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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Roanoke firefighters celebrate Station 3

From the Roanoke Times:

Battalion Chief Bobbie Slayton remembered Fire-EMS Station No. 3 as one of the busiest of all the Roanoke stations.

"It was central in locations," said Slayton, who had worked on and off at the station since 1965. "Some of the finest firefighters Roanoke had to offer have come through these doors, and the same ones have gone out."

More than 150 firefighters gathered Sunday afternoon to share memories, laughs and celebrate the closing of the 98-year-old station on Sixth Street Southwest.

Roanoke Fire-EMS Lt. Rhett Fleitz said the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association just wanted to bring together former members of the station one last time.

"You never know what the city council is going to do; they could come and bulldoze it for all we know," he said. "This has been a second home for so many guys in the department, and we just wanted them to come in and enjoy the tradition one last time." Read More

I have to say that I really had a great time down at Fire Station 3 the other day. The food was great and the stories were better. Especially seeing Roadie Kelley slide down the pole, mind you he is around 70 years old. Special thanks to Chad Riddleberger, Nathan Foutz, and JJ Price for getting the event put together. Unfortunately, Chad was unable to attend due to an illness which put him in the hospital. I wish you a speedy recovery.

On another note:

The verdict is in. Ladder 1 will be moved to Fire Station 1. This isn't a shock. The disturbing thing about the whole Station 1 mess is that they couldn't come out and make a definite decision when they decided to continue with building the new station. Instead, firefighters have had to wait for a decision, one that finally came a mere week or two before the new station opens.

And then this:

Engine 7 will be taken out of service and replaced with a Medic truck. Station 7 will change from an Engine 7 (4 firefighters, minimum of 3) and Ladder 7 (4 firefighters, minimum of 3) per shift to Medic 7 (2 Firefighters, one being ALS Certified) and Quint 7 (6 firefighters, minimum of 4) per shift. Meanwhile, we still have 6 firefighters (3 Lieutenants and 3 ALS firefighters) stationed at Clearbrook Station 7 in Roanoke County.

I may never fully understand why the City still allows giving free manpower to the County when we have such huge budgetary issues in the City that we have to take an Engine out of Service. It appears there is some deep rooted City Council/Board of Supervisors back scratching going on.

I have hit on this before, and I will continue to do so in the future. Let us look at what is going on in the Northside. The rumblings on the street is that Roanoke County needs to justify more firefighters so they have had Medic 10 start running second in to Hollins area. Justification? What does Roanoke County need justification for? There department should be twice the size it is right now. What the hell are they waiting for? Maybe they are waiting for the senseless deaths of citizens in fires and medical emergencies while waiting for second or third due coverage. Roanoke County is beyond the capability of relying on firefighters responding at home. They need to have full coverage on all of their apparatus all the time. They need to run their own calls and only rely on mutual aid for what it was designed for. Currently, it seems as though Roanoke City has become the first in agency in a large part of Roanoke County. This should not be accepted by Roanoke City Citizens nor Roanoke City Council.

Engine 13 alone ran 4 calls in the County yesterday. County units were only seen on one of the calls. Don't get me wrong, I love running calls. I have two years of running nothing to make up for. However, I can see the writing on the walls when City units are in the County covering for them and something BAD happens in there first due. I guess we will have to explain away....

Am I the only one who sees the Clearbrook deal as the worst business venture the City has done in a long time. We provide mutual aid into the County, hell most of it is automatic aid. Yet, instead of them providing the same to us, we have to staff their stations with our people. That is a blatant waste of resources.


Anonymous said...

Rhett, you are right as rain. The city is going to get bit by this dog. Something big is going to happen in the city when units are in the county. The people of roanoke city and maybe the firefighters are going to pay. I know that the bean counters think, it will never happen. Did anyone think VT would happen?

Anonymous said...

Who is that guy GHERMAN, how many dagone pictures is this guy gona be in? He is on the cover of all these mag's, is he rich and famous or what.

Anonymous said...

What does the city gain by letting Medic 10 and others run into the county? I don't understand why they do it.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that the City is not getting the money from County Medic 61 running in the city so the trade off is Medic 10 coming into the County. And for the 4 calls that Engine 13 went on those were in Engine 13's automatic aid locations just like County Wagon 7 runs single engine responses to Franklin Rd area.

Anonymous said...

It is all a big trade off. It traces back to Clearbrook. By having the County run into the city area around Franklin Rd., the City don't have to spend several million dollars building a Station out there.

FireFleitz said...

So, in your mind the trade off is that the County doesn't have to build and/or adequately staff their side of the fence. Therefore, we have to run calls into the County from every quadrant of the City. Sounds like a great trade off for the County!

The trade off should be auto aid for auto aid and mutual aid for mutual aid, not auto aid for personnel. Who do you think is getting the better end of that deal.

Anonymous said...

In a political view it is a great trade off. County gets its calls covered without hiring more people and the City saves millions (by not building a new station that is not in the chiefs plan)to spend on some senseless special prodject.

Don't blame me , I'm just the messenger.

FireFleitz said...

I understand what you are saying, however look at it this way:

If the City used the County the same way the County uses the City then there wouldn't be a need for a Station in the 220 area. Simply, County #7 would run the calls and that would be the end of it. No need to staff their stations, no need to build a city station. Get it?

Anonymous said...


Everyone realizes that except the people making the decisions.