Effective immediately, the blog will be hosted at http://www.RoanokeFire.com only. If you linked here, please update your link to the new one. Please visit the new site currently undergoing a redesign.
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Monday, December 01, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Effective Immediately, the blog will be hosted solely at http://www.RoanokeFire.com. Currently it is still in the re-design phase so bear with me while I work out the kinks.
This blog will remain online, but will not be updated. All of the posts and comments have been moved over to the new blog.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
FireNews.net did a good bit of research on the new requirements
and offers this .pdf the 3m quick reference guide
and this .pdf the vest push card
You can also see information here on ResponderSafety.com
Thursday, November 27, 2008
View the coverage here:
WSLS with video
Roanoke Times coverage with video
Thanks to all the Firefighters who helped out. You guys really make us look good.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
New Station 3 - $3 million
New Station 4 - $4 million
Having to carry jugs of extra hydraulic fluid because your reserve ladder truck leaks and won't be fixed. PRICELESS
I know we could go on all day long...well that isn't such a bad idea. Anyone else have a better one?
Seriously though, it was overheard on the radio the other day that Ladder 1's crew which is driving the reserve ladder has to carry jugs of extra hydraulic fluid because the cylinders that lift the ladder are leaking very bad.
You know that the budget cuts have occurred and will happen again, yet there are still non-operational programs being funded.
Anyways, happy turkey day. There is a lot to be Thankful for. God Bless you all.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Depends-small and medium
feminine hygiene supplies
Diapers- size 3&4
Baby wipes, bottles
Similac baby formula
blank rewritable cd's (CD-RW)
There will be a box at all of the stations for this collection effort. We will be picking up these items right before the holiday, so get your items in. Any questions email email@example.com
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I have more stories and stuff for the blog in the future, I have been busy with a lot of stuff recently. If you have anything to share, send it in.
The art work is by Lieutenant Jim Hylton. We felt the images should reflect the community we serve. The front has the small Maltese cross we use on our department shirts, but the inside of the cross has a picture of two wine glasses and a rose. Yup, South Roanoke is the land of wine and roses.
There is a very strong sense of community here. The people are very nice to us.
The words, “South Roanoke Fire Station” are on the east side of the building (not on the shirt).
The picture on the back of the shirt is hand drawn of Engine # 8 in front of the station.
The Star is in the background.
The caption says, “Serving South Roanoke Since 1929.”
If you look close, you will see the white squirrel “Lola” in the lower left side of the picture.
Lola was a popular community figure here for several years until she passed a couple months ago.
The shirts are limited edition. We’re not really trying to sell them, but if you want one, contact Jarrod Fuhrman at “First Due Fire EMS Gear” or ask one of the guys at # 8.
We paid more for them because we wanted shirts that were made in the USA.
What about Medic 8?
Yes, there is talk of putting a medic truck here at # 8.
How can I get assigned to Medic 8 you ask?
If you are interested in being assigned to South Roanoke, please answer the following questionnaire and send it to the Medic 8 Application Committee here at station 8. The application process will be both demanding and vigorous. Bribes will be accepted. Please answer the following questions;
Medic 8 Application Questionnaire
1. What is the difference between a Chardonnay and Beaujolais?
a. A Chardonnay is a white wine and Beaujolais is a Hungarian car.
b. A Chardonnay is a brand of faucet and Beaujolais is Buddhist cheese.
c. Chardonnay is a white wine and Beaujolais is a dry red wine.
d. Chardonnay is a punk band; Beaujolais is a town in Canada.
2. What type of water do we keep in the booster tank on the Engine?
3. If you have a call for a fire in the butler’s pantry, what is the primary concern of the homeowner?
b. the fire
c. that we may track up the carpet
d. the butler
4. To what level are we accredited?
d. intergallactically (only at number 8)
5. Which station has a swimming pool in the basement?
a. Station # 1, in the bay where they dug it up
b. Station #5, turn left five times, back in
c. Station #8, spring fed
d. Station #2, don’t mind the asbestos
6. Where the meals are big, the kitchen is small, and there are 2 dishwashers on every shift describes which station?
a. Station #1, sorry, it’s not about you
b. Station #5, circle the block again
c. Station #8, the Texas Tavern kitchen of South Roanoke
d. Station #2, could it be?
7. To what station does a chief go to become a captain?
a. Station #1, sorry it’s still not about you
b. Station #5, keep circling
c. Station #8, uh
d. Station #2, two what; rabbits
8. What level of EMS certification is required to ride M-8?
a. I don’t want to ride the box
b. I don’t want to be an “i”
c. I don’t care
d. What’s a box?
9. What level of fire performance standards must I maintain?
a. the same as the rest of the department
c. more than the rest of the department
d. Will we eat well?
