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Friday, May 30, 2008

This is what we do...

I was reading this story on FireGeezer (link) and it got me thinking about another story I had read recently. Basically, the point is that no matter what we do on duty or off duty we are always Firefighters and EMT's. We do it because we love it, we do it because people's lives depend on it, we do it to serve, and servants we are. Sure, we may not be rescuing victims from the 9th floor of a high rise on an aerial ladder every day, but we eventually we will have our day. That day will define us and it may come several times in our career. When that day comes, we will not look around for our pedestal, we will not look for the microphone, we will not seek opportunity to tell our story, nor will we seek or expect praise. We will pick up the equipment, get the truck in service and head back to the station with our brother and sister firefighters to get ready for the big one. Much like we do every day, we will be ready for whatever emergencies are given to us that day, and we will mitigate them as we have done for years.

This is who we are. We do it because we want to be a part of a greater good. We want to make a difference, we want to be a part of the team. We don't do it to be called heroes and we do not consider heroes. Many Firefighters will tell you that Heroes are the burn victims at burn camp or the kids at MDA camp who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy. Heroes we are not. We are mere mortals.

We do it because we love doing it. The adrenaline rush helps too.

And you are waiting for my point...Here it is.

We do our jobs, we do it very well. We pride ourselves on the great job we are able to do. The only thing we ask in return is a decent salary and benefits as well as the proper gear and equipment to do our jobs. For us, our salary could be better, and the benefits could certainly be better. I have talked about that in the past and will in the future I am sure, but I would like to discuss something else.

For years now, we have had to make up for deficiencies in our department. Take away an engine here, move a station there, run more calls, do more public relations, install car seats, pre-fire plans, test and retest hydrants then paint them too, run calls into the County, run calls into Salem, train on your days off, reduce an engine and ladder truck down to a quint, do the job of 6-8 guys with only 3, follow the rules that we want when we want you to, remember unwritten rules that from 20 years ago.

The saga continues. I am sure that the Chiefs could show up in any station and hear some bitching about all of the recent events, but they will never hear the complete truth. That is what I am here for. The Firefighters of all ranks are disgusted. The morale has hit an all time low. The Department is falling apart at the seams. The Firefighters who have had to keep the Department held together for so long are fed up. All of the cuts, bullshit, retaliation, boneheaded moves, stupid judgement, mismanagement, micromanagement, and otherwise unsound decision making that the firefighters have lived with for so long and still kept the department running might actually ruin the department. The Firefighters can only hold back the flood gates for so long. Once the defenses are breached, the department will go down the tubes.

Firefighters are already looking at Roanoke County for a potential place to go work. Salem is looking very good as well. It is no longer about going to another department for more money and the same problems, it is now about going to another department to get away from the heap of problems which continue to pile up in our department.

Even the bootlickers are curling up. They are quickly realizing that the boots they are licking are starting to smell. The unease downtown is easily seen. Nobody knows what the hell is going on. The County doesn't want to give up the 6 at Clearbrook...Well duh.

Firefighters are realizing that all of this overcompensating for poor planning and decision making is not worth it. Administrators are scurrying around like contestants on Survivor trying to form alliances for when the shit hits the fan to ensure they aren't voted off the island. I would be scared of my name being on any pieces of paper downtown due to the potential audit of the Fire Department's spending habits.

As for us, we will continue to be the best, but don't blame us if we fail. We tried to tell you and you and you...but you didn't listen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bikers will ride to help officer

The fundraiser is in honor of Bryan Lawrence, who was left paralyzed after trying to stop a suspect.

The Roanoke Police Department is sponsoring a fundraiser for an officer who was beaten and paralyzed while attempting to subdue a suspect earlier this month.

The motorcycle run in honor of Officer Bryan Lawrence is set to begin June 14 at the Roanoke Civic Center.

Lawrence was paralyzed from the chest down during the May 10 assault. He is now a patient at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, where he is undergoing rehabilitation. It's unclear whether his paralysis is temporary or how long his recovery could take.

