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Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Kitchen Table at #4

The firefighters at Fire Station #4 have built a brand new kitchen table. Check out the new table. I must say that you guys did one hell of a job on this one. It looks great. Thanks to Lt. Steve Jordan for the pictures.

Fire at 4734 Casper Drive

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a structure fire on August 30, 2007 at 4734 Casper Dr.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 9:16 a.m. The response of three Engines, one Ladder truck, two Medic Units, the EMS Captain, the Investigation Unit and a Battalion Chief for a total of 18 personnel responded to the scene.

When crews arrived they found smoke coming from the home. They quickly entered the structure and extinguished the fire.

There was one person in the house when the fire started. They escaped without injuries. There were no injuries to Fire-EMS personnel or civilians.

The fire started in a bedroom and was contained to the bedroom. The house sustained smoke damage. The fire has been ruled accidental but the exact cause is still under investigation at this time. Damage estimates are not available at this time.

Motorcycle Ride to benefit Roanoke Fire-EMS Deputy Chief Billy Altman - October 5th in Roanoke

There will be a Motorcycle Ride to benefit Deputy Chief Billy Altman on October 5th.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

IAFF Endorses Chris Dodd for President

The IAFF has just announced that they will be endorsing Senator Chris Dodd for President in 2008. I must say that being at the IAFF Presidential forum that Dodd was very receptive to firefighters needs. The firefighters up in Connecticut are very proud of their Senator who has championed many of their causes.

I am sure that this endorsement will be a shock to many IAFF members who hold their respective State's Presidential Hopeful near and dear. I know that there is a large conglomerate of H. Clinton supporters in the NY area, Richardson in New Mexico, Biden in Deleware, and some others who have been very good to the firefighters in their States.

This endorsement will more than likely have many IAFF members wondering who the hell Chris Dodd is and why he is being endorsed if he isn't at the top of any polls right now.

Then there will be many who are letting out a sigh of relief for the fact that Hillary was not endorsed. I know so many of you were ready to turn in your cards if she had been endorsed.

It will be interesting to see the Dodd camp get such a boost of support. I expect that the polls will soon show an increase in strength.

However, the job isn't done that easy. The IAFF has endorsed Dodd after much deliberation. The IAFF did studies, polls, interviews, etc. before coming to this decision. They have figured out that Dodd is your best bet for President according to what you say and what you stand for as a firefighter. More later on what you can do to ensure his win.

This from Harold Shaitberger and the IAFF:

Senator... Soldier... Patriot...

Experience and Leadership Our Country Needs

We have a core political philosophy on which all of our political work hinges. We will support those who support us.

In the 2008 presidential election, there are a number of candidates with solid records on fire fighter and working family issues. The proven, demonstrated ability to lead on those issues are what we weigh the most when deciding who will receive the considerable support and endorsement of our great union. These successes tell us what kind of leadership each candidate will offer as our president.

So we did the background work and looked at the candidates’ records on fire fighter and working family issues. We saw which issues they have a history of supporting and where they led the fight to change things for the better. And we examined the strengths each candidate would bring in a general election.

We listened to the candidates’ words, hosted forums and printed information about them in our magazine. We talked with our leaders and members across the country. Your IAFF Executive Board took that information and found one candidate out of all those running in both parties really stood head and shoulders above the rest when it came to support for fire fighters, for protecting our country and on issues that are important to our economy, our families and their quality of life.

That candidate is U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, and that’s why your IAFF Executive Board reached a consensus and will formally vote August 29 and announce the IAFF’s endorsement of Senator Dodd for president of the United States.

Senator Chris Dodd's full record will be available on the "Fire Fighters For Dodd" web site at
beginning Wednesday, August 29.

Chris understands service, duty and leadership. He’s spent his entire adult life serving our country and its citizens.

As a young man, he joined the Peace Corps, and as he worked in rural communities in the Dominican Republic he learned the value of the United States leading the way for others.

After fulfilling that commitment, Chris enlisted in the Army National Guard and later served in the U.S. Army Reserves.

And after earning a law degree, he ran for and was elected to Congress in 1974, where he served three terms in the House of Representatives on behalf of Connecticut, then was elected to represent his state in the U.S. Senate in 1980.