10. The term Division of Labor means;
a. Assignments on the fire ground
b. Laborers doing math
c. Laborers choosing sides
d. Who does the steaks on the grill, who does the potatoes and who makes the salad
11. Which station has an Oshkosh kid with money upstairs?
a. Station #1; why do you always think it’s about you?
b. Station #5; one word, NASCAR; thank you for playing
c. Station #8
d. Station #2
12. Which station has a ghost that walks the bedroom floor at night?
a. Station #8, the phantom
b. Station #1, no, you’re haunted in daylight
c. Station #5, ok they have one too
d. Station #2; no, Trussler exorcised theirs
13. What will be the future name of station # 8?
a. Carillion Clinic Emergency Services
b. Famous Anthony’s Hot Meals on Hot Wheels delivery
c. South Roanoke Cat Rescue
d. South Roanoke Covert Ops
14. What is another name for German white wine?
b. Milk of the Virgin
c. Rhinelűnd Splattze
d. Roger Manuel
15. What is the coefficient for calculating gpm in a solid bore orifice?
a. What is an orifice?
b. GPM = BTU’s; darn* it (Terry knows)
c. GPM = 29.7 x d² x √NP
d. GPM = 1.57 x d² x √NP
16. Asian Toasted Sesame refers to which of the following:
c. Roger Manuel’s aftershave
d. Salad Dressing
17. Why do you want this assignment
a. To meet Kent McIlhany
b. To find my happy place
c. To better myself
d. To ascend to a higher level of Zen conscientiousness
18. How many CFM of air is displaced by a 1 ¾” fog nozzle performing hydra-ventilation?
a. 15-18,000 cfm
b. 20-23,000 cfm
c. 32-35,000 cfm
d. Ben Sweeney
19. What makes us perform best on the fireground?
a. Music by ZZ Top
b. Music by Led Zeppelin
c. Brian Wray
d. Catch phrases on city email
20. Who is the best Firefighter in Roanoke today?
a. Shane Duncan
c. Lloyd Layman
d. Sister Teresa
21. What Firefighter has been assigned to # 8 the most?
a. Rocky Sink
b. Jerry Thompson
c. Christina Aguilera
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
For now, this is an open post. Keep it civil!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I witnessed a lot of people holding over because of firefighters stuck at the polls. Be sure to vote. If you were unable to vote this morning and are working today you might want to call your BC to see if you are able to leave to go vote. I am not sure if you are granted paid leave in Virginia for this or not, but you are allowed to go vote. Due to the long lines at the polls, I understand why several left the lines to get to work on time.
If you need further assistance or are afraid to ask, I will be happy to look into it for you. Let me know ASAP.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Ladder 1 - 100' ladder
Ladder 2 - 95' platform
Ladder 7 - 75' ladder
Ladder 13 - 75' ladder
Reserve Ladder - 121' ladder
Today, we have:
Ladder 13 - in service with the reserve ladder
Ladder 2 in service.
But what about the other two ladder companies? Well Ladder 1's crew is operating on the HTR truck (no ladders on it at all). Ladder 7 is operating with a reserve engine company (a 12'roof/straight ladder and a 24' extension ladder).
You tell me what is wrong. Since I get a lot of the "why are you bringing that up" mentality, I will tell you why. Because we are unprepared going to work like this. AND, the people we protect are unprotected. How many people right now are above the second floor working in an office in Downtown Roanoke?
I don't see how purchasing those 75' quints that are always out of service is any different than Alfred Dowe squandering away City dollars. Both of those 75' ladders are out of service right now and they are only 10 years old. What a waste.
But what the hell do the firefighters know? They don't run the department. They don't twist the statistics. They just merely risk their lives for yours.
I wish that the Chiefs downtown would really hear what the firefighters think and say about the state of our department. I wish that our firefighters didn't feel so threatened of retaliation and were able to speak out and ask the questions.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Several Roanoke Firefighters along with Roanoke Police Officers, local contractors, and company's have taken on the task of remodelling Officer Bryan Lawrence's house so that it is accessible for his wheelchair. 1st Lt. Scott Graham and Captain Scott Mutter have spent hours pulling permits, finding donors for material, lining up voluntary help, and working themselves to get Bryan's house up to par. Bryan, who lives in a split level home in Roanoke County, is awaiting the day when his house will be ready for him to a couple of houses away, headed up the remodel with the help of Mutter who owns Mutter Construc move in. Having made the trip home to Roanoke from Atlanta (I believe) earlier this month, he now awaits his brothers with the Fire Department to get his home ready. Graham, who lives justtion. Between the two of them, they have pulled all the necessary permits and found labor and materials to help out. The remodel was kicked off when the current Roanoke Valley Regional Fire-EMS Recruit School showed up on day 1 to do some "deconstruction" and learn about building construction.
What they are having done is completely redesigning the master bath, making all interior doorways 36", adding a deck onto the existing one which runs the length of the house, and adding in a chair lift. The deck will offer immediate egress from the master bedroom via a new entry door installed. The deck will also have a chair lift from the ground up to it so Bryan can get to the second floor.
I understand that Timber Truss has donated a lot of lumber for the remodel as well.
