite.
3.) The Best Part, Everyone Wins
All of the finalist firehouses win. For every vote cast for a finalist firehouse, that finalist firehouse will receive a $1.00 donation (total donations based on voting for all 10 firehouses not to exceed $250,000). After 16 days, the station with the most votes will be the national grand-prize winner and receive an additional $100,000 donation!
The firedog Across America contest was launched last week. As part of the launch, Circuit City and firedog also presented $100,000 donations to both the FDNY Foundation, which supports New York City Fire Department initiatives, and the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children's Foundation for its efforts in helping children of law enforcement and firefighting personnel. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta were on hand to receive the donations.
I should really be getting paid for this advertising, but as always I am glad to spread the word.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Willie Wines Jr. kicks off the breakfast and welcomes the Retirees
Willie Wines Sr., his buddy the Larry the “Governor”, Willie Wines Jr., Brent Berry, Wayne Hall, Stacy Boothe, and J.J. Price cooked up one hell of a spread for the guys. They should be commended for the breakfast they served to the group. We appreciate the job they have done for the second time now. Next time you see those guys be sure to say thanks.
Travis Collins, George Perdue, and Mike Overacker attended and were able to capture the event with photographs. Thanks to all the other guys who attended and helped out including R. T. Flora, Kenny Furrow, Rodney Jordan, and Jon Willdigg.
The Retirees seemed to really enjoy the event once again. I think that all the current firefighters really enjoyed seeing the “Old” guys have such a great time.
George Perdue signs "Big Daddy" Sullivan's Book
After it was all over with, it was fun to kick back with the guys who had helped with the event and chew the fat. It was good to open up the Union Hall for another event. It seems as though the building is being used more and more for events. If any of you firefighters have an event coming up let us know if you want to use it.
From what I understand, the “Billy Obenchain” T-Shirts sold pretty good after the event at station 2. If you want to get a hold of one of the shirts, stop by station 2 on any shift and they will have one for you. Here are some pictures of the event, I will have the rest up on the Local site tomorrow.
The Union Hall was a packed house
The guys look over the book "Firefighting in Roanoke"
Amanda Codospoti, a reporter with the Roanoke Times, was able to interview many retirees for an article she is working on for the paper. Look for something on Friday in the paper possibly.
Luckily, for me it was good news. I will be rejoining the ranks of the Red Fire Trucks and working at 13 on C-Shift. Prior to being promoted I was working at 13 on B-Shift and I was on C-Shift prior to that.
It seems as though, from the new assignments, several people might be asking "What did I do to get moved". What do you think?
click to view the list
"I got a phone call from Scott today. He was also able to call Kira. Lines for the phone were long. He was well and seemed to be in good spirits. They are working long, hard hours.
He is currently working out of the Haditha dam area. Apparently they are going out for days/weeks at time on missions, then coming back to the dam. When at the dam, they are sleeping on cots in a workroom. This is a temporary assignment, then he will be moving further west toward the Syrian border. I think the outpost near that area is at Rawah. He has limited phone service and no computer service right now. He believes he will have some computer access when he gets to his next post.
He has been getting some cooked foods in addition to MRE's. In fact, he said they had been able to set up a grill of some sort and he and another Marine were the "grill masters" -- something he loves to do.
Things he can use include batteries (AAA and AA) - beef jerky, packets of tuna, chicken - protein sources. Protein bars would probably also be good. Individual serving sizes of snack foods like peanuts, cashews. Socks, hygiene products will also be needed. He left with a supply of things, but will have limited access to replenish.
He has not yet received any letters from home - -but I assured him that they would be coming soon.
I have attached a couple maps on powerpoint that show where Haditha and Rawah are located.
For those who still need the address:
Cpl Bailey, Scott D.
4th CEB DET HQ Support
FPO AP 96426-1790
You can also send letters by going to motomail.us and setting up an account. With motomail, you type in your letter and they print it out in country - then deliver it. I would not send "secure" information this way though. I usually type my letter in WORD, then paste over in motomail b/c if i get interrupted, it will time out.
I will let you know when I hear more. Thanks to everyone for their support and prayers.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The book has made it's rounds to most stations by now. If you have not had the chance to get a copy yet, let me know and I will get one to you. We have sold around 150 copies so far. We have plenty left. The response to the book has been great.
This is a big week (this year) for the Fire-EMS Department. The moves will be listed, letting many firefighters know where they will be working in January. Many of them want to move, many don't. Some have to due to promotions and the new recruits who might have been temporarily filling a hole until the new roster comes out.
