Headline Animator

Thursday, May 31, 2007

2007 Roanoke Valley Professional Firefighters MDA Golf Tournament

Hey Guys,

Tina needs to know who is playing in the golf tournament. If you have 1-4 members for a team give her a call at #2 or let me know and I will jot it down. If you are looking for a person or two to fill out a team, let me know. We have some stragglers already.

Oh and the really good news!!! I didn't realize it but this years extra raise for those of you who get above a 91 on your evaluations is actually 1%, not .5% as I had originally thought.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Evaluations - The good and the bad

It is time for evaluations once again. I am already hearing the rumblings of how one Captain does things and how another does something totally different. That is expected due to how subjective the criteria are for each area of the evaluation are. For those of you who don't know, if you get above a 91 then you get an extra percentage raise for the year.

The biggest problem with the evaluations is that it is perfectly acceptable for a Captain to grade an employee between the ranges of 80-90.99 (forgive me if my figures are a little off), but if it is lower or higher then the BC on up have to sign off on it. That is where it starts getting weird.

Let us just say that Firefighter A gets an 85 and Firefighter B gets a 92 from the same Captain. The Captain has Firefighter A sign off on the evaluation and sends it to the BC. However, Firefighter B's evaluation has to be sent up the flagpole for approval before the firefighter ever sees it.

The Captain has to prove that the firefighter deserves the high score. Even after careful and detailed justification for the high marks a firefighter receives, the Captain might still have to plead the case for the favorable evaluation several times. Some Captains are able to stand their ground, yet others cave in under the pressure stripping the firefighter of the extra raise. I am not making this stuff up.

This is what I think. I think that it is a bunch of b#$&!hit. I think that firefighters (and others like Cops and Teachers) should get the extra amount of raise just for what we do. After all, the stations are clean, the public is happy, and we are always one of the most favored departments by the citizens. Plus there aren't any fires still burning, people still trapped in cars, or 911 calls unanswered. For as much as we give to our City, to our customers (citizens and visitors), and that we are willing to risk our lives for them, this extra percentage (or sometimes fraction of a percentage) should not be so hard to obtain.

This is yet another morale suppressing agent that breeds mediocrity. Once word gets out of who got what on the evaluation, some will realize that working a little extra harder might not be worth it.

For instance: Firefighter A and Firefighter B might be the exact same types of personnel in that any Captain would grade them the same. They both are hard working individuals and do extra work that isn’t required of them. However, if they have different Captains who grade them differently and Firefighter A gets the extra raise while Firefighter B doesn’t this might make Firefighter B realize that his extra work is not worth it.

I say "might" because most of us are not driven by the potential of a .5% extra raise. Although that .5% should not be shrugged of as not a big deal. The Chart below shows how .5% more can make a huge difference after 25 years. The column on the left shows a 2.5% increase compounded each year for 25 years, and the right hand column shows a 3% increase compounded each year.


$ 30,000.00


$ 30,900.00


$ 31,827.00


$ 32,781.81


$ 33,765.26


$ 34,778.22


$ 35,821.57


$ 36,896.22


$ 38,003.10


$ 39,143.20


$ 40,317.49


$ 41,527.02


$ 42,772.83


$ 44,056.01


$ 45,377.69


$ 46,739.02


$ 48,141.19


$ 49,585.43


$ 51,072.99


$ 52,605.18


$ 54,183.34


$ 55,808.84


$ 57,483.10


$ 59,207.60


$ 60,983.82

That is a significant difference. Therefore, the .5% or whatever the additional percentage raise offered for higher marks on your evaluation is well worth some extra effort. Just the same it is worth the credo to stand up for your evaluation should it be rejected by Administration.

The other unfortunate casualty in this whole process is the loss of power by Company Officers. They are the only ones who could possibly give a proper evaluation of their employees.

HazMat incident at 941 Industry Drive

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a hazardous materials incident on May 29, 2007 at 941 Industry Dr.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 9:02 p.m. The response of three Engines, two Ladder trucks, one Medic Unit, the EMS Captain, the Hazardous Materials Team and a Battalion Chief for a total of 22 personnel responded to the scene. The incident was under control at 9:32 p.m.