So, heres to the guys who have been able to help thus far. If you would like to help, please contact Mutter or Graham, or even me and I will forward the message.
The crew went there to help with the clean up left behind from Hurricane Ike.
The volunteers were in Cameron Parish, which they say doesn't get a lot of attention because it's a small place with only 8,000 residents.(More)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I am a little late on this due to being busy, but it was posted and emailed out on the Local 1132 site. The Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary is having a trip to the Layman Family Corn Maze today (Sunday) at 2pm. Check out the Local 1132 site for more (Link).
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Scott Mutter posted the following comment, if you can help please contact him:
I know it's short notice. but if any one can go by the Contractors Yard and pick up 8-10 bags ofOriginal Post below:
Quick-Crete #80lbs bags. We have 2 peer hole for the new deck at Officer Larwences house, that i need to get poured befor it rains tommorrow night. C shift is working so i cant get there to do it. You can put it on my account so you dont have to pay for it. So if their are a few guys that could help out with this please let me know. Thanks Scott Mutter 580-4771
Scott Graham and Scott Mutter are currently seeking firefighters and others to assist in renovating Officer Bryan Lawrence's house. They had the recruit class out on Monday to do part of their building construction/destruction class. I understand they did one hell of a job. Scott Graham wrote an email which reads:
Hello Everyone, I am sending another email requesting help to renovate officer Brian Lawrence's house. We made great progress on the first day and we still need help especially if your on C-shift since Captain Mutter and myself are on C-Shift. We are working toward other days but for now we cannot do that. Please email or call my cell phone if you can help. The sooner the better. Thanks Scott Graham.I believe that most of the days being worked are on A and B shift days currently. Please contact either Graham (1C) or Mutter (6C) if you would like to help. I remember almost 40 of us came out to help with the habitat for humanity houses after the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico a couple years ago. This is a great way to give back to the community as well as showing the community at what great lengths we go to take care of each other. If you can't get a hold of either Graham or Mutter, send me an email, page, or phone call and I will get you in contact with them.
Thanks and God Bless
Monday, October 13, 2008
I had the opportunity to speak with some of the IAFF/MDA members while at the IAFF Convention. I got to try out this new game they have begun on the World Golf Tour. The golf game is online and can be played from any computer. The cost is $10 to $30 depending on what you want to take a crack at. The proceeds go to the MDA through the IAFF. The IAFF is the largest contributer to the MDA last year raising $27 million. If you never have time to come out for fill the boot or any other MDA events that your Roanoke Valley Professional Fire Fighters put on, give this a chance. Click on the image below or I have also added a banner to the right. Game play stops on October 31st. Good luck.
The press release is below
MDA, World Golf Tour Host First Virtual
Charity Golf Tournament
IAFF Members Can Play in the “Jerry Lewis MDA Open”
to Fight Muscular Dystrophy
TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 10, 2008 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association and World Golf Tour (WGT) today launched the first-ever Jerry Lewis MDA Open, an online charity golf tournament that benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The tournament, which runs through Oct. 31, will take place on WGT’s virtual high-definition (HD) re-creation of The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina and the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas. It features a leaderboard contest and sweepstakes drawing.
A special registration page has been created for IAFF members to allow the proceeds collected from members to be credited to IAFF’s annual donations to the Association. IAFF members can register at www.jerrylewisopen.org/iaff.
"This is a great way for our fire fighters to compete, have fun and raise funds for ‘my kids’ all at the same time," said MDA National Chairman, Jerry Lewis.
YuChiang Cheng, CEO of World Golf Tour said, “We’re excited to offer a game for everyone to enjoy while contributing to this life-changing foundation. As the game of golf has a long history of philanthropic causes, World Golf Tour is brining that tradition to our online game,” explains Cheng.
Participants in the tournament’s Leaderboard contest compete for a Kiawah Island Golf Resort package for two; the second-place finisher will receive a golf package for two at Westin La Paloma Golf Resort in Tucson, Ariz.; and the third-place winner is awarded a set of TaylorMade golf clubs and bag.
For a suggested donation, players also can enter the sweepstakes drawing. The winner will receive a Las Vegas golf package for two, which includes a stay at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and golf at Bali Hai Golf Course.
Funds raised from the tour help support MDA's programs of worldwide research, comprehensive health care services, advocacy and professional and public health education.
About Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat muscular dystrophy and related diseases. The Association's programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors.
For information about MDA services, go to www.mda.org.
The IAFF has been an MDA national sponsor for 54 years. Its members have raised money for the fight against muscular dystrophy and related diseases through the annual Fill-the-Boot campaign, golf and softball tournaments, and other special events. Many fire fighters also contribute their time at MDA summer camps across the country. For more information on these programs, please visit http://mda.org/help/natevents.html.
