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Monday, December 01, 2008


Effective immediately, the blog will be hosted at only. If you linked here, please update your link to the new one. Please visit the new site currently undergoing a redesign.


Sunday, November 30, 2008


Effective Immediately, the blog will be hosted solely at 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

Reflective Vests and You

I decided that instead of spending a lot of time reading and giving you all the skinny on this new reflective vest requirement I would simply give you the links to the information. 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

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Officer Bryan Lawrence's Thanksgiving

Officer Bryan Lawrence is at home after a long journey since his tragedy. The last part of his journey involved living in an apartment while his house was completely remodeled by your Roanoke Firefighters and others. Scott Graham and Scott Mutter spearheaded the remodel and many others helped out. Today, the Roanoke Times has a great piece by Amanda Codispoti on the events.

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 1 - $5 million
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

Collection for the Rescue Mission

The Roanoke Firefigthers Auxiliary is taking up a collection of items for women and children at the Rescue Mission. Items needed are:



disposable razors

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ladder Operations Class in Roanoke

I hit a milestone this week. The new went live. Check it out here: Tonight, I added photos from the ladder ops class. Check out the story and photos here.

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.

Firefighter of the Year

Reminder that Firefighter of the Year and other award citations are due soon. Look at for more information or contact me or Tim Parry. All nominations must be signed, sealed, and yes delivered.

Station # 8 News

Station # 8 has its own t-shirt. All three shifts offered ideas about the design of the shirt.

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?
a. tonic
b. spring
c. mineral
d. sparkling
3. If you have a call for a fire in the butler’s pantry, what is the primary concern of the homeowner?
a. dinner
b. the fire
c. that we may track up the carpet
d. the butler

4. To what level are we accredited?
a. locally
b. nationally
c. internationally
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
b. none
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?
a. Gustofrauääghier
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:
a. Candles
b. Potpourri
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
b. Snoopy
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
d. Ray-Ray

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Station 5 has Crows Station 9 has Pigeons

Check this pigeon out that landed (I assume) on Scott Boone's head. Videos below.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Interviewed by the Greensboro Local

I don't know if I posted this or not, but here it is. I was interviewed a couple of months ago by Dave Coker, the VP of Greensboro IAFF Local 947. They interviewed me about this blog and my Union activities. I think it gives a glimpse into why I do what I do and what I think about things. Take a look here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Open Post

Open Post today. I have been busy and haven't had time to post much. But I do have stuff coming soon. I have been working diligently on the redesign of and I hope to have the new site up and running soon. Once that occurs, I hope to redesign this site to a new hosting provider which will let me broaden the scope of the blog and give you all a little bit better site to look at. Just wait for it!

For now, this is an open post. Keep it civil!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Be sure to vote today.

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

Roanoke running out of Ladder Trucks?

Today, the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department is operating with 2 of 4 ladder trucks. That is right folks. The entire Southside of the City is left without ladder trucks. Currently, when operable the City has:

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

IAFF FIREPAC Targets McCain in TV Ad

Maybe you have seen this ad running on tv, maybe not. Before you say that your Union dues are paying for this, they are not. This is paid for by the IAFF FIREPAC, which some of you may fund voluntarily. The firefighters in the ad are from Fairfax County. The ads were created in three forms, the one you see and two others taking aim at McCain as well as two other State Senator races I believe in North Carolina and New Hamshire.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Roanoke Firefighters Remodel Bryan Lawrence's House

In an outreach reminiscent of the popular tv show "Extreme Makeover, or possibly the local Habitat for Humanity build post Hurricane Katrina, Roanoke's Firefighters step up to the plate again. No not stepping to the plate like at the annual softball game for MDA or the Golf Tournament (also for MDA), but rather an outreach of Roanoke's Bravest looking out for one of Roanoke's Finest. Yet another act that reminds me of how great it is to be a Roanoke Firefighter!

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.

Since then, Graham and Mutter have relied on firefighters, police officers, and contractors who have generously given their time, skill, and labor to help with the remodel.

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.

Roanoke crew returns from hurricane relief in Louisiana

Six members from Roanoke City's fire and police department and water authority are back after spending the last two weeks in Louisiana.