When crews arrived they found that a 1,000 lb. propane cylinder was leaking from the fill hose. The incident happened when a fork-lift was filling from the fill hose and ruptured the line. Fire crews responding to the scene arrived and evacuated the building. They then called the Hazardous Materials Team. The ruptured tank was on the exterior of the building.

When the Hazardous Materials Team arrived, a cold zone was established and the team began their investigation. They cut the tank off in order to stop the leak and monitored the area until it was deemed safe. The building was then turned over to the owner.

There were no injuries during this incident to civilians or Fire-EMS personnel.

EMT "Ambulance Drivers" - Who is at fault

For a long time now I have been a big proponent of EMT’s fulfilling their role and riding with patients in the back of the ambulance on BLS calls. All the while, most of the dissention has been among those who do not care for EMS and say that the EMT-I’s and Paramedics get paid to ride in the back. I have had long discussions with numerous EMT’s, Medics, and Officers to try and pinpoint what exactly the extra pay that ALS providers receive is for. Some say it is for the certification, others say it is to ride the ambulance. I do not think it benefits anyone to have a Firefighter/Medic ride the ambulance all of the time, and most end up riding the Engine at least 1 day a cycle. Of course if we had an abundance of ALS providers it wouldn’t be a big deal.

In talking with the EMT’s, most will state that they are ambulance drivers. Like I have said before, I have never seen it this way. If you ask many ALS providers they will tell you that the EMT’s should take BLS calls. Other ALS providers seem to be content with taking all the patients.

It seems as though the hospitals demands of nearly all patients having I.V.’s obtained pre-hospital and sometimes even the blood samples drawn makes almost every call an ALS call. The exception being most nonsense “BS” calls we run.

Therefore the system we use has created mostly ALS calls across the board, leaving only the nonsense calls for the EMT’s to ride in with. That is if the EMT knows what they are doing.

I will admit it, I had more experience as an EMT than a Firefighter when I came to Roanoke. I had volunteered as a firefighter for about 5 years, yet worked as a paid EMT in Richmond. Even though I only worked in Richmond a year, which was plenty, I have yet to experience many calls which I ran there on a weekly basis. Yet in Richmond I was an ambulance driver. Yes, I helped with pt. care, and there was a lot more on scene pre-hospital care given than Roanoke. We usually sat on scene for a while taking care of the basics on ALS calls before leaving the scene, whereas in Roanoke the medics usually take care of things en route to the hospital.

So I got experience with being an EMT. When I came to Roanoke, I was stationed at #9. I rode the medic truck a day and a half a cycle, basically every other day unless the other EMT was off and then I rode every day. I took patients in the back whenever possible and I knew what I was doing. If I didn’t I asked the medic, and if I didn’t feel comfortable with the illness/injury, the medic took the call.

The point I am getting to is that it seems as though we are not training EMT’s in Roanoke. It seems as though we are certifying EMT’s and teaching them to drive an ambulance. Then we are expecting them to become ALS providers. It just doesn’t work.

Ask any ALS provider and they will tell you if all else fails when attempting ALS skills to revert to BLS skills. For example if you can’t get the pt. intubated then bag them.

Over time, I have heard nearly every argument on both sides of the fence. I enjoy learning what others opinions are on the subject. I have come to the realization that the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department puts a lot of stock in its ALS providers. That is understandable. However, the emphasis that should be placed on learning the basics as an EMT is nonexistent.

It seems as though the $4000 carrot being waived in the face of these new guys isn’t working either. This blows my mind. I can tell you that if I had it to do over again, I would have gotten my ALS certification. Just think of the money I would be making right now. I have thought for a while that these guys are stupid for not getting it. In my mind there should be a line at the door. Sure there is a downside, having to ride the ambulance more. Unfortunately there is a cap on how many ALS providers we can have. However, I have come to realize that most of these new guys are in over their heads as EMT’s. Many see these ALS providers’ skills, knowledge, and experience and find it overwhelming. They cannot comprehend how they know all the stuff they are required to know. It is because the EMT’s are rushed through EMT class and taught to drive the ambulance. Sure they go to Continuing Education and might further their knowledge, but they aren’t really EMT’s. They are more like first responders, which I believe was a very short and basic class.