Sgt. Bob Chandler said after he heard of the severity of Lawrence's injuries, two retired police officers called him and said they wanted to organize an event to help Lawrence.

Much of Lawrence's medical treatment is covered by insurance, but Chandler said Lawrence and his family will experience many unforeseen costs.

"The expenses of the family, of traveling, adds up more than any one can imagine," Chandler said. "He's going to have to make changes. All that takes money."

Click here for the rest of the story

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Roanoke Fire-EMS Department being led down a path fewer are taking

I have had a lot of time to think about the events which have unfolded in Roanoke in relation to the Budget cuts. The thoughts I have often turn to realization that the people we have talked to about this situation do not grasp the issue at hand.

The remembrance of September 11, 2001 is lost to our local politicians down to our Fire Chief. The understanding that it is not possible to comprehend the worst disaster ever has been shaken off by even the media. September 11th stands for a lot of things, the point I would like to make is that not even the FDNY (which has close to 12,000 members) could not even prepare for what happened. I am not saying that a situation like what happened on September 11th in NYC could happen here, however most forget what happened only 3 hours away at the Pentagon. Could we have handled that situation. The disaster at the pentagon is easily overshadowed by the World Trade Center incident, but lest we forget about it.

It is unfortunate that the ones who pull the strings have forgotten about the potential disasters in which we must be ready for at any given moment. I am sick of those people living life playing the odds with the citizens and visitors we are sworn to protect. Shame on them.

Kyle Wilson died in the Line of Duty doing his job searching for people who his crew thought were trapped in a residence. This is how we work. We don't sit outside and call their phone number to see if anyone is home, we react. This reaction we train for. The painful realization of the outcome because of that trained reaction by Kyle Wilson and his crew could have happened to any one of us. Were there problems? Of course there were. I have never been on a fire that didn't have problems. Even the ones we call bread and butter are not that easy.

The point is that if we screw up, someones life could hang in the balance. We don't get to play the odds. When we show up on a house fire, we don't roll the dice to see if someone gets to live, we do our jobs...and we do it damn well.

The Charleston FD is going through changes much like after Kyle Wilson's untimely death. Charleston FD lost 9 Firefighters in a fire. We have a system put in place to investigate incidences such as these and report the findings. Kyle Wilson's fire has been very beneficial to his Firefighters he left behind. That is a hard pill to swallow. It took his death for the string pullers to recognize the need for reform within the Fire-EMS Department. I wonder if that gives Kyle's friends and family closure? I can tell you that if something happens to one of my brothers or sisters and reform is mandated due to the investigation it will not sit well with me. Especially after we tried our best to show that the budget cuts are putting the odds against us.

Charleston's events have created a report which calls for reform in the department. That same department which the firefighters said it was only a matter of time, yet the Chief stood by the system.

Do you see what I am getting at. Anything can happen anywhere at anytime...and we will be called to unf^%$ it. Do you feel prepared?

A message to the news media. You guys missed this event by a long shot. I was there, I was interviewed. If you truly wanted the story, you would not have reacted the same way City Council did. You should have interviewed the Chief and then interviewed us. However, you decided to take the high road. Do you really think that 250+ Firefighters who are sworn to protect you while you are at work, the citizens and visitors in Roanoke would just make this up.

We may not all have degrees, or spend weeks away fattening up our resumes, but we know what is going on. We are the ones on the front line. We are the ones who train to react and allow our actions to be led by experience, training, and knowledge.

This job is being ruined by people who are not in touch with our reality. This job is being ruined.

It is unfortunate that our firefighters seem to have lost all respect for our Fire Chief and others near. The Fire Chief's position was created to manage the department. This person was almost always promoted from within and new the rank and file of the department. That closeness created a checks and balances system so that the Fire Chief would not lead his subordinates astray. Nowadays, Fire Chiefs have become the middle man between Downtown and the Fire-EMS Department. This should not have been allowed, yet it is a product of our City Council and City Management.

