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Sunday, March 09, 2008

A message to the Readers

I was contacted by a reader who is a graphics producer in Roanoke. He apparently enjoys reading the blog and decided to touch up the photo to the left that I posted the other day. Thanks Patrick, I always appreciate the help. You can certainly tell the difference.

Hey guys. As always, it has been a trying time for Roanoke Firefighters after losing a solid and committed member of the Roanoke Fire-EMS Family. David O. Rich was damn near an institution in the department. Along with Donnie and Jimmy, I always enjoy seeing one of them come in the door to the station. They are the biggest supporters of the Department, they are the pipeline to information and supplies every day of the week. David will be missed, by myself and all I am sure.

I will get back to regular posting soon. I like to keep important posts up for several days. David deserves it.

Now to a little issue I have. I put a lot of time into this blog. I don't do it for me, I do it for the readers. It is basically part of my life as a firefighter now. Like it or not, it is the blog. Some of you check in daily to see what the new posts are, and others check in to see what Rhett has to say.

What I don't get is why there weren't 250 comments on the last post? I know that everyone can relate to David. It is so often that when readers don't agree with me that they comment. But what about when they agree with me, or if there isn't an issue? Is it so hard to comment? It isn't for me, but for his relatives, his grandchildren and others. This blog will be here for a while and the comments will live on.


Anonymous said...

Maybe there isn't 250 comments because some things are better left unsaid, or someone has already said it, or maybe they said it to the family and don't feel the need to blog their comment. Rich was a great guy who will be greatly missed. what you blogged about him was nice and there were some comments about how people felt about Rich, you should know by now most firefighters bury their feelings and don't feel the need to let them out for public observation. Many keep their hurt and sadness hidden. I like your website and enjoy reading it but please don't call out the firefighters who don't want to comment on your site they have that right. So be thankful for what you have and take care of one another. GOD bless the family of David Rich.

FireFleitz said...

You are so right. I guess my point was more along the line of how so many firefighters post comments on the bad stuff but don't take the opportunity to comment on the good stuff.

It was an observation of mine. I appreciate your comment.

Anonymous said...

Well it is like the theory of if you have a good experience at a resteraunt you'll tell 2or 3 people, but if you have a bad one you will likely tell 10. Praise is getting harder and harder to come by. It's sad but there are people who want to bust you for something wrong than to tell you great job for doing something good. It's a shame that morale has to suffer because of a few bad apples.

FireFleitz said...

Very true, although it was good to see all the great comments in favor of Mike Overacker. That was a really good thing. I was happy to see several comments standing up for him. It was the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

It was good to defend him for the pictures he takes, but I don't think we got the whole story. There is still the fact that he was allowed onto fires since then. I think it is great for everyone to have pictures to continue having peices of history for future firefighters in the city, but Mike is still a civilian media photographer and at times I've seen him push into areas that other media can't. I see both sides of that though, I want the close, best action shots to pass on to the next generation. But we need to fair to all media types, I would like to keep good video of fires as well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rhett,

You are right that people seem to want to chime in when a nasty subject is brought up, but that is a pressure release for them. Folks I know seem to quiet down when something has affected them on a deep level. That is what happened to me with Rich. I fell into a depression that day, and no matter what I tried to do to shake it off, I couldn't. My friends noticed it, asked me if I was alright, but I could not bring myself to tell them that a friend of mine had suddenly passed away. It was hard for me to face his passing, and my heart is heavy, even now, as I write this opinion.

Grief is a wierd thing. I know the guys and girls in the department would have posted constantly, if they could have only put it into words. As well, there are few left in the department that actually worked with Rich when he was an active firefighter, so many only knew him as the messenger. That is really sad, because Rich was so much more than that. I know I will think of Rich often. I can still here his raspy voice yelling "Hey Overacker" when a memory rises from the past. He pulled alot of pranks on me, and looking back, they were good ones. I sure wish he was still around to pull a few more, just for old times sake.

On another note, Rhett. Thank you so much for running this blog and keeping it up to date. I hit it every day. It keeps me in touch with the department and the firefighters that I still care so very much about. It is extremely hard to keep up a blog as well as you have, but it shows with one of the best blogs I have ever seen on the internet. It is a job well done, and I wanted to publicly thank you for your hard work, as well as your support of my website. You are a true Brother, and I wanted you to know that.

Lieutenant Michael Overacker / Retired

FireFleitz said...

Thanks Mike. I appreciate it.

As with this post, I put myself out there. I learned a little. I don't know all the answers, the thought of the post just occurred to me that is why I posted it.

I am always learning. I will never know it all.

Thanks for the kind words as well Mike. Keep it real.

Jen said...

Rhett -
Sadly it could be that many younger/newer firefighters didn't know Mr Rich and therefore aren't aware of his contributions to the RFD. Similar stuff happened where I ran rescue, newer/younger people didn't know the Life members therefore had little appreciation for them. I don't think it was intentional, but more of one where they simply didn't know or understand the contributions of those members. You will always find people more willing to stir up dirt, controversy and chime in on hot topics - another unfortunate human characteristic. Don't let it trouble you and please by all means keep Mr Rich right here on the blog where he belongs. I didn't know the man, but can understand your perspective. =)

Anonymous said...

I dissagree with the one post that says Mikey pushes his way into scenes where other media cant. That is because he knows where to go to not get in the way unlike the "other" media. I truly believe Mikey also has pulled his time and has enough sense to stay out of the danger areas where the "other" media DOES NOT. I have seen Mikey on nummerous fires now and yet did he get in the way even once. Keep it up Mikey, it appears to me that even the white helmets enjoy it from their poses and smiles.

Anonymous said...

The family of David Rich would like to thank everyone during this difficult time for their support. Our deepest appreciation goes out to the Roanoke City Fire EMS Honor Guard, the Pallbearers and all the other fire fighters who stood out in the rain to pay tribute to David. Words cannot express how we feel towards to gratitude from everyone. Thank you, Randy, Holly, Hannah & Danielle Rich

Anonymous said...

Who's running the honor gaurd? They looked really sharp.