I know as I write this that many of you might not agree. Some things going through your head might be that you are a strong EMT, or that you know a Medic that is dumb as hell. I am sure that what I write about true about everyone. We have plenty of competent EMT’s. But how many would be comfortable on a BLS ambulance. That is what I thought. Oops, did I say that. Hang on; I am not advocating BLS ambulances. I think that every ambulance should be ALS. However, that is a good judge of comfort – that EMT’s should be comfortable taking patients in the back of the ambulance on a BLS truck.

Before all of the guys who were blue patches start hollering, you guys should know what I think about that by now.

There are so many other tangents to explore on this situation, some that I have hit on in the past and others I might get to in the future.

I guess my main point is that over the years I have thought that the EMT’s were somewhat at fault for not embracing EMS. That is the case with some who remain somewhat anti-EMS. However, it seems as though the system we have in place has set a precedence which has created EMT drivers.

My last thought is that maybe this is exactly what is wanted "EMT Ambulance Drivers". If so, then why in the world would we want to take an ambulance driver and turn them into an EMT-I? The phrase that comes to mind is having the cart before the horse. You cannot become a skilled EMT-I if you are not a skilled EMT.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fire at 5212 Lancelot Lane - North Ridge Apartments

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a structure fire on May 28, 2007 at 5212 Lancelot Lane, North Ridge Apartments.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 1:38 p.m. The response of four Engines, two Ladder trucks, three Medic Units, the EMS Captain, the Investigation Unit and a Battalion Chief for a total of 29 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was under control at 1:50 p.m.

When crews arrived they found heavy fire coming from the roof of one of the apartments. Fire-EMS crews immediately gained entrance to the apartment and began a primary search which was ruled all clear. They then extinguished the blaze and checked for extension. Crews then began salvage and overhaul.

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

The fire was caused by a lightning strike during the large storm that occured during the afternoon. The fire was contained to the attic area of the apartment. Damage estimates are approximately $35,000.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Can someone please help me and send me the list of recruits. I need it to finish the story. The pictures are so-so. If anyone has any photos to share email them to me.


To the Recruit Class #9

I originally published this in November for Recruit Class #8 and I felt it was fitting to reprint it for the newest recruits in Roanoke. I will have pictures up and as story about #9 by tomorrow hopefully.


This is an open letter to the Recruit Class which have joined their Brother and Sister Firefighters of Roanoke Fire-EMS this week. First of all, I would like to welcome you to one of the best Departments in the United States. I hope that you enjoy a safe and healthy career.

You are about to embark on one of the most honorable professions in the World. While you may not experience a Hollywood “Firefighter” career, I can assure you that the script is empty. None of us know what will be asked of us at any given moment.

You need to be quite sure by this point that you are willing to reach as far into the grey area of risking it all to save life. You may never be put into this situation, but if you are, you will not likely have the opportunity to ponder the situation long.

Running into burning buildings is only a small part of the job these days. Gone are the days in the 70’s and 80’s when America was burning. The decrease in fires has been replaced with a different kind of structure fire. Now we have fires that burn hotter, buildings that crumble faster, and older buildings which have been cut-up for uses they weren’t designed for. However, technology has been our advantage the past quarter Century. We have been equipped with better turnout gear, SCBA, Thermal Imaging Cameras, and directives on saving our own.

This day in age we are more often tasked with making crucial decisions at the scene of EMS calls. The legal responsibilities of being an EMT, EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-Paramedic are not to be taken lightly. You will have to find the ability to perform at your best all hours of the day even after running the “nonsense” calls in the wee hours of the morning. You will have to be able to perform at your best, while the people you are caring for are experiencing their worst. You have to be unbiased to everyone, including criminals, as much as we would love to be the jury. We have to walk away from our worst calls intact, both mentally and physically, so that we can answer the next.

Do not expect a thank you, a job well done, or an at-a-boy. They are few and far between. Rest easy in knowing you did the job to the best of your ability and always learn from your mistakes, experiences, and triumphs.

Always strive to learn more, and be willing to listen when someone is teaching you. Some of the best knowledge I have learned has come from someone telling me of their experiences. You haven’t done everything, you don’t know everything, and you never will. Once you realize this, you will understand firefighting.