A lot of people have brought up the fact that our Fire Chief came from the EMS Department. I really could care less. The problem I see is that if our EMS system failed, we have a larger EMS Department in town who would be more than happy to help out. That department is Carilion Clinic Patient Transport. Their system has more ambulances and more personnel who are EMT's or Medics. However, if our Fire Department crapped out we are screwed. Sure, during the day we could get some help from Roanoke County...but at night we are pretty much it.

I don't like to dwell on what if's or worst case scenarios, but we are being managed by the mentality of "That will never happen". HUH? To me, in my line of work, the mentality which will keep us ready for the next emergency wins.

On top of all that...All during the budget cuts I got phone call after phone call after phone call about how the Chief did not want to make the cuts. Even to the point of insinuating where to find the information to prove that the budget cuts could not and should not be made. It amazed me at how many people believed that the Fire Chief did not want to make the cuts. What interviews were they watching? I do not blame them for wanting to error on the side of the Fire Chief. I believe that they truly wanted to believe that their Fire Chief did not want to make the cuts. But I watched, and I listened, and I worked diligently to prove that the budget cuts were wrong, dangerous, and irresponsible. Yet, even the City Council members who doubted it asked him if it would change anything and he said no.

What does this mean? Well it means that one of two things are going to happen. 1) Nothing will happen and our Firefighters will continue to make up for deficiencies in our department. These same deficiencies which we have been supplementing for who knows how long. OR 2) Something will happen to shock our leaders in the Department and Roanoke City to understand that we were right all this time. That we were not making this up and that it was wrong.

That something could be many things.

I assure you one thing. It has changed...everything has changed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Roanoke City Police Officer Bryan Lawrence

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Bryan Lawrence and his family can do so at any SunTrust Bank Branch. The Roanoke City Police Association has an account set up on his behalf. The name on the account is "RCPA Bryan Lawrence Fund". All money collected will be forwarded to his family to assist in his expenses.

As most of you all know, Roanoke City Police Officer Bryan Lawrence was brutally attacked while trying to make an arrest the other day. Officer Lawrence is still in the hospital and his family and the Roanoke Police Department have not released much information about his condition. I have been in contact with their association's President and assured him that Roanoke's Bravest were here to help in their time of need. I have been told that they are working on creating a fund we will be able to donate to. I will post the information as soon as I get it. Until then, please keep Officer Lawrence, his family, and his brothers and sisters on the Roanoke Police Department in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Video from the Future

I can see it now. In an effort to ensure response times and to make sure not to be proven wrong after making cuts that he said will not change a thing, the Fire Chief and others beat the streets to stop traffic to get the fire apparatus to calls on time.

Here is a look into the future.

And of course we have to talk about the increase in fees. More than likely, we don't have enough firefighters to adequately attack a highrise fire. Furthermore, we are becoming a fee for service department. Therefore I give you a view of our department in the future...again. Enjoy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two plus two equals FORE

Apparently now just because you hold a title you are right. At least that is what some Council Members think. Council Member Gwen Mason says in an interview with WSLS says that Management assured her that the proposed cuts wouldn't change anything. This is hard to comprehend. The Fire Chief says one thing and 250+ Firefighters say that he is wrong. In a detailed 40+ page report the Firefighters lay out the significance of the proposed cuts and still no one listens. The Firefighters try every available outlet to discuss the issues in a very professional manner and yet their voices are unheard. The Fire Chief says that we can take away an Engine and nothing will change, yet he couldn't be more wrong. First and foremost, one thing that not too many have taken into account is that the Firefighters views of the Fire Chief has changed. What does this mean, well it means everything. Long ago, a product of no confidence in the leader led to mutiny. In current times, you may not see mutiny especially in a para-military Department such as ours. However, you will see even the bootlickers checking the taste in their mouth to see if they like it anymore. What will this produce? I am not exactly sure, but the things I am hearing might send a message.

