He will only work half of his tour. He will only work half because it is his last. Today Captain Schmoe will retire.
He has pulled his time and done his duty. He has survived to return home to his sons and the “Saint” that he is married to. I foresee many days of desert exploring and fire buffing in the old “el cheap-o jeep-o” … LUCKY BASTARD!
Anyway, I just wanted to tell the Capt congratulations, WELL DONE, good luck and enjoy. I also wanted to remind him of the twelve words he will need to remember for his 1/2 shift tomorrow …
” Dispatch … send NEXT DUE. We’re out of service due to mechanical issues”
Rhett’s driving …. well, let’s just say it works on your nerves. Riding with Rhett will drive you to drinking LOL.
WE HAD A GREAT WEEK IN ATLANTA !!
Rhett and I headed down last Tuesday and got to spend a night withhis sister her husband and his new baby nephew. It was the perfect start to our week. Special THANKS to Valicia for the hospitality.
Wednesday morning, we got out early and headed to the Westin Peach Tree Hotel in down town Atlanta to participate in our 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.
Once again, we found something special within that stairwell while trying to pay tribute, honor and respect to our fallen 343 Brothers from the FDNY. You can read my post following the climb HERE and Rhett’s HERE .
As mentioned in the links above, Rhett and I were HONORED to climb within the 1st group up. We were with a group of Chief Officers, most notably; our good friend Matt Tobia from Anne Arundel, Md. This was our hardest climb yet.
Another cool note from this climb is the fact that Victor Stagnaro (Director of Fire Service Programs for the National Fallen Firefighter’sFoundation) made the climb as well. Victor does a TON of work behind the scenes for these climbs and decided to pull “double duty” in Atlanta. AWESOME! Rhett and I are always happy to see and talk withVictor. He is a great friendwho can always be found working diligently for the NFFF. It was an added bonus and honor to have climbed with him! Here’s a video from the climb …
Rhett and I are planning to make our 3rd climb on the 10th anniversary of the attacks next month on September 11th in Greenbelt, Md. If you have never climbed, YOU NEED TO ! If you are worried about about whether or not you can make the 110 stories, DON’T. Rhett and I will climb with you, at whatever pace; and assure we reach the top.
After the climb, we unwound a bit and then headed out to John’s Creek Fire Station #63.
Johns Creek has a GREAT Department and 63 represents them well! A-Shift Captain Mark Akins had contacted me earlier after reading that Rhett and I would be heading to Atlanta for FRI. He invited us out for a tour and dinner with his crew … how could we refuse?
See my post on the vist HERE and read why the Fire Critic describes them as ” Firemen’s firemen“ HERE .
Ironfiremen and FireCritic.com visiting with Captain Mark Akins and the crew from Johns Creek Ga Station #63
Later in the week, while on the floor of FRI; I had the honor and privilege of meeting their Chief. Our talk was brief because he caught me busy at work. I hope I was able to convey to him how professional the guys from 63 are ( although I’m sure he already knew).
Their actions were a true testament to the word Brotherhood.
Talk about customer service and positive public perception !
Special thanks to Captain Akins and the brothers from #63 A-shift for an awesome meal and a fantastic visit. The members in attendance were Lt. Eddie Lee, FAO Phil Pirkle, FAO Kevin Castleberry, Sgt Tom Johnson, FF Jost Cater, FF Brandon Kingrey, and FF Grant Eckard.
Thursday, we started the morning out by joining Dave Statter and the NFFF at Atlanta Fire Station #11. We were there for a very special press release.
The Motorola Solutions Foundation awarded the NFFF $1 MILLION DOLLARS towards their Scholarships for survivors and Safety Training Initiatives ! See the official press release HERE .
We had a quick lunch and then headed out to check in for FRI and begin to set up the booth. Later that evening, Captain Akins from 63 met us at the hotel.
We had a great visit the day before but wanted some time with the Capt. and his crew where we could share a beer together.
We shared a little time together at the hotel before heading out for dinner. It was another very cool visit. The 3 of us seem to share a lot of the same views and are of the same opinion on many issues.
Firemen are all alike and share the same problems no matter where they are from. Thanks again to Captain Akins for taking the time to not only spend with us but for making us feel at home.
The next morning was going to be busy and we were already tired.
Although classes had been going on, tomorrow; was opening day for the exhibit floor.
Jeff Harkey (Daily911Deals) had arrived and would be staying with us for the remainder of our trip.
Jeff is another GREAT friend but when you get him and Rhett together, it’s hard to keep pace with them. They tackle EVERYTHING they do at 110%!
It was my mistake to enlist them in the search for a “Booth Babe” . They quickly began to take over and manage eveyaspect of our search. Interviews, auditions, background searches etc. When I wake up the next morning, our fold out hide-a-way sofa bed is in PIECES. LMAO that musta been one hell of an audition!
I didn’t even want to know so I got cleaned up, dressed and headed out to meet Zach Green from Fox Fire. This was my purpose for attending FRI.
I have posted many times on Zach and the Fox Fire Illuminating Product Line. I had helped work the booth and Firehouse Expo, and would do the same in Atlanta for FRI