Honor your brother/sister firefighters as family. Do not take someone else’s opinion as your own, take the time to form your own opinions. Develop your own style, and learn the better things from your acquaintances. You will meet others you don’t get along with, or don’t agree with. There is still something to learn, everyone has a story.

Remember that when you come across a firefighter at the end of their career and they are not as gung ho as you, they were your age once. They did their time. They have been there and done that, hell they might even have the t-shirt still. They have a lot to teach you. You have a lot to learn.

I wish you well in your career and I look forward to working with you all.

- Rhett Fleitz

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Engine 6 runs an MVA at 18th and Dale

Engine 6 and Medic 6 ran an MVA today at 18th and Dale...Read More and see more pics.

Share your story and be on Season 4 Rescue Me DVD

Grouper, the video sharing website, is launching a new channel called Firehouse. Before we release it to the public, we want to give you a chance to share your stories. We got inspired by Rescue Me- oh yeah, I’m talking about that Dennis Leary show that gives a sneak peak into the world you know all too well. We’re working with those guys to launch a REAL glimpse into YOUR WORLD, and if we like your video then you may even end up on the Season 4 Rescue Me DVD!

Check it out here:

This channel is YOURS to build, it’s about you, for you (not to mention all the other millions of people surfing the web). Simply create your own video, or use an old one you have laying, around and upload it!

Send us your stuff, serious or silly, and we’ll make sure you are seen and heard.

Feel free to forward to people you think might be interested in participating.

If you have any questions, email

Friday, May 18, 2007

Station 1 A-Shift on the Roanoke TimesCast

Today, the Roanoke TimesCast was shot at the new Roanoke Fire Station #1. Check out the TimesCast (

FF Frank Leonard and Capt. Todd Stone make an appearance and if you listen closely when Todd is talking you can hear Kelcey Branch over the loud speaker.

If you have never watched the TimesCast, I suggest you take a look. There might be some others out there who enjoy theire jobs more than us. Great job guys.

Structure Fire at 4514 Surrey Avenue

The Roanoke Fire-EMS Department responded to a residential structure fire on May 17, 2007 at 4514 Surrey Ave.

The call was received through the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 11:33 p.m. The response of three Engines, one Ladder truck, two Medic Units, the EMS Captain, the Investigation Unit, the Service Truck and a Battalion Chief for a total of 25 personnel responded to the scene. The fire was ruled under control at 11:52 p.m.

When crews arrived they found light smoke coming from the structure. Crews entered the interior of the home and quickly extinguished the blaze. They then checked for extension and began salvage and overhaul procedures.

There were two people in the home when the fire started, but they escaped without injuries. There were no injuries to Fire-EMS personnel.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. It was caused by a candle being placed too close to combustibles. The fire started in the upstairs bedroom and was contained to the room of origin. Damage estimates are approximately $25,000.

I finally got my email subscription working for fire notifications.


The unofficial word on recent promotions is as listed:

Billy Altman promoted to Deputy Chief
Dale Barker promoted to Battalion Chief
Theodore "Teddy" Adkins promoted to Battalion Chief

The word is that BC Barker will be assigned in operations and BC Adkins will be assigned in Training.

Again, this is unofficial.

Matthias J. Kargl

Obituary notice:

Matthias J. (Matty) Kargl, 62, of Roanoke, passed away Wednesday, May 16, 2007. Matty was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and lover of all animals. He was an active member of AA who was always willing to carry the message of recovery to others. Surviving are his daughter, Karma Kargl; mother, Dorothy Sundberg; sister, Mary Door, all of New York. A memorial service will be conducted Saturday, May 19, 2007 at Simpson Funeral Home 5160 Peters Creek Road by Frank Santoroski. The family will receive friends following the service. Arrangements by Simpson Funeral Home & Crematory, 366-0707.

I got an email from Jim Cady giving me the information on Matthias.

He wrote:

Mattie was a colorful roanoke charactor, a genuinely nice guy. Lots of people would know him by his first name or description only. Recently He helped to do the Machinist work on the brass pole legs for the table at station #1. Because of that, I thought it might make a good post for your blog.