Firefighters are not allowed to strike, even if we could we aren't the type of people who let our jobs not get done. If you were privy to the conversations I am, you would be surprised by what you hear. A Captain explained it best in the Council meeting when he said that Firefighters used to talk about how long they had been here and now they talk about how long they have to go. It is evident that we are only numbers. Not the City Council, not the City Manager, Not the Fire Chief, not the Deputy Fire Chiefs could care if we have a name with our faces. That could not be more evident with the way they have treated Mary Thompson. I will be happy to pull the first knife out of her back. 23 years of dedication to the Fire Department and she is told to pack her boxes. Only one person in Administration has been here longer and yet it means nothing. If that doesn't send a message to potential Firefighter candidates I don' t know what does.

I have tried my best to be honest about the job to potential candidates. I don't paint a rosy picture and usually I sell the job by talking about our greatest asset...our Firefighters. I will put you guys first and I think you know that. Of course, Roanoke City claims the same outlook, but we know that couldn't be further from the truth.

What is more is that not City Council, not the City Manager, not the Fire Chief actually knows what is going on. There is talks of the guys coming back from Clearbrook, over hiring, and still the budget cuts. Getting rid of one position in Administration only to turn around and hire two more. Who knows what is going on? All I know is our work load gets heavier and heavier.

Who really cares anymore? I will tell you who cares. We care. If we didn't care we wouldn't have fought for the positions. If we didn't believe in it we would have not bothered.

Apparently Jay Warren has the same thought process as our Fire Chief. He states that
Calling an ambulance went up as well, although your insurance should cover that increase.
Yeah, so insurance just pays for this out of the kindness of their hearts right. WRONG. We pay for it. You and You and You and You. Insurance premiums will go up more and more and more and more. Nothing is free.

For coverage on todays Council Meeting look here:



If he said so...then he must be right

It is sad to hear of what the Roanoke Firefighters think now that the budget cuts have been confirmed.

Mostly, the firefighters believe they have lost the backing of their Fire Chief. I think it is obvious, others needed a little more time to come around to the realization.

It is funny though, you hear Council Members and others say things like...well that is what he is paid to do...and he is just doing his job...and his hands are tied.

I am calling shenanigans. That is right. I think it is just the opposite. He is the Fire Chief. His job is to manage the Fire-EMS Department. His job is to make sure that Myself and my Brother and Sister Firefighters get to go home to our families after every shift. His job is to ensure the Publics Safety related to Fire and EMS Services.

I do not know any other way of explaining it other than to say that EVERY firefighter thinks this is a terrible idea and no good can come of it.

I have heard what some of the Council Members have to say and they are standing behind the notion that "well the Fire Chief said so". That can mean only one thing, that they will remember when we cry foul...and they have their scapegoat.

Hopefully, in the future I will be able to getting some entertaining things on here again to brighten your day. However, today is not one of them.

Watch Channel 10 and 13 tonight, they both covered the events of today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Remember that the Council Meeting is Monday May 12th at 2pm. We are meeting at Noon at the Union Hall. Call me if you have questions.

These past two weeks have been interesting. There have been a lot of comments that have offered more insight to the events which have consumed most of the Roanoke Firefighters lives. I have heard from a lot of firefighters as well as their wives and even some parents and children. The common theme is that we are on the right track. I think it can be summed up by this one comment which I will quote:

let me give you an old saying to answer your question as to why you shouldn't listen to the chief.
"all of us are smarter than one of us"
think about it

On another note...I have gotten a lot of phone calls about the Administrative Chiefs actually staffing trucks this past week. Chief 2 ran on Engine 10, Chief 3 and BC5 ran at Station 1, Chief 1 ran as BC 2, BC 3 and Captain Dillon ran at Station 6. All of this is understood to have been due to Rescue Challenge being in town. Apparently we cannot even afford overtime to fill the spots on the trucks.