His record of leadership on issues that have helped American workers not just keep their heads above water, but to get ahead, is long and distinguished. It tells us a lot about the kind of president he will make and why we believe he can win.

Just as important, Chris Dodd’s record is probably the best in the history of the U.S. Congress in leading the fight to ensure that the funding, resources and staffing fire fighters need to do their jobs safely and effectively is there.

He wasn’t just a co-sponsor of the FIRE Act; he wrote it.

He wasn’t just a co-sponsor of the SAFER Act; he wrote it.

Chris has co-sponsored our collective bargaining legislation.

He helped lead the fight to implement all of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Dodd supports increased funding for Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants, the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) program and other block grants to assist first responders.

In fact, one of his first votes as a young congressman was to authorize the original PSOB program in September 1976.

Chris has earned the support of this IAFF, and as we unite in support of his candidacy, I believe the country will once again see in our candidate the values and strength that they see in their fire fighters.

With the boldest plans to make health insurance, college tuition and energy more affordable, we know that Chris Dodd will continue to fight for the middle class as president.

Chris Dodd has a wealth of experience and a record of leadership on national and homeland security matters. His experienced diplomacy is going to be critical in protecting our nation and leading us back to the forefront in the world again.

Chris has served the citizens of this country with distinction his entire career; he is a candidate with experience, a proven track record and a real vision for the future.

He is known as an effective lawmaker and a skillful negotiator who is respected on both sides of the political aisle – and who can bring people together to tackle big challenges.

Such qualities have served Chris well as he has been part of every major domestic and foreign policy debate over the last quarter century.

Our great country has been without sound presidential leadership for too long. This time around, experience matters. America needs a president who is a leader like Chris Dodd. No candidate has more experience, and no candidate has led the way on issues important to fire fighters and the quality of life for their families as Chris Dodd.

Station 1 Firefighters Create a TV Stand with a Fire Alarm Pedestal

Once again, the firefighters at Station 1 have outdone themselves. They have created a tv stand out of an old fire alarm pull box pedestal. The stand was repainted and refurbished to hold the tv in the kitchen of the new Fire Station 1.

Roanoke had fire alarm boxes in service from the late 1800's until the year 2000 (give or take a year). When I came to the department in 1999, we still had several throughout the City. The main reason why the boxes were taken out of service was because of all of the false alarms and the advent of the 911 system. Today, with the use of the 911 system and the fact that most people have cell phones, most emergencies are taken care of without the need for pull boxes. One interesting note is that Cities like Boston still use the systems and still believe in their effectiveness without many false alarms to hamper the firefighters.

Great job on the tv stand. Thanks to Lt. Baron Gibson for the pictures.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I need a favor

Hey guys, I have a favor to ask of at least one of you. I need someone to take over the planning and overseeing of the Blue Mass as far as the firefighters are concerned.

The Blue Mass is going to be held on Saturday September 29th at 5:30 pm at St. Andrews Church. This will be the third year of the Blue Mass in Roanoke.

The Blue Mass is put on by the Knights of Columbus in recognition of service for Public Safety.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The firefighters attendance has been very weak the past two years and there are always numerous Police Officers.

All I need someone to do is coordinate the baking of desserts, usually on duty companies don't mind baking some. Also you will need to get drinks, which I can probably do before I head out of town.

I will be in Richmond and will not be able to be there. If you have any questions, please let me know. If you can't help, please plan on attending.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is Roanoke

Have you ever wanted to scan the newspaper, tv news, area blogs on Roanoke, and blogs from Roanoke all at the same time without having to click and scroll through a bunch of websites? Well, I have your answer. This is Roanoke, a website created by Andrew Kantor, comes to the rescue with a site that offers an abstract of the news and blogs on one site. The blog posts and news stories are offered in summary form for instant click-through to the actual website where the story originates.

Basically, it is a one stop shop for all things news related in Roanoke.

Andrew writes:

Eventually I plan to add a message board and/or allow comments on the entries. And I'm absolutely wide open to suggestions of any sort.

I have two goals:
1) create the most useful possible Web site for residents of the area, and
2) to draw attention to as many local bloggers and other news sources as possible.
The website updates automatically when a blog is posted or news hits the websites.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

This is Roanoke

Fire at 3700 Woodcrest Rd.