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)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Auxiliary Pumpkin Farm Trip

Hey guys,

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

Officer Bryan Lawrence's House

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 of
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
Original Post below:
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

Play Golf Online for Jerry's Kids

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

"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

About IAFF

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

About World Golf Tour

San Francisco-based World Golf Tour™ ( (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

AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka on Racism and Obama

AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka blasts racism and underlines why workers should vote Obama in 2008. Excerpt of speech given at Steelworkers convention July 1, 2008, sponsored by USW President Leo Gerard.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Roanoke City Deployment to Cameron Parish, Louisiana

The members of the Roanoke Deployment team are from right to left: Scott Agner (Water Authority), Audie Ferris (Fire-EMS), Alan Austin (Fire-EMS), Todd Reighley (Fire-EMS), Danny Brabham (Police), David Pope (Fire-EMS), and Paul Lynch (Fairfax Co. Building/Engineering) We are scheduled to return to Roanoke on October 19th.

Our team of 7 members is in Cameron Parish Louisiana,manning the Emergency Operations Center(EOC) for the Cameron Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness. We have been using the Emergency Support Function framework from FEMA ( to distribute responsibilities and manage the EOC. Our mission this time is different than during Hurricain Rita, who's members filled a more operational role. We are working 12 hours a day in the Emergency Operations Center supporting the Parish's recovery and we are housed on site. The EOC is located at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refugue's Head Quarters.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paramedic to RN Transition Program

Information Session

For the on-line


Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:00 A.M.

in the

Anderson Building

Room A-330

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 /

Aretha Harris (804) 622-8727 /

Kent McIlhany 540-537-9962

Monday, October 06, 2008

Roanoke County FF in the Marine Corps Marathon

Barry Brown, a Roanoke County Firefighter, is running in the IAFF Burn Foundation Marine Corps Marathon. He is raising money for the IAFF Burn Foundation.Please take a minute to check out Roanoke County's website and give money for the worthwhile cause. At the right is a picture of Barry at the event in 2007.

Link to Roanoke County IAFF site

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Open Post on the Fire Officer Seminar

Some of you have expressed interest in having an open post to comment on the Fire Officer Seminar. Great idea. I thought the seminar was thought provoking and well worth the time. I know a lot of people put a lot of time in making it a success. I know a lot of guys/gals who were able to make it and was happy to see firefighters from all over the State of Virginia. I enjoyed myself and I look forward to the next one!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Senator Joe Biden and IAFF President Harold Schaitberger in Roanoke

This Event has been canceled. Thank you for all who were planning on attending.

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 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

Clearbrook Agreement to end June 30, 2009

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 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

Fireproof the Movie

I just got a phone call from a woman who wanted to make sure that her Roanoke Firefighters knew about this movie which is apparently playing at the Tanglewood Cinema. She called the RFFA office. The name of the movie is Fireproof. I heard about this movie some time ago and had since forgotten about it. Check out the website and watch the trailer. By all appearances it seems like a movie about Firefighters, the main character having issues with his marriage. I don't know if all of the issues are due to him being a firefighter, but I do know that it is not the easiest job to have while keeping our home lives intact. I think I might check it out. Case and point, if you think about Backdraft, Ladder 49, Rescue Me, and Third Watch - they all deal with Firefighters and their !#$@#%ed up personal lives relating to the job.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reminder: 1st Annual Fire Officer Seminar in Roanoke

The Roanoke Valley Regional Fire Departments are hosting the 1st Annual Fire Officer Seminar in Roanoke. The event will be held on October 3rd and 4th. The Presentation will be the same for each day from 8am til 5pm. Dan Noonan (FDNY retired) and Michael Dugan (FDNY) will be speaking.


To register:
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

RFA Bowling Night

The message below was sent to our Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary members. All Roanoke Firefighters and their families are invited. The last one was a blast. Contact to rsvp or for more questions.

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

Random Thoughts and Contributing Editors

Has anyone heard the phrase "the beatings will continue until morale improves"? Well it seems as though that has become the Roanoke Fire-EMS Vision Statement.

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.


If you want to write for the Roanoke Fire Blog, simply email your post in word form to me at and I will post it. If you want to post it anonymously, I will honor your wishes.

News from Governor Kaine on Price Gouging

Read below about the investigation of price gouging seen probably the worse in Roanoke several days ago. It seemed as though the outfall of media hype fed by rumors was the drastic increase in fuel prices. This increase was obviously gouging. Read what Gov. Kaine says below:

RICHMOND In an effort to increase the supply of gasoline in the Commonwealth of Virginia 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.