So this leaves a couple of questions:
  1. Are all of the Administrative positions needed?
  2. Can we really not afford any overtime?
  3. Did we finally mark out too much apparatus? (it is very common to have 2-3 engines, a ladder, and a medic truck or two out of service at any given time for whatever reason)
Worse yet.... these actions bring up some other questions about the Chiefs who filled in on the Engines/Ladders
  1. Are they all up to date with SCBA Fit testing?
  2. Are they up to date on all of our operational training.
  3. Are they up to date on all of their training.
  4. Are they up to date enough to do the job correctly and safely.
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to attack their abilities. However, I remember taking an R.I.T. class which had a lot to do with communication between Incident Command and the operational divisions/groups. It was my understanding from what I have been told that many of the Chiefs had not attended. This raises questions about exactly how educated are certain personnel who could be put in the place of Incident Commander and now even as the officer on an Engine or Ladder Company.

I actually hope that everyone involved is up to date on all of the things that affect our jobs. I also hope that no corners were cut or procedures skipped. We are all held to a very high standard and we expect the same from anyone who might possibly get on the truck next to us. If you cannot understand why I bring this up on the first place, well most of the remaining firefighters who have not said a word up to now have finally joined the rest to say "What the hell is going on".

The events of the past week or two have 250+ Firefighters scratching their heads wondering what the hell is going on. It appears as though certain people have continued to cut the fire department, were able to get City Council brainwashed into thinking it was no big deal, and then able to get a department head to say that nothing will change becoming the fall guy. I wish I had that kind of persuasion. With that kind of following and power of persuasion, I have one last thing to say...."don't drink the cool-aid".

As far as the morale of the firefighters and what they think, well I don't know if it can get any worse. I hope it can't and I hope it gets better, but it isn't going to change in the current pace it is going.

I have more thoughts that I will get posted later in the week.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Monday Council Meeting

Attention all Local 1132 Members. All available members are asked to attend the Roanoke City Council Meeting on Monday May 12, 2008 at 2pm. We will be meeting at the Union Hall for lunch (provided) at noon and then going to the Council Meeting. We will not be able to speak at the Council Meeting. However we want City Council to have to look us in the eye when they take Engine 13 out of service and the 4 person off of Ladder 7. Your attendance is important on this matter and is greatly appreciated.

Please wear your black IAFF shirts from the last Council meeting. If you do not have one, we will provide one for you. If you have questions, contact your Shift Vice President, Rodney Jordan, or Rhett Fleitz.

The last meeting, 91 of us really made a statement. It would be great to increase that number this time.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Budget Saga Continues

Tonight there will be an interview on Channel 10 sometime either 5, 5:30, 6, or 11. Watch it. I will not be able to watch it until later on the internet.

There will be an article in the paper tomorrow.

Channel 7 and the Roanoke Times reported that the City Council has agreed to the Budget with the exception of adding the funds in to resurface the Eureka park tennis courts. City Council still has to vote on the budget on Monday.

I don't think disappointed covers it, but I am disappointed.

Fire on 6th Street Southeast

Roanoke Firefighters battle a house fire in Southeast Roanoke.
One homeowner is reported to be injured as well as one Firefighter taken to the hospital.

Click here for more pictures and information on

UPDATE: One firefighter suffered from possible heat exhaustion/dehydration at the scene and is at RMH now recovering.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Roanoke Loves a Strong Union

You should read this post on another blog and then you should comment. Before you comment, read my comment on the post. I have put a little below, but the guy doesn't know what he is talking about. If you have ever posted a comment on this blog, you should leave a comment on his. I suggest you kill him with kindness or speak above him, neither of which should be very hard.

Here is an excerpt from the post over at The World To Muse While Waiting For Roanoke (link)

Roanoke Firefighters have made their opinions clear concerning the proposed budget but I thought there was a reason we have a position with the title 'Fire-EMS Department Chief'. Roanoke City Council asked Department Chief David Hoback for recommendations concerning budget cuts for Fire-EMS. He gave Council his recommendations.
Six Firefighter jobs should be eliminated.