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a structure fire on August 22, 2007 at 3700 Woodcrest Rd.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 3:30p.m. The response of three Engines, one Ladder truck, two Medic Units, the EMS Captain and a Battalion Chief for a total of 18 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was ruled under control at 3:40 p.m.

When crews arrived they found a fire inside of the home that had burned through the floor. Crews quickly extinguished the fire and checked to make sure no one was trapped inside.

No one was in the house when the fire started. It was vacant at this time. There were no injuries to Fire-EMS personnel or civilians.

The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation at this time. Damage estimates are approximately $50,000.

MDA needs your help with the Telethon



WHEN: Labor Day Weekend

September 2, 2007 9:00 pm – 12:00 am

September 3, 2007 8:00 am – 6:30 pm

WHERE: James River Conference Center

Downtown Lynchburg

SHIFTS AVAILABLE: Sunday night, September 2nd: 8:00 pm – 12:00 am

Monday, September 3rd: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Monday, September 3rd: 11:00 am 3:00 pm

Monday, September 3rd: 3:00 pm 6:30 pm

**Feel free to pick 1 or more shifts.

Any and all help is appreciated!!**


1. Food Room – Pick up food donated by area restaurants. Serve food throughout the day. Make coffee, etc. Need 3 people per shift.

2. Mail Room – Tear pledges. Stuff envelopes & prepare envelopes to be mailed. Need 2 – 3 people per shift.

3. Registration: Help check in volunteers, sponsors, client families, and keep out the general public. Need 2 people per shift.

4. Carnival Games: Assist Carnival Coordinator, Winfred Campbell, with children’s games and other entertainment taking place outside the Telethon Site. Need 10 people per shift on Monday, September 3rd only.

5. Phone Operator Coordinator: Check in 4 shifts of phone operators, provide quick orientation, restock supplies, & bring pledges to MDA staff for tallying. Need 1 person per shift.

6. Set Tear-Down: Take down set Monday evening after the Telethon ends at 6:30 pm. Need 5 or more people.

Bragging Rights Flag Football Tournament

Information below. Richard Lipes is looking into this and is hoping to set up a scrimmage soon.

Bragging Rights Flag Football Tournament
Funds raised will go to help our wounded US Troops that are in rehab for their injuries @ Walter Reed Military Hospital
Dates: Nov. 17th and 18th, 2007
8 vs 8 (3 linemen w/ the center eligible)
Guaranteed a min. of 3 games (win Sunday in the playoffs and play more)
$250 entry fee
13 teams entered last year with FDNY taking home the Championship Trophy. They will return in 2007 to defend their Championship as well as Camden City, NJ Firefighters and Alexandria Va., Firefighters.
I have been contacted by new teams and believe we will have more than 13 teams this year.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
D.J. Marasco
Howard Co. Firefighters
Bragging Rights Football

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How to become a Firefighting Blogger

In recent months, I have seen many "Firefighting Blogs" pop up here and there. The contingent of East Coast Firefighting Blogs seems to have grown by leaps and bounds. The actual demographic is the Central/Southern East Coast. While I am sure there are other blogs out there, these are just the ones I have noticed. Some of these blogs come from VA, NC, and SC. While the Roanoke Fire Blog is more of a regional blog for the Roanoke Valley and specifically the Roanoke City Firefighters, some others have a National and even an International scope.

So just how do you become a Firefighting Blogger? Well the simple answer is to sign up using Blogger (my format), or Wordpress, typepad, or one of the other many blogging templates. Most are free, some you will have to pay for. There are even websites which have a blog feel to them. is one of these. It offers the RSS feel while still rounding out the site with a lot of content possibilities.

Now that I have provided you where to start, let me tell you how to prepare.