About World Golf Tour
San Francisco-based World Golf Tour™ (www.wgt.com) (WGT) is the world’s most authentic online golf experience. WGT’s mission is to bring the golf lifestyle and game to everyone via the Web, making the sport accessible and affordable for all. The World Golf Tour experience allows golf enthusiasts to play the world’s most challenging and exclusive courses through superior HD graphics on a PC or Mac platform – for free, no download or software needed. WGT’s online community allows friends, families and golf fans to play a round of golf simultaneously, competing in tournaments for prizes, sharing scores, testing out the newest equipment and reading the latest news in the golfing world. For more information, please visit www.wgt.com
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
For the on-line
PARAMEDIC TO RN TRANSITION PROGRAM
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:00 A.M.
These sessions are open to all who are interested in obtaining information on the Commonwealth (on-line)
Paramedic to RN Transition Nursing Program.
For additional information contact:
Barbara Laird (804) 622-8725 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Aretha Harris (804) 622-8727 / email@example.com
Kent McIlhany 540-537-9962
Monday, October 06, 2008
Link to Roanoke County IAFF site
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Attention IAFF members in the Roanoke Valley and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Harold Schaitberger will be in Roanoke with Senator Joe Biden on Sunday. The event will be held at Century Park Plaza across from the Historic #1 firehouse. You can get into the park by ticket at 11am, with Biden/Schaitberger appearing around 12 or 1230. If you would like to participate please contact Rhett Fleitz at FireFleitz@cox.net or by cell phone 540-537-8158. The IAFF has secured 100 spots for us at this event and we will have t-shirts on hand for everyone attending. Please let us know if you would like to attend or if you are planning on attending. VPFF President Mike Mohler and others will also be in attendance.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Where do I start? Much like the rest of the FD I am losing my hair from scratching my head.
Ok, accept this as as much of an apology as I am willing to give. The information I posted earlier was a little less than the complete truth. However, that is not entirely my fault. The majority of blame is actually in the hands of the people calling the shots but only giving us the cliffnotes minutes before action.
Let me say this, from what I am hearing since the document was published (which can be viewed on Local1132.org) is that there will be a Medic 8 and Engine 13 will stay in service as well (according to Admin). The Clearbrook guys will come back to the City. How, What, and When all depends.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Roanoke Valley Regional Fire/EMS Training Center
1220 Kessler Mill Road
Salem, Virginia 24153
The cost is $35 and includes lunch and break items.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We hope to see everyone this Saturday at Hilltop Lanes (Williamson Road) from 7-10 for the Auxiliary Bowling Night. It is $12.50 per person. Let us know if you all will be attending and how many you will be bringing with you so we can reserve lanes.
Your Auxiliary Board
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
If indeed our management is handed down by our City Manager and Assistant City Manager, then would it be safe to say we could save a lot of money by replacing certain people with monkeys and a lifetime supply of bananas?
How long will our fake smiles we put on in public last? Numerous of us are unhappy with a lot of what is going on, even if some people only say it is 5%. Then again, how can you believe those statistics if other statistics given to Council members were way off base?
What is the answer? I don't know at this point. There have been numerous people begging for a vote of no confidence for some of our staff, but will that sink in or not?
You know what amazes me? That we the firefighters are still able to provide the best EMS care, Fire Suppression, and public service considering our circumstances.
I will be the first one sitting at the meeting of the labor/management committee that our Tri-Data report called for.
It would be nice if City Council took off their blinders and started running the City and supporting mandates and initiatives for our City Management to carry out.
RICHMOND– In an effort to increase the supply of gasoline in the following the disruption in the normal flow of petroleum products caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Governor Timothy M. Kaine waived certain specifications that prescribe volatility standards for gasoline. This action allows immediate distribution of gasoline blends that would normally not be allowed until October 1. Commonwealthof Virginia
Governor Kaine also announced today that the State has put together an experienced team of 30 inspectors from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) who are working across the Commonwealth to respond as quickly as possible to the more than 2,000 calls about possible gas price gouging received by the VDACS Division of Consumer Protection since Virginians first felt Hurricane Ike’s impact. Staff at VDACS continue to monitor the Consumer Protection Hotline to take calls around the clock to ensure that every complaint about gas prices is evaluated.
"It is intolerable that anyone would take advantage of consumers in this situation, and we will aggressively pursue unscrupulous operators charging excessive prices,” Governor Kaine said. “Virginians can do their part to help by maintaining a normal routine for refueling their vehicles, conserving fuel whenever possible and reporting any instances of possible price gouging to the VDACS Division of Consumer Protection.”
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of price gouging is encouraged to report such by calling VDACS Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 or 804-786-2476.