And of course say hello to The Firefighters Union...
They reject this idea saying the public will suffer with fewer Fire Fighters.
I can't speak on the mathematical correlation between total number of citizens, density of living space, placement of Fire Stations, necessary equipment and personnel to secure and safely protect a city of Roanoke's dimensions but I bet I know someone who does.
I would ask The Department Chief.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Editorial: Roanoke's budget pinches all

The Roanoke Times editorial staff was quick to point the finger at the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association for showing support against a proposed budget cut that would take an engine out of service as well as decrease the workforce. They say we need to take our lumps and not speak out against the budget cuts. I say the Roanoke Times gets rid of all but one of the Roanoke Times Editorial writers and have one person do all the work...then not complain about it. Then again, no ones life depends on if the editorial column is written or not.

Roanoke firefighters raise a legitimate point in opposition to the city's proposed budget: They need four firefighters to run the versatile fire truck called a quint. Council last year promised that level of staffing, but the proposed budget would strip the trucks to three firefighters.

That, they claim, is not enough personnel to fight fires on arrival (as two are required to enter burning structures while two stay outside). Firefighters, the public and the department's coveted accreditation would all stand at risk.

On this point, council should go back to Fire-EMS Department Chief David Hoback and direct him to make budget revisions that protect the front line of public safety. But firefighters must realize they'll have to give up something else and back away from the intimidation tactics they displayed during the budget hearing. (About 90 of them crowded into council chambers, rising to stand in solidarity behind their speakers.)

Read the rest of the article here

Press Conference Canceled

The Press Conference at Station 13 has been canceled today.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fire on Thirlane

Fire on Thirlane Road the other day. I was working for Doug Hurd when we caught this fire. I will come out and say that I made a huge but not very costly mistake and learned my lesson. I reversed out from Engine 10 to a hydrant laying 900 feet of 5" hose on the ground. The mistake was that there was one 200' away from Engine 10 that I didn't see. Lesson learned.
Click here or on the picture for more photos by Drew Abel.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Guns beat Hoses in Game tonight

The Roanoke Valley Professional Fire Fighters Hoses team lost tonight to Roanoke Valley's Police/Sheriff's Guns team tonight with a final score of 9-8. The game lasted 8 innings.

Upcoming Events in Roanoke

The Roanoke Fire Fighters Association has been busy with several events recently. We also need Firefighters to make appearances at the following events:

May 5, 2008 - Mark Warner will be announcing his bid for Senate at the New Fire Station 1 at 8:30 am.
May 5, 2008 - There will be a press conference at Fire Station 13 with Mayoral Candidate David Bowers and Incumbent Council Member Brian Wishneff at 11am.
May 6, 2008 - We need Firefighters to stand at polling places to support your Council Candidates. Support for David Bowers and Brian Wishneff is encouraged. Valerie Garner has also become a friend of your Firefighters.
May 12, 2008 - The Roanoke City Council Meeting will be held at 7pm in Council Chambers. Council Members will meet to vote on the budget.
May 29, 2008 - Annual MDA Golf Tournament hosted by the Roanoke Valley Professional Fire Fighters Locals. The Tournament will be at Hanging Rock. (More Info)
June 8, 2008 - Flag Football game between Roanoke City Firefighters and the Roanoke County/Salem Team. The game will be at 3pm at Northside High School. (more info)

If you have any questions, just let me know.

Hey guys, you have to check out this new website. is a hilarious critique of the Fire Service by using satire. From rookies to Fire Chiefs, no one is safe and all are fair game. The dissection of even the smallest of issues has an edge that will have you laughing. Much of the stuff will have you thinking, why didn't I think of that or that hit the nail on the head. A lot of the issues hit home with our department. Be sure to read the posts "Captain Brawn", "Those trucks are made for Using",

Check out the site here.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Guns and Hoses Softball Game

The Guns and Hoses Game is tomorrow. The Guns and Hoses game starts at 3:15. The Salem Fire Department and K-9 Unit will be in the Parking Lot to start things off at 2pm.