If anyone has anything to add please let me know.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

900 posts

The last post was #900. I will have to plan something big for the 1000 post. I bring that up in case you have an idea that requires planning. Let me know if you guys think of anything. 1000 is probably about 4 months away.

Thanks for reading the blog. I appreciate the good the bad and the ugly.

The ever changing Roanoke Fire-EMS Department

Roanoke Fire-EMS has made some huge changes recently with more to come in the immediate future and even more on the horizon. Stations closing and being consolidated, companies taken out of service, apparatus changing designation, and now more promotions.

It has been several years since our last Battalion Chief promotion. Tomorrow, we will hear of several promotions up top. One Deputy Chief, and 3 BC's spots will be filled ( I think that is the count, but you never know). The Assistant Chief of Operations will be redesignated Deputy Chief of Operations. A new Battalion Chief position will be added as well, although this might not happen until July 1. This new position is the EMS/Accreditation/ISO Battalion Chief from what I understand. The other two BC spots to be filled are Training and Northside C-shift. Depending on what happens filling the Deputy Chiefs spot, we might see another promotion.

Once all the top level spots are filled, there will be promotions in the field including Lieutenants, 1st Lieutenants, and Captains. The numbers are still up in the air for these.

The rookies will graduate recruit school on the 22nd and quickly be placed in the field. They will more than likely wait for their actual assignments until after promotions are finalized and the moves are made.

It seems as though there will be numerous moves this year due to the combination of #1 and #3, replacing E7 with M7, filling in for promotions, and making room for the rookies. Who will end up where?

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Fire Museum in Roanoke?

With the highly anticipated decision to close down Roanoke's Historic Fire Station 1 on Church Avenue behind us, we are left to ponder what will happen to the 100 year old structure. Rumors have been rampant for a long time about the fate of the building, beginning back in 1972 when the first attempts to close it began. There have been many rumors to have a fire and/or EMS museum in the building. The last I heard, the To the Rescue Museum (once housed in Tanglewood Mall) was acquired and will reopen in NOVA or Virginia Beach. With the threat of Roanoke's flagship firehouse being taken over by an EMS museum out of the way, I am left to wonder what will happen to it?

The Roanoke Police Department will use part of the bay for their mounted patrol. Roanoke Fire-EMS has stated that they will staff the building with light-duty (injured) or retired personnel who will give tours to visitors. I am just wondering if there will be a long line to see an empty station that contrary to popular belief has been closed down. If we are to consider it still open, then it is an open building not an open firehouse. After all, a firehouse houses firefighters.

So what will come of the building that City Council says they will not get rid of?

I for one would love to see a Fire Museum located inside at this point. However, museum's aren't developed overnight. If Council had made the decision to close it back in 2005, we could be very close to opening one up now.

Wouldn't the building be perfect for housing the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association, Roanoke's chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters (Local 1132). The RFFA along with a Museum would be a perfect match for the empty building. After all, currently the RFFA owns the largest collection of Roanoke Fire artifacts. The RFFA's collection along with private collections in the area and local museum holdings would make a decent start to a museum.

We all know that the building will not last long if it is not inhabited. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Link Dump

Here are some more links for your enjoyment:

STATter 911 Blog
Alpha Firefighting Gloves - These are great gloves
Wall Shields to decorate your Firehouse - Made in the big VA
Sam Brown Helmet Shields
The WatchDesk - Online Forum Community
IAFF Online - Newly designed and more aesthetically pleasing
The Pheonix Project - American LaFrance historic apparatus registry
Fire Department Traditions - information on traditions across the States
Harrisonburg Fire Department is selling a 1977 Hahn Ladder truck

If you have a link to share let me know.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hub's hubbub: Fire station's closing a surprise to many

Hub's hubbub: Fire station's closing a surprise to many

By Amanda Codispoti

Firefighters ran their first calls from the new Roanoke Fire-EMS Headquarters on Wednesday, the same day that at least two city council members and many other Roanokers learned that Station No. 1 had quietly closed.

The fate of the 100-year-old station has been debated for the past year and a half.

The city's original plan was to consolidate Station No. 1 and Station No. 3 into the new $6.2 million facility.

But then, in 2005, after much clamor from the city's Firefighters Union and others, the city council voted to keep Station No. 1 open.