  1. You need to know your audience and topic. Whether it is Local, Statewide, National, or International you need to know who you are catering to and what they want to read. Basically, you need to keep them coming back to read more. provides an excellent blog that is specific to truck company operations (ventilation, forcible entry, and search and rescue). They seldom waver, yet are willing to expand the scope of writing to include building construction and product information/review. They do an excellent job of staying on task.
  2. You need to know what you are talking about. You will get torn apart by readers if you just ramble on about a topic in which you don't have a clue. Be sure to do the proper research before talking about something that you know little about.
  3. You need to understand what you are talking about. I have found that I may take the time to research a topic and make a statement in a post. The second I post it, someone else is making a comment about an angle of the story that I didn't even think about. Try to cover all of your bases.
  4. You need to stand up for what you believe in. If you say it make sure you mean it. I have written posts in the past (the blog is 2.5 years old) that I still have to answer for. Remember that people can still go back and read what you said a long time ago and hold you accountable, unless you are an anonymous blogger.
  5. Make sure you don't mind someone else posting what you said. The thing about bloggers is that they feed off of each other. As more and more blogs pop up, more blogs are linking to each other and syndicating each others content. Other bloggers will take what you say and link to it, copy it, and either agree with you or tear you apart. You have to be ready to be ridiculed.
  6. Don't forget that you can be held accountable. I learned early on as a "blogger" that retaliation is something that can happen. I have a first hand account of how what I wrote pissed the wrong guy off. The problem is that he had the power to make my life hell, and he did not hesitate. That is life, I am wiser now and I still believe in what I wrote.
  7. Write to your audiences level of understanding. How many firefighters do you know who have a Master's Degree? Not too many. You don't need to write like you are addressing Harvard's graduating class. Firefighters do not like $4 words that they don't understand and have never heard before. They aren't going to look it up either so you might as well omit (leave out) those words. I am not saying that firefighters are dumb. It is kind of like a team being as strong as its weakest player. If you want to write to everyone, leave out the $4 words.
  8. Make sure you have original content. Some blogs are strictly original content by the blogger (Roanoke has a lot of original content, but some copy/paste happens). Other bloggers frequently comment on other bloggers posts. Whatever you do, make sure you offer your own standpoint, opinion, or information if you are copying and pasting a story from somewhere else.
  9. Listen to your readers. One of the biggest benefits of comments is to see what other people are saying. Allow your readers to comment. Remember it is their opinion, just as you offered yours in the post. DON'T TAKE CRITICISM TO HEART.
  10. Increase the amount of readers. The single biggest thing you can do to attract readers is to link to other blogs. Link to other blogs you think your readers will like. Contact those blogs and ask for a reciprocal link.
  11. Last but certainly not least, USE SPELL CHECKER. I absolutely hate reading misspelled words. There isn't an excuse for it. I don't want to read misspelled words. Disclaimer: I have forgotten to use spell checker before and I will in the future, but it is not intentional.
Here are some of the blogs I enjoy reading. Some are new, some are old. For more blogs look on the right hand side of the blog. Roanoke's Blogs are on top and Firefighting/EMS blogs are below.

Firefighting Hourly
South Bend Fire
Fairfax County Fire Department 5th Battalion Training "A Shift"
Firefighter Sam
The Fire Academy
First In
Bristol Firefighters
Firefighter Blog
STATter 911

It is great to see so many bloggers out there on firefighting. I really enjoy getting around to reading most of them daily. Keep up the good work guys.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me by email.

Good luck blogging.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Firefighter's Auxiliary will be meeting on Monday, August 27th at the
Graham's house. For more information please contact Helene Ferguson or Melanie Graham.

If you did not receive a notice and are a firefighters wife, then you are welcome to attend. They are adding to the mailing list every day.

The first meeting was eventful and they have many other things to discuss at the next meeting. Here are some that they list:
  1. Where to have future meetings
  2. What the 1st fund raising project will be
  3. Vote on officers of the auxiliary
  4. Continue to discuss chartering with the AIAFF
The meeting will be August 27th at 6:30 pm. Plan on attending, and spread the word.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Firefighting in Roanoke wins an IAFF Media Award

Local 1132 submitted 4 entries into the IAFF Media awards this year. Two articles written by Amanda Codospoti, as an affiliate website, and "Firefighting in Roanoke" as a special one time project.

Unfortunately, there were better stories and websites, but the book actually got second place (ok third since there was a tie for first). So here is to the Roanoke Firefighters, whose book just got a little more notoriety.

You can see what else placed with "Firefighting in Roanoke" here.