The state has taken additional measures in response to the
hurricanes. The Departments of Emergency Management, Transportation and Motor Vehicles have issued waivers to facilitate the uninterrupted transportation of gasoline from suppliers to retailers. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is closely monitoring the situation to ensure that adequate gasoline supplies remain available. As part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact that allows for the sharing of resources in response to disasters, Gulf Coast Virginiahas sent state personnel and resources to Texasand to help in response and recovery. Louisiana
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
PARAMEDIC TO RN BRIDGE CLASS
I am looking for interested NREMT-P’s who would qualify for a paramedic to RN transition course that can be brought to the area. You must have the prerequisites prior to admission in the program. NO EXCEPTIONS! The course would possibly start in Jan 2010 and be finished in Dec. 2010(LESS THAN 1 YEAR). The classes would be a hybrid type with limited classroom time. There is a clinical component that must be completed as well. In order to secure a class in the area there has to be at least 8 people to be interested. LPN’s will be allowed as well so it should not be an issue. Please read the following requirements. If you already have these requirements or would be able to complete them by the admission process this would be a great opportunity for you.
Prerequisites (must be completed prior to application submission)
~ High school graduate or GED
~ High school or college algebra, biology, and chemistry with a grade of “C” or better
~ Any developmental courses identified as needed after placement tests
~ Preadmission nursing test with acceptable scores (NLN 45 or better in verbal and math;
NET 45 or better in reading and math; HESI 45 or better)
~ The following general education courses with a grade of “C” or better:
NAS 161 (BIO 141) – Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4 credits
ENG 111 – College Composition I 3 credits
PSY 230 – Developmental Psychology 3 credits
SDV 100 – College Success Skills 1 credit
ITE EEE – Information Technology Elective 3 credits
14 total credits
Please contact me if you have questions or to express interest.
I will be forwarding the information on perspective students to the course director as soon as possible.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
- I was going out of town and very busy.
- Mark did not even tell the guys he was working with he was retiring, his BC accidentally let the cat out of the bag.
- I did not, and still do not have my external hard drive which has all of the Union's Photos on it including any of Mark.
As for what I have been doing. I have put everything on the back burner for the past week and enjoyed myself down here in the Outer Banks. I actually shot some pics of a house fire and they were posted on FireNews.Net (NC's version of VAFireNews.com). Check them out here.
Other than hanging out with my family for the week, the highlight of my vacation was swimming with some sand tiger sharks and barracuda. I was able to do this while SCUBA diving on the wreck Dixie Arrow off the coast of Hatteras, NC.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Most of all, discuss with and educate our Brothers and Sisters who were not in the department at the time.
Maybe discuss what you were doing when you found out, how long you watched the news to see the events unfold, or what your first thoughts were when you saw what was happening.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
If you would like, please discuss the blog. For instance what you like or don't like. Maybe what you would like to see done, or what you would do if you ran things. I will be back in town Sunday.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
One other note. If you have already registered, please do not register again. If you cannot find your registration information through the website, contact me and I will reset your password and send you the information via email. For this stuff please use my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also thanks to all who helped with Fill the Boot today. If you would like to help out tomorrow (Sunday) please contact Steven McFaden at Station 2 and he will point you in the right direction. We are collecting at Towers Kroger from 10am - 3pm.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Mark Podlewski is retiring effective November 1, 2008. His last day on the job was Tuesday, September 2nd. Mark was hired by the Roanoke Fire Department on July 1, 1991, although he actually transferred from the Roanoke Police Department where I believe he was hired in 1984.
Mark's last assignment was at Station 13 on A-Shift with Captain Yearout. He will be missed. I always enjoyed getting him riled up in the mornings as he enjoyed getting under my skin too.
Good luck in your retirement Mark.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Click here for LOCAL1132.org
Monday, September 01, 2008
Roanoke Fire-EMS has been called upon by EMAC once again to deploy a Hurricane Recovery Team to St. Bernard's Parrish, LA. This group of 8 Fire-EMS personnel will serve with the Incident Management Team in
The team consists of: Deputy Chief Ralph Tartaglia, Battalion Chief Jeff Beckner, Battalion Chief Teddy Adkins, Captain Werner Van Damme, Captain Chuck Swecker, 1st Lt. Tim Cady, FF/EMT-I Becky Smith and FF/EMT Jeff Oliver.
The crew departed from the Roanoke Valley Regional Fire-EMS Training Center at approximately 4:30 this afternoon. They will be traveling to Birmingham, AL tonight and will be staying at a Fire Station there. The team will be deployed for approximately 18 days - 4 days of travel and 14 days of working in Louisiana. They are to report to their post by 7am on Wednesday, September 3.
This is the fourth deployment that Roanoke Fire-EMS has been on since 2005. In 2005, three separate teams were deployed to assist Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Hurricane Gustav. Roanoke Fire-EMS is ready to assist the citizens of St. Bernard's Parrish in any way that we can during this recovery period," says Chief David Hoback.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Someone asked me about a shirt I was wearing once. The shirt was the Roanoke Fire Blog shirt. You can purchase them here: http://www.cafepress.com/roanokefire. There are two designs. The newest is the one with the "Roanoke Fire Blog" on the front. If you have a slogan you would like to see let me know.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Monday, August 25th is the RFFA Business Meeting
August 29th is the next Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary Bowling night. Event details will be announced soon. The last bowling night was a lot of fun and well attended.
On September 6th and 7th, the RFFA will have a Fill the Boot event to benefit the MDA. The event details are TBA. Contact Becky Smith or Steve McFaden for more information.