This from the Avalanche Website:
Saturday, May 3, 2008
6:07 pm

Avalanche vs Myrtle Beach

Roush Fenway Show Car/ Saturday Night Live (Domino)/ Police and Fireman Appr. Guns N' Hoses Softball
Roush Fenway Show Car presented by Kroger. Saturday Night Live presented by Miller Lite. Guns N' Hoses Police and Fireman Softball game presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance

Thursday, May 01, 2008

News Coverage of the RFFA Speaking out against Budget Cuts

I will try to stay on top of the News Coverage following the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association's stance against the budget cuts.

From what I have heard already, the Council Members were very receptive to our message. Some are said to have remarked that our presence and our message was the biggest and most impressive that the Council Members had seen in their tenure on Council.

Another little birdie told me that Mayor Nelson Harris was at the previous meeting at 5pm and even ate the catered dinner after that meeting between 5pm and 6pm. However, at 10 minutes to 7pm, Harris handed the gavel to Vice-Mayor Trinkle and tip-toed out the back door. I guess our presence was something that he did not want to get involved in during Elections. I also understand that the City Manager was not prepared and tongue tied while being interviewed afterwards.

I have so many things I would love to say right now, but instead I will leave you with this fact. Ninety One (91) Firefighters were in Council Chambers tonight. That is more than one-third of the department. Remember that one-third was working. I think we have your attention.

I must say that tonight I was a very proud Firefighter and a very proud member of the RFFA. To see you all come together in unity and solidarity was truly moving. Scooter's account of his incident, Rorrer's talk about Scooter, and Rodney's account of Kyle Wilson all gave me goose bumps. It brought me to a place that I will be speaking of in the future on the blog.

I look forward to the Roanoke Times in the morning. Look for the story on Scott Hetherington on the front page of the Virginia section as well as an article by Mason Adams on the Council Meeting last night.

Click on the links below for news and video.

Firefighter Hourly covered the story here
The FireEMSBlog covered Scooters story here
STATter 911 covered the story last week here
Valerie Garner covered the story on her blog here

Firefighter Returns After Heart Attack - WSET
Roanoke firefighter returns after heart attack
Video: Firefighter returns to duty since suffering cardiac arrest - Roanoke Times
Firefighter reclaims spot at station - Roanoke Times

Firefighters upset about proposed cuts to Roanoke's fire department - WDBJ
City seeks widespread budget cuts in proposal - Roanoke Times
Firefighters Face Cuts - WSET
Roanoke Firefighters Association makes statement at City Hall - WSLS
Many fired up about proposed cuts to Roanoke's fire department
Firefighters Fight Cuts - WSET (a snippet is below)
Chief David Hoback, Roanoke Fire & EMS - "City council, city manager, no one wants to do this. But the fire department, being the second largest budget, has to contribute their share." And Chief Hoback decided the only way to reduce his budget by $350,000 to $400,000, as instructed, was to reduce his staffing. A decision that has his firefighters rallying against him. Lt. Rhett Fleitz, Firefighters Assoc. Local 1132 - "This isn't necessarily the firefighters against the fire chief. This is more so, the firefighters against the budget cuts." Cuts that would scale back the staffing at Station 13 on Peters Creek Road from six firefighters to three, the absolute minimum required to operate a truck. Fleitz - "This proposal will jeopardize Roanoke City (web) firefighters as well as the citizens we're trying to protect." Chief David Hoback, Roanoke Fire & EMS - "They will not see a difference. They will not experience a difference. The truck will still get there in four minutes or less and be able to meet those performance standards." But Chief Hoback admits, if adopted, this proposal would stretch his department thin. He says reducing any more positions would force them to eliminate a station. And no one wants that.

Watch the City Council Meeting Live

The Council meeting will start tonight at 7pm. You can view it live on Channel 3 or online here. After going to the link, click on the city emblem on the right hand side half way down the page. Click on Live feed.