You can view all of the award winners here.

Fairfax and Charlottesville also won awards.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fire at 510 6th Street SW

Watch the Video and read the story here:

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a structure fire on August 14, 2007 at 510 6th St.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 5:23 p.m. The response of four Engines, two Ladder trucks, two Medic Units, the EMS Captain, two Battalion Chiefs, the Fire Marshal and the Investigation Unit for a total of 31 personnel responded to the scene.

When crews arrived they found heavy smoke and fire coming from all sides of the two story, wood frame structure. Crews immediately began to search the home for anyone trapped inside. The primary and secondary searches were ruled all clear. Firefighters attacked the blaze until the structure became unsafe. Everyone was then evacuated from the building and crews began a defensive attack from the outside of the structure.

There was no one in the home when the fire started. There were no injuries to civilians or Fire-EMS personnel.

The origin and cause of the fire are under investigation. This home appeared to be vacant.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Altman Family Fund

Deputy Chief Billy Altman is recovering at UVA and is expected to be there at least 2-3 weeks. Due to the financial burden that his illness has placed on his family, firefighters have set up a fund to help offset some of the costs of the expenses. It is likely that he will have numerous medical bills in the end.
If you would like to donate to the Altman Family fund, simply stop by any Suntrust in the Roanoke Valley and deposit money into the fund. Tell the teller that the money is to go to the "Altman Family Fund".
Or if you would like, you may send money or check made out to the Altman Family Fund to Station 8 to the attention of Captain Robert Purdue (B-shift). Robert will then deposit the money into the fund promptly.
Station 8 - 2328 Crystal Spring Avenue Roanoke, VA 24014

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Deputy Chief Billy Altman is in the Hospital

Deputy Chief Billy Altman was admitted to the University of Virginia and is in the NICU (6 West).

Correction: He was in Charlottesville for a wedding.

His family has not disclosed any details of his illness/injury at this time.

You may send cards, however phone calls and flowers are not permitted at this time.

More information will be shared if it is disclosed.

Please keep Chief Altman and his family in your thoughts and prayers in his time of need.

Billy is out of surgery and recovering. He still needs your prayers as does his family.

Local News Mishap Circling the Net

The other night, Jay Warren was caught laughing about a prior joke during a news story about a deadly accident. The footage is circling the net on various video sights. This is great news. The last time the Nation heard about Roanoke was when the lady in South East who was complaining about jackhammering noise hurting her unborn baby while she smoked a cigarette (link).

The video is here:
If it doesn't show, the direct link is here.

The Biggest Asshole News Reporter Ever
Clowns: funny. People dying: not funny. Again...that's clowns: funny. People dying: not funny.
Get humor videos at NothingToxic

Friday, August 10, 2007

Guns N' Hoses 4th Annual Softball Tournament

If you have information or pictures of the game please send them in to post.

The Bravest spanked the Finest 22 - 2.

Good job representing guys. It is good to see you all having fun out there for a good cause.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Retired District Chief Pat Taylor Passes Away

Retired District Chief Pat Taylor was found dead at his residence on August 7th, 2007. Taylor was hired on January 1, 1965 and retired around 1999. More details to follow.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Acute Designs - your one-stop shop for Apparel, Embroidery, Screen Printing, Gifts, Awards, and Promotional Products.

Acute Designs is back in business in Vinton. The new owners are Scott and Missy Mutter. Scott is a Captain with Roanoke Fire-EMS Department. Visit Acute Designs online here.

Acute Designs Etc. Inc. offers custom logo generation, embroidery digitizing and decoration, screen printing, and promotional products. We are members of ASI, the Advertising Specialty Institute, which provides us with unlimited resources to satisfy your needs.

We are a family-owned and operated business located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Our attention to quality, detail, innovative style and customer service is helping to make us a leader in the industry. We service EMS and Fire Departments, Public Safety/Law Enforcement Agencies, Municipals, Non-Profit Organizations, Schools, State and Governmental Agencies, Business Professionals, and the Corporate Community.

We offer competitive pricing and outstanding, prompt customer service. We provide solutions and build relationships you can count on. Let us save you time and money! Contact us or stop by today!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The costly alliance between the Democrats' Big Labor and the Republicans' Big Safety Scare.