On September 11th, around a dozen Danville IAFF Local 2532 Firefighters will be making a motorcycle ride to Roanoke. They did this similar trip last year to Salem. The Firefighters are looking for a station to come visit for lunch. The Firefighters will pay for lunch, as long as your station fixes it. If your station is interested in hosting the incoming firefighters let me know and I will get you all in contact with each other to work it out. The firefighters ride up, eat lunch, hang out for a while, and then head back to Danville. There might be interest in our Firefighters riding back with them and they said they would host whoever rides for dinner.
September 11th is right around the corner. Please do not forget the sacrifice of our 343 firefighters who died on that day and the others who have died since due to service that day.
October 3-4th is the 1st Annual Fire Officer Seminar held at the Roanoke Civic Center. More information here.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Awesome to have some good news and posts on here for a change. Great JobI find this interesting. I don't disagree the fact that the post it refers to is good news. What I do find interesting is that so much of what is on this blog is good news. It is easier to remember the negative over the positive aspects though. I understood this early on in this blog.
The ironic twist is that commonly I speak out against Administrations "actions" and occasionally their "words".
Take for instance, the recent budget cuts. I won't name names, but certain Chiefs came around to various stations to tell us they were not in support of the cuts. They SAID they weren't. But when it came down to it their ACTIONS spoke louder and showed that the cuts were no big deal to them.
Therefore, it would have been impossible to speak about this event without being either positive or negative. Either I would have to talk about their words or actions which contradicted each other.
Furthermore, how can anyone actually be in support of the current administration? It is darn near impossible. If you support what they say, you would be pissed by their actions. If you support their actions, you would be mislead by their words.
Think about it for a minute.
Friday, August 22, 2008
On that February 22nd day, team members Mike Elston, Tim Graham and Shawn Stanley knew they were in trouble when the Roanoke Valley was hit with over two inches of rain in a 24 hour period. As the rivers and streams around the area began to rise, the trio began what would eventually be a 12 hour rescue marathon.
Read More on Roanoke.com
In case my brother/sister firefighters in Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, or other area want something posted on here just let me know and send in the story.
This mentality is a lot cheaper than "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Cheaper to taxpayers, cheaper to the City. Budget cuts are in effect across the Nation. September 11th has worn off. The days of Politicians and Local Leaders realization of the need for more firefighters and more police officers is gone. Now the fight has become local. Only in the face of tragedy do things change anymore. Look at Charleston. Firefighters complained for years seeking change in their outdated system. 9 Firefighters died and suddenly everyone is opening their eyes.
Unfortunately, this playing the odds mentality has seeped into the rank and file of our department. The ideals of needing more firefighters on the trucks and more firefighters on scene have been replaced with "Who Cares" and "We have tried but cannot make a difference". Very true, we have tried to get them to listen. So far they aren't hearing it. I will be damned if I am going to give my life up because the system failed me. Don't take that the wrong way, I am still willing to risk my life for the life of another, that is what we do. However, I am not going to give my life by accepting the odds and going along with Administration.
Through this whole ordeal of budget cuts and future changes, the single most significant moment was when Chief Hoback admitted that he had not seen the Fire-EMS Budget located in the Resource Allocation Plan. That same documentation that we were told he created, one of three as a matter of fact, and our City Manager picked that one. This happened, I was there. It was a moment of clarity.
We all know who is running the department. Call it what you will and use your own analogies, but it is not safe the way things are going. We need change. We need reform.
I took a class recently at the training center. The class was offered on duty and was taught by Retired Chief Poff from Roanoke County. The class was on the art of reading smoke. This class was great. Not only did I learn a lot, but I could tell that the other firefighters with me learned a lot. The case studies on the Keokuk Iowa fire that killed 3 firefighters and the Houston McDonald's that killed 2 firefighters was especially interesting. These case studies were interesting because I remember them. The lessons learned from the fires which took these firefighters could be life saving one day.
With our current and future cuts, consolidation, disbanding of companies we are in a downward spiral. The end is nowhere in sight. We have effectively created a quint concept in some of our stations and possibly more in the future. With 3 firefighters on our rigs, this is a recipe for disaster. The one saving grace is that while we do have fires in Roanoke, we do not have many fires with people trapped. This enables us to not risk quite as much while fighting fires. We still search and are capable of rescue, we just don't have to push the envelope too far regularly. Who can forecast the future? Apparently our City leaders can. Because they continue to cut and play the odds. Just don't let that mentality get a hold of you.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
View some of the stories here:
STATter 911 - a reporter with WUSA9 in D.C.
You may have to scroll down on the blogs, the stories ran yesterday.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Here is the picture of our Station 9 coin. Its the building when it opened with the old doors and no office addition. Since they are shutting it down soon we thought we should get on it now. Hopefully the other stations will see this and we can get everyone doing it. The one side is already on 1 and 9's coins. Bradbury and I hoped everyone would use the same City logo side and put there station design on the back. I would love to get 1 from every station.