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 Gulf Coast 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, Virginia has sent state personnel and resources to Texas and Louisiana to help in response and recovery.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Paramedic to RN Bridge Class in Roanoke


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

Kent McIlhany

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

Back in Town Soon

Hey all, I will be back in town for a few days by Sunday evening. I appreciate the comments and discussions. I would like to address one comment though about how I handled the retirement of Mark Podlewski. I have in the past, posted a picture and as much information as I can find about or retirees. I try my best to honor their service which is just a small gesture that I am afforded due to my position in having this blog. That honor which is usually nonexistent from our department.That being said, let me offer you a couple of reasons why Mark's retirement post was not what you expected:
  1. I was going out of town and very busy.
  2. Mark did not even tell the guys he was working with he was retiring, his BC accidentally let the cat out of the bag.
  3. 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.
This has little to do with Mark and more to do with the fact that I do what I can when I am able. I do not take offense to your viewpoints. As a matter of fact, I appreciate your concern and your attention to detail.

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 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

7th Anniversary of September 11th

Today marks the 7th Anniversary of September 11th. Take the time to reflect on the events and the heroics of so many of our Brothers.

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

Open Post

Here is an open post while I am out of town, although I have a topic for you.

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

Vote on Local 1132

Ok, I have corrected the glitch for all the newly registered members on the Local 1132 site. You should be able to click on online voting and the voting initiative will show. My apologies. If indeed you still cannot see the voting initiative, please contact me directly and I will update your profile.

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:


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.

Fill the Boot for MDA

Today and Tomorrow (Sat. and Sun.) The Roanoke Fire Fighters Association is holding a Fill the Boot for MDA. Members of the Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary and Salem's Local will also going to be on hand to help. The event will be held from 10am - 3pm at the Kroger's at Towers and Crossroads. Please plan on being there to help for any length of time. If you need to contact someone, give me a call at 537-8158 (Rhett).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Firefighter Mark Podlewski Retires

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

RFFA is looking for feedback on the 2008 Banquet

Attention all RFFA members, please take the time to complete a short one answer voting initiative on the Local 1132 website. If you would like to leave further comments on the banquet, feel free to leave feedback here or contact myself or Tim Parry.

Click here for

Monday, September 01, 2008

Roanoke Fire-EMS Deploys Team to St. Bernard's Parrish, LA

From the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department:

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

Open Post

The Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary Bowling Night has been canceled for this Friday and will be rescheduled.

Otherwise...OPEN POST

Someone asked me about a shirt I was wearing once. The shirt was the Roanoke Fire Blog shirt. You can purchase them here: 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

Upcoming Events for Roanoke's Firefighters

There are several upcoming events:

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

Words or Actions...which is cheaper

There was an interesting comment on the last post which read something like this:
Awesome to have some good news and posts on here for a change. Great Job
I 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

Salem Firefighters Honored for Rescue

When Salem’s Swift Water Rescue team was put to the test in February of 2003, its members responded with amazing courage and humility, saying afterwards, “We were just doing our jobs.”
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.

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.

Playing the Odds Mentality

You know that mentality that our City leaders have that we can play the odds when it comes to Public Safety. We remove a truck here and move a truck there. Decrease the police officers and firefighters. Consolidate this station and that station. Then we tell everyone nothing will change. This is playing the odds.

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.

Policeman VS Fireman Part 9

Fireman Jake vs Policeman Perry Part 9

Thanks for the heads up by the anonymous commenter on the new video.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Roanoke Fire Blog hits the news

Over the years, I have formed friendships and acquaintances with many journalist and bloggers. There are several who check in daily to and the Roanoke Fire Blog. Several picked up the story about the blog being banned.

View some of the stories here:

STATter 911 - a reporter with WUSA9 in D.C.
Firefighter Hourly
You may have to scroll down on the blogs, the stories ran yesterday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Station Coins

Station 9's Coin and a message from Goodo. If you have a photo of #1's coin send it in. Correct me if I am wrong, but these are considered Challenge coins aren't they.

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.

-Good O

Roanoke Fire Blog Banned By Chief

I guess the most interesting thing about this blog being banned by the Chief is that it is being banned right now. I have covered very interesting topics in the past that have not had the same effect. Do not misunderstand me, a ban was not my intent.

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."

Didn't the City send some of our Chiefs to this conference?

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


Wait for it....wait for it...wait for it...

It will be positive, professional, and warranted.