Editorial: The force of unions
The costly alliance between the Democrats' Big Labor and the Republicans' Big Safety Scare.

My comments are in italics. The original article is in bold.
Before I get into this whole mess of an editorial I did read it start to finish and was amazed at the writing. How in the hell am I, as a reader of the Roanoke Times, supposed to take this article serious. After all, the writer thinks that Jim Webb is a Republican (read the last line).

This is what I am here for, maybe a professional opinion on the matter from those of us who are affected by what is going on. I have not copied the whole article, for that you will have to click the link above. I did include a lot of it though.

Move over Big Business. Big Labor now holds sway in Congress.

Labor unions have called in their political markers. In order to boost lagging membership, they have convinced both Democrats (already in their pockets) and Republicans (willing to support any measure that touches on America's "first-tier defenders in the war on terror") that every police officer and firefighter throughout the nation ought to have the Congress-given right to collectively bargain...

I don't think I like the tone of "America's "first-tier defenders in the war on terror"". Comments like that don't get you anywhere.

This bill -- passed overwhelmingly in the House and expected to enjoy a similar margin in the Senate -- will cost local taxpayers' dearly as localities will be bound to follow yet another unfunded federal mandate...

You know that this whole thing wouldn't be an issue if our employers were looking out for our best interest and we felt efficiently compensated. Everyone around will figure all we want is more money, that is far from the truth. There are BIG issues to be decided on, fought for, and hopefully received through contract negotiations.

Of course that won't happen overnight or in all localities, as management and labor often can strike fair contracts that protect everyone's interests. However, with national unions calling the shots, there will be a push for standardized wages that could cause cities with lower costs of living to keep pace with higher-wage areas. This could mean huge pay raises for thousands of Virginian public safety officers.

The bill does provide one reassurance that the unions couldn't strike. But it will do nothing to quell labor strife in localities where management and employees already are at odds. Nor will it do much to enhance working conditions and salaries in localities that already do well by their employees...

"Labor strife in localities where management and employees already are at odds." Like I said, this is exactly why we need the right to fight for our working conditions. You wouldn't believe the retaliation and strong arm tactics within fire departments.

The only benefit will be to Big Labor, which has struggled in recent years with declining union membership.

Actually, our membership has gone up.

Police and firefighter unions may make sense in parts of the country where collective bargaining is the rule rather than the exception. However, even then one union plays off the other, making increasing demands for wages, pensions and job protections that rise above those of the people footing the bill. And nonuniform employees generally must accept the leftover crumbs.

"Police and firefighter unions may make sense in parts of the country where collective bargaining is the rule rather than the exception." What the hell are you saying? I am completely lost. So you are saying that it is ok for some States to allow it but not others, and in those States where it is allowed the PD and FD deserve it and it is ok. However, in the States that don't allow it, the FD and PD don't deserve it. Do you need help? I can get some guys over there to get the extrication tools out to remove your head from your ass.

There is still a chance, although slim, to stop this. We call on Sens. John Warner and James Webb to look out for Virginians' interest -- something our Democratic representatives failed to do.

Again, I will ask what you mean. Don't you have a proofreader? Anyone? I will be sure to call on Senator Webb and tell him what the Democrats are doing behind his back. Then I will call Senator Warner and ask him if he is sponsoring it yet. If he says no, I will ask him why not.

After all, there is an editorial columnist who thinks it is some States...But only the ones who allow it...but wrote a paper kind of saying differently...but then contradicted him/her self...and then didn't let anyone proof read it...and published it.

I think it is about time we get a voice on our working conditions.

1972 Gainsboro Apartment Fire

I recently got a hold of these pictures of a fire which occurred in 1972. Captain Clonnie Yearout got them to me and I do not know who took them, so I cannot give any credit. Clonnie was not on the fire, being that he was hired in 1973. That leaves only one other guy in the department who was here at the time. Maybe Chief Slayton knows a little more about the fire. I do know the building is the Gainsboro Apartments.

I thought the series of pictures was neat and I decided to share them with you all. Some of the things I noted were the use of the ladder with tormentor poles. The fact that every floor was laddered, although one of the ladders moved between the first and second floors. I imagine that there were several rescues made at this fire. It also "seems as though" the fire was pushed through the building from side 2 to side 4 moving up floors as it went until it vented itself out the roof. Obviously, it would have been ideal to attack the fire from the inside and push the fire out of side 2. But we may never know what issues the firefighters had to deal with when they showed up, or the strategy and tactics of command.

I will have to look up the fire to see if anyone was injured or killed in this fire.

HTR Training on C Shift Southside

Firefighters on C Shift Southside put on some HTR training. Click the image for more.
Also check out the new look of homepage.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Always lead the stretcher by the head or the feet

This is why you should always lead the stretcher by the head or by the feet. I was taught to lead it by the feet, that way the pt. can see where they are going. Of course, in the video below the pt. can't see at all. But it did make the EMT's look like complete idiots with no regard for the recently departed.

The video is hosted on and I am not sure if station computers allow you to view the site. If you can't view the video below, click here for the video.

Poor Guy Killed in an Accident then Dropped by Paramedics
It's just my opinion, but I'd say this is the worst day ever for this guy.
Get humor videos at NothingToxic

Firegeezer » Chicago FF Local Sets Out Contract Demands

Firegeezer » Chicago FF Local Sets Out Contract Demands

Check out the above link for what Chicago Firefighters are demanding in their contract negotiations. Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Collective Bargaining...your questions answered

Last night at the Union Meeting, I was able to pick Mike Hanks' brain about collective bargaining. Ever since the Collective Bargaining Bill passed the House vote with such a strong vote, you guys have been hammering me with questions. I have tried my best to answer the questions, and now I have the answers you all were looking for.

Dave Statter found this article on Collective Bargaining and how it will effect Virginia:
Va. Has Big Stake in Bill on Public Safety Unions

Q - When will the Senate vote on the Federal Collective Bargaining for Public Safety?
A - The supporters of the Bill are waiting to get two more sponsors on hand before they vote on it. Once they get two more sponsors they will move it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The reason they are waiting for two more is because then it will be veto-proof and President Bush will not be able to veto the Bill. The general consensus is that Bush will veto the Bill if able to.

Q - What does the Bill mean for the firefighters in Roanoke and in the rest of the State?
A - When the Bill passes, we will be allowed to negotiate a contract with our locality. The contract will be negotiated and signed by Local 1132 (the firefighters representation) and the City. If the contract is unable to be negotiated, Certified Arbitrators will be brought in and decide on the issues hampering negotiation and make a decision.

Q - What will be included in the contract?
A - Everything from salaries to what color shirts, POP's to retirement, rules and regulations to vacation and holiday. Every detail of our jobs will be dissected, analyzed, and written down in the contract how we want...and then we negotiate.

Q - Once the Bill is passed, how long do we have to wait?
A - We just have to sit down and draw up a contract. With help of the IAFF, and Attorneys of course.

Q - Who will write up the contract?
A - A committee within Local 1132, legal counsel, and more than likely an IAFF representative, as well as whoever we deem necessary to be involved in the formulation of our contract.

Q - What about Virginia being a right to work State?
A - What about it? Federal Law supersedes State Law! The only real effect the Right-to-Work issue will have is that the SCABS who are not in the Local will reap the same benefits of the Contract.

Q - Will this be expensive?
A - Probably, but it will pay off.

Q - How long will the contract be good for?
A - It depends on what the contract says. Most contracts are effective for 3-5 years.

Q - Will the Police and Sheriffs have the same contract?
A - They will negotiate their own contract.

Q - Who can I thank for all the hard work that has been put into getting this Bill to a majority vote in the House and Senate?
A - The International Association of Fire Fighters, and other organizations/lobbyists who represent Public Safety.

If you have any other questions, leave a comment.

Melon Head

If you haven't ever heard the story of Tom Gherman trying to find a helmet when he bought his motorcycle you should. The next time you bump into Toby Bedwell ask him to tell you the story. It is hilarious.

Anyways...the boys at 13 on B-shift finally found a helmet that will fit Tom's head. It may not be as safe as a conventional helmet, but it fits. It is kind of like the Coneheads meet the Garbage Pail Kids.