Our coins are solid brass, and the cost is quickly recovered. They can call me or Bradbury and we can get them more information, or hook them up with our contact.
Thanks for putting them out there, maybe we can have a little tradition of our own started.
I still maintain that this blog is positive and shows the unadulterated opinion of the Firefighters of the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department. An attempt to cover up this shows that certain people have blinders on.
Not every Firefighter embraces this blog or the thoughts on the site. However, those are the ones who read it the most to see what is said next.
If you remember back to the beginning of the blog, I brought news, fires, and history to the forefront. It was only when I finally realized that I could do more with the blog that I decided to add commentary and opinion. Unfortunately, some people did not like this.
I still contend that this department needs significant change. Blocking this blog from City Computers isn't going to change anything. Similarly, nothing is going to change in the department until certain people are realize it.
One ironic twist is that the person who banned this blog is also the person so many Firefighters saw as a catalyst for change. No dice. When the sword changed hands, even he continued to slash at the morale and backbone of this department.
One thing is for sure, either I work in a make believe department or he does. The stories, comments, thoughts, and ideas I hear from our Firefighters cannot be the same that he hears.
I could talk about the positive attributes of this site and the work that I have done, but I don't do it for myself and do not need to toot my own horn. I will note one thing though. When I wrote "Firefighting in Roanoke", the book was never publicly recognized by the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department. It was at that moment that I realized I was not embraced by our management. I am not going to change to make people like me.
I have maintained that this Department is where it is at because of its Firefighters. We have created and maintained one hell of a department. Through all of the despair, cuts, poor planning, bad decision making, lack of leadership, and mismanagement we continue to do our jobs. That in itself is a tremendous accomplishment. I have not met one firefighter in our department who has not complained about current management. Yet the Management continues to cut because of arrival times, fire under control times, etc. Times that are created because we are the best. We know the territory and get there quick. We know how to fight fires and put them out quick. We know how to mediate any emergency and do it quick.
All this in the shadow of:
the IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger and International Association of Fire Chiefs President Steve Westermann signed a joint agreement yesterday at the 49th Convention to provide a framework to improve labor relations between fire fighters and the nation’s fire chiefs. This occured last week at the IAFF Convention, just days prior to the IAFC Convention our Chiefs attended. (Read more about it here)
"The Labor Management Initiative also states that labor and management must improve communications and training, and promote a relationship based on respect, trust and understanding. The LMI also calls for labor and management to find ways to identify problems and resolve disputes.
Westermann urged fire fighters and fire chiefs to work together so they can do their jobs more efficiently and more safely."
In case you are wondering, I will not be changing the domain. You all know how to get to this site, why should I change anything. Aren't there bigger issues to deal with?
Monday, August 18, 2008
It will be positive, professional, and warranted.
For the other media outlets, THIS web site and RoanokeFirefighters.com have been banned on Roanoke City Computers in a fit of Censorship from the Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief.
Rodney and I were pleasantly surprised to see that one of Local 1132's historic images was used as the banner for the convention. As you can see in the picture, Steamer #2 sitting in front of Station 9 was picked as the main centerpiece for the convention and could be seen all over the Exhibit hall. This image was one of many sent in to the IAFF for the History Project. The IAFF also used several images for the IAFF History Project which was unveiled a couple of years ago.
It is interesting to see how the comments escalated.
I have a lot to add, I just need to find the time. Maybe soon.
Do you guys think I should have a weekly Open Post? Every Friday maybe?
Link - Local1132.org
By the way, the Local site is back up and running. The issue was with our previous domain host, we have successfully moved domain hosting to the same host as our web server and this issue has been corrected. I apologize for the downtime, it was out of my control.
Officer Bryan Lawrence Benefit Car Truck & Motorcycle Show
On May 10th 2008 a Roanoke Virginia police officer was viciously and brutally attacked while attempting to make an arrest in Roanoke City. Officer Lawrence was assaulted by two assailants and severely beaten and kicked in the head and neck leaving him unconscious and paralyzed on a city street. Officer Lawrence is currently undergoing extensive therapy in Atlanta Georgia with some improvement in his paralysis, but has a long and expensive road ahead.
As a Roanoke Crime Prevention Officer, he has always worked with the underprivileged and citizens in need. Much of his attention has been directed toward citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s, Autism, and Downs Syndrome. He also has routinely visited local nursing homes, providing much needed attention to the elderly.
Officer Lawrence will be eligible for retirement next year and would like to become a minister.
In this time of need, we have the opportunity to come together to give our support and show our appreciation to this community servant, officer and friend.