So the station's closing came as a surprise to council members Brian Wishneff and Sherman Lea, who said they hadn't heard of the plans to shut down the historic station as an active firehouse.
Read More
I remember vividly when City Council voted to keep the Station open. Since then, the firefighters have realized the fate of the historic Station, it will be closed. We just had to wait for the decision which we figured would come from City Council. I have said all along that firefighters can take no for an answer. If City Council had decided then to close station 1 when the new station opened life would have went on. That is easier to swallow than dragging your feet and deciding, behind closed doors weeks before the new station was set to open, to close the older station 1. But wait...did they decide to close the station?

I received a phone call just before this article was to break about Councilman Wishneff and Councilman Lea not knowing that station 1 would be closed. I could not believe that the two Council members didn't have a clue. But I was told that Council decided to close it. In case you are just joining us, Brian Wishneff and Shermann Lea are both Roanoke City Council members. Therefore, they would have to have known that the station would close. Maybe they are not owning up to it. That doesn't sound right either.

It seems as though something as easy as coming out and voting to close it, has turned out to be a debacle. In the beginning, there were many firefighters opposed to the plan. Over the last year and a half, I have seen most of them turncoat. That is their prerogative, just don't act as if you never were in agreement with keeping it open. I understand that in the face of defeat it is easier to conform to the future. That is why I have embraced the new station. It was a lost cause fighting for the historic station after council decided to continue building the new headquarters station. Downtown businesses, Council Members, and Firefighters gave it a decent fight and were not victorious. That should have been the end of it. Meanwhile, those of us opposed to it just sat back and waited for the decision...and waited...and waited. Like they were worried of the backlash, which I did not foresee.

However, now it seems someone might have been caught in a a lie.
Can a department head overturn a City Council decision?
Can the City Manager overturn City Council?
Can City Council make a decision without all of them know about it?
Is it safe for Council Members to claim they knew nothing about the decision?

I hear a lot of things from all types of people. It was my understanding that City Council agreed to close the historic station 1 and station 3 to consolidate into the new station. At the same time they agreed to take Engine 7 out of service and replace it with medic 7. Now I am left asking the question of who is in charge around here?

The funny thing is that if they had decided to close it in the beginning, they could have had a big open house for the new station, had a small gathering to close the old station, and had a plan for the old station. That way the article in the paper today would have been all about the "NEW HEADQUARTERS FIRE STATION #1" and not about the controversy over closing the old one. Instead, we are left with a small flag raising ceremony that nobody knew about. That is a shame.

Update: From what I understand, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new station on June 2nd. That is all I know about it for now. More later.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Roanoke Opens the New Headquarters

Roanoke Opens the New Headquarters
Roanoke Firefighters held a flag raising ceremony for the opening of Fire Station 1. The station, situated at the corner of Elm Avenue and Franklin Road, cost $6.2 million and is 29,000 square foot. Read more and view more pictures.

This is the table that Kelcey Branch and the rest of the guys at 3 A built for the new station. I must admit that it is a great looking table.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Roanoke Firefighters participate in the 2007 Rescue Challenge

From April 30 - May 3, 2007, Roanoke Firefighters travelled to Alexandria to participate in the 2007 Rescue Challenge. Below is Lt. Travis Simmons, FF Richard Lipes, Lt. Chuck Sharp, and Captain R.T. "Skippy" Flora. Click here for more of the story on

Thanks to Lt. Chuck Sharp for the pictures.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Roanoke Fire-EMS on the move into new headquarters building

Roanoke firefighters took on a new challenge today. Instead of fighting flames, crews tackled the move into the city's new Fire-EMS headquarters. Read More

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

President Bush visits Virginia Tech

Last week, President Bush visited the Campus of Virginia Tech for the memorial service of those who lost their lives during the Virginia Tech Shootings. Air Force 1 landed at Roanoke Regional Airport carrying President Bush and the First Lady. After landing, the President and his wife then boarded Marine 1 to fly to Blacksburg. Needless to say that neither Air Force 1 or Marine 1 fly alone.

The pictures were taken by Jeff Marvin. I apologize, I originally mislabeled the photos as to who took them. This was my fault and I am sorry for any confusion or frustration I may have caused.