Word has it that there are three internal applicants for the Chief's position with Roanoke Fire-EMS; Acting Chief Hoback, Battalion Chief Roger Manuel; and a Captain which has been unconfirmed. I heard today that Chief Birch, Roanoke County Fire-EMS Chief, has applied for the position as well. But don't hold me to it. The next year will certainly be interesting for the Department. Many changes are on the way.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
As far as the links go, I have culled the bad links and blogs which haven't been updated in a while. If there is a link missing which you want back up, let me know. If your blog was removed, let me know and I will add it back. If you find a bad link which I missed, let me know and I will add it. Otherwise enjoy the new features.
I will try my best to go back and add tags to most of the posts. However, going through 750+ posts might take some time.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Roanoke Fire-EMS is hosting a retirement party for Battalion Chief Billy Obenchain today at 11am at the Jefferson Center Atrium.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
On a related note, Joe over at Firewhirl has recently began posting again. Firewhirl is a great resource for Fire related information and news. You can visit his blog at www.firewhirl.com.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I need to know what year we had the first tournament. If you know, please let me know.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Tonight I took my family to the Circus. When we arrived, an hour and fifteen minutes early, we were told that we had to park downtown and take the shuttle unless we were handicap or had a preferred parking pass. I wanted to strangle the guy who was working the parking lot, but it wasn't his fault. Did I miss a memo? What the heck is going on here? There was another event going on at the auditorium of the Civic Center and another event downtown. Apparently, this created the need for Police Officers at every stoplight near downtown and the Civic Center. We ended up parking near the Civic Center and walking. Now imagine my amazement when I got inside and realized that there was a Roanoke Express size attendance ( just under 1000 probably). Just imagine if the place was packed. The Circus was decent, only one ring and not exactly how I remember the circus as a child. But never the less enjoyable for the kids.
My suggestion is before you sink millions of dollars on another venue at the Civic Center (the exhibition hall), taking away hundreds of parking spaces, why don't we make sure we have enough parking for events. Maybe they should take that big vast expanse that was going to be an amphitheatre and pave it. Then create a walking path or raised walkway over 460 to the Civic Center. Maybe parking is the reason why the place wasn't packed.
Since I am in rant mode, I have another no-brainer. Valley View Mall is constantly adding stores, and currently following the City's lead by taking away parking, creating more tax revenue for the City. Why not go ahead and finish the entrance/exit at Best Buy? What the heck is going on here? That place is a mess. I like visiting the Valley View area, but I don't understand why that project never got finished.
It seems to me that the City needs to prioritize it's needs and start working on the traffic problem which exists in many places in Roanoke. I can think of many areas which are very congested; Colonial near Towers mall, 460 from 581 to the County line, Valley View Mall, Hershberger and Williamson, Several spots on Brandon Avenue, Avenham and Franklin, to name a few.
I am glad I had time to cool down since the parking incident. I know I don't hit on stuff like this much, but I just couldn't help myself. If you were wondering if the Circus was worth it, the answer is yes. The kids loved it.
Not all of us can help everyone all the time, but usually you can find someone to help. For instance, Jeremy Bennington is building a house. Now when I say he is building it, I don't mean he is overseeing subcontractors as they work and lining up the next subcontractor. I mean he is building it by himself, with the help of his brothers. Side note: if you want to help him, and yes he is always looking for some help, please contact him.
Today, I spent a mere two hours helping a brother install carpeting in his family room. No, I am not a skilled professional, but I have done it before. I felt confident that we could get it completed and looking good. We installed it, it looks great, and best of all it only took two and a half hours. Money saved = $250. I walked away with a sixer of Sam Adams Boston Ale. What more could you ask for.
Here are a few tips on getting people to help.
1. Only get them to help if they will know what they are doing.
2. Get them some beer or feed them lunch if they help out. If they don't drink, just leave out the beer.
3. Don't give them the beer until the job is done, unless they are merely there for the camaraderie and moral support. I think that is self explanatory.
4. Always remember that they helped if you need help later on down the road.
The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately
5:35 a.m. The response consisted of three Engines, one Ladder truck, two Medic Units, one EMS Captain, one Battalion Chief, one Administrative Chief, and the investigative unit for a total of 25 personnel.
When crews arrived, they found a two story apartment building with smoke and coming from the first floor of one of the units. Crews immediately gained entrance and made an aggressive attack to extinguish the fire. A primary search was conducted and was ruled all clear.
There Were Three people in the home when the fire started. They escaped without any injuries. There was one resident displaced and assistance is being rendered by the Red Cross. There were no injuries to Fire-EMS personnel or civilians.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. There was $30,000 damage to the structure and contents.