A car, truck, motorcycle, and semi truck show that will also include food, games and live entertainment is being organized to benefit Officer Lawrence. The event will be held Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Parts Depot, 2177 Dale Avenue in Roanoke, Virginia , beginning at 10:00 A.M.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in this very worthwhile benefit and show your support of this extraordinary Father, Police Officer, Husband, and fellow Man.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
Please call us with donations for our representative to pick up, or forward your donations, and or auction items to:
1128 Pechin Ave
Roanoke VA 24013
Bryan Lawrence Car Show Committee
& The Lawrence Family
Contact phone: Walter 540 761 1073
Friday, August 08, 2008
- I talked to Gary Fisher today...all is well in Iraq.
- Send in the pictures of the Station Coins, I will post them when I get a chance. They are very unique and affordable.
- If you need me, my email is FireFleitz@cox.net. I only check my City email once or twice a month. I get emails quickly on my CrackBerry.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
The Roanoke Cop Blog is in full swing. The blog is an introspective look at what it is like to be a Roanoke Police Officer. The apparently anonymous blogger writes about life on the street working the beat in Roanoke. The writings are unlike this blog in that he writes about his day to day job and what he experiences. Check out the blog here.
Another Cop blog that I found out about a couple of weeks ago is one written from Memphis. If some of you think that this blog is bad at times you need to check out MPD Enforcer 2.0. The blog has uncovered supposed crime and cover ups within the Memphis PD.
As for me, I have been overwhelmed with a lot of things recently. That is why the blog is somewhat stagnant.
Roanoke City just hired at least one. Apparently, Mark Altman the son of Chief Altman was hired today. There isn't any word on any other hirings.
There have been some fires recently. The Sofa Warehouse on Williamson Road and the McDonald's on Orange are two of them. I cannot stress enough that in these times of companies out of service you need to be careful. The recent jobs have been put out quickly, you just never know when the shit will hit the fan.
Someone recently pointed out to me the amount of Opticoms out of service. For those who don't know, the opticom system turns the lights green when we come to them running emergency. This helps alleviate the traffic backup and gets us through the light quicker. Why haven't these been fixed. I know of a couple which have been out of service in 13's first due for around 6 years.
Posted by FireFleitz at 9:00 PM
Monday, July 28, 2008
Link to the article
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The Auxiliary recently had a bowling night as well. They have posted pictures on their website here. The trip to Emerald Pointe was awesome. The kids had a great time, and the adults enjoyed the park as well. Around 50 of us made the trek to Greensboro, NC for the day. We had to sit through one storm when we first got there, then the weather was perfect. The overcast skies kept the crowd to a minimum, which was perfect for riding the slides.
And yes, Willie wore the goggles and water wings the whole day.
View more images on the Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary Website
The class covered “Relay Operations” and the fundamentals of LDH supply hose.
“It has been a successful class. A “Back to the Basics” class is always beneficial. The older Firefighters enjoy the practice, and we have so many new young people for which the experience is a first. It truly is a win-win situation.” - Lieutenant Jim Hylton
The lead instructors were: Captain Warner Van Damme, Lt. Jim Hylton, Captain Robert Perdue, Lt. Mark Brown,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I just realized that it has been over a week since my last post. I have been busy much like most of you all. I have so much to say, and I hope to get to it soon.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) I am taking the kids to Emerald Pointe with several other families. The Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary set up the trip. We are hoping for decent weather.
There has been a lot going on in the City, although at the surface it appears as though the Department hasn't changed much.
I noticed in the paper the other day where the city has spent over a million dollars on another piece of property. I swear, Roanoke City is having a very lucrative budget crunch. The claims of not having money are met with what seems to be one of the biggest spending sprees I have seen in a while.
The Roanoke Times had a nice piece on Roanoke City Manager Darlene Burcham...I didn't read it. I am sure that they got their point across, unlike the news media is able to do when we have a story for them. The one sidedness of our media in Roanoke is embarrassing to say the least.
If you think back to when Chief Hoback took the helm as Chief of our department most of us where saying things will change. Most of us gave him a chance. Most of us kept our heads up and wanted to believe that change would come.
Damn, this is getting depressing...
I will continue on though.
You know that 6 million dollar station 1 they built, well they are replacing it piece by piece it seems. Soon they will have a brand new garage floor throughout. Apparently, the work was sub-par. Shock.
Ladder 13 went out of service the other day...and then the reserve ladder went out of service. Engine 13 stayed in service though, and the City operated with 3 ladder trucks, well actually 2 and a half. Ladder 7 accounting for that .5.
I was told by one of our Chiefs that if a truck is broke he will shop it automatically. That if it is unsafe, then it needs to be fixed and does not need to be in service. This was told to me without me asking. I didn't say a word...until now. Why the hell are Ladder 7 and Ladder 13 still in service if they have not been able to fix the relief valves since February. Hell we have needed 4 people outside of the apparatus drivers to come in special and tell us they are broke. What gives.
Oh yeah, Engine 8 failed the pump test twice and was kept in service for months.
I will tell you what I think. I think we are on a one way trip to the darkest day of our lives. I think that without change, one of us is going to be seriously injured or killed.
The best thing we have going for us is each other. Watch your back, watch your brothers back.
I have some more stuff I need to post. Some feel good stuff as well. Look for it soon.