For the other media outlets, THIS web site and have been banned on Roanoke City Computers in a fit of Censorship from the Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief.

2008 IAFF Convention

Rodney Jordan, Duane Dixon, Brent Berry, and I recently returned from the IAFF Convention in Las Vegas. In case you were wondering, the Convention is a "Business Meeting" of sorts. We vote on resolutions which set forth the business for the next two years as well as beyond. If you would like to view video and resolutions, check out the IAFF website.

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.

About the Open Post

I must say that the commentary on the last Open Post was rather amusing. I did not have time to read every comment until just now. Some of the comments were just hilarious. The raw bread comment takes the cake.

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?

NCPERS Report on Public Pensions

Check out for a detailed report from NCPERS on Public Pensions. This article compares Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution plans.

Link -

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

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:

Car Show
1128 Pechin Ave
Roanoke VA 24013

Bryan Lawrence Car Show Committee
& The Lawrence Family
Contact phone: Walter 540 761 1073

Friday, August 08, 2008

Open Post

I will be out of town from the 9th til the 16th. I offer you another open post. You guys comment on whatever the heck you want. Please try and keep it civil. I will try and post the comments as often as possible. Have fun and be safe. All are welcome, outsiders included. Maybe we can break the record for comments with this one, having a week to post comments. The current record stands around 48.

- 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 I only check my City email once or twice a month. I get emails quickly on my CrackBerry.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

FF hurt, Roanoke Cop Blog and an Update

Steve Dixon, a Salem (VA) Firefighter suffered a heart attack on scene of a structure fire Monday. Dixon is believed to have been venting a roof of a house fire when he became ill. He is recovering at the hospital and has undergone surgery. His family would like their privacy during his recovery from what I understand. Our thoughts and prayers are with him during this time.

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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

This article is a must read

Follow the link to the article below. This is an expertly written article characterising firefighters showing full respect for a Firefighter who died in the Line if Duty. A very moving article of our Love for each other that is the Brotherhood shown through at a very trying time in a Department's healing after the death of a young firefighter.

Link to the article

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary trip to Emerald Pointe

The Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary hosted a trip to Wet N' Wild Emerald Pointe yesterday. I must say that if you are in need of a decent family trip and do not want to put up with the planning or excecution of the trip, let the Auxiliary take care of the hard work for you.

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

Roanoke Firefighters Water Supply Class

Department Instructors presented a Water Supply Class in 18 four hour blocks for city firefighters.

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

Still Going

Hey guys,

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.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Retired Captain James Givens Passes Away

Retired Captain James Givens passed away on Friday. He worked for the Roanoke Fire Department for 42 years, serving most of them at Station 9. The funeral arrangements are as follows: viewing Sunday 2-4pm and 6-8pm; viewing Monday 6-8pm; Funeral Tuesday 2pm all at the Downtown Oakey's. Honor Guard Members are needed. Contact Richard Lipes, Chief Tartaglia, or myself by pager if you can help. Also needed are pallbearers for the funeral, his wife is requesting members who worked with him.

Tanker Fire Shuts Down Route 220 in Downtown Roanoke

Friday, July 11, 2008

Message from the Roanoke Firefighters Auxiliary reference to trip to Emerald Pointe

We finally have our Emerald Pointe Trip reservations made. We will be going to Wet and Wild Emerald Pointe on Wednesday, July 23rd. We will be leaving Roanoke at 7:30am and will return home around 9:30pm, as the park is open from 10am-7pm. (We will let you know where we will be leaving from at a later date) The total cost of the trip is $46.00 for adults and children over 48" tall and $38.00 for children under 48" tall. This price includes an Abbott bus to and from the park and lunch in the park. Lunch will be buffet style and include hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chips and a drink. The buffet line will be unlimited times through, but will only stay open for one hour. The price also includes our own private tent while we are there. Each family will be responsible for providing their own dinner, but there are several choices available inside the park.
The trip is less than 2 weeks away and we only have 54 seats on the bus. If we have more people we have the option of getting another bus, but it is very important if you are planning on going that we get information and payment as soon as possible. Abbott needs $100.00 ASAP and Emerald Point needs 50% when I mail the contract back to them.
Please reserve your spot ASAP by calling Melanie at ********** or **************. If you have any additional questions, please let us know!
So.......grab your swimsuits and let's go!

If you guys need the number for Melanie let me know or you can call Scott Graham at Fire Station 1 today. You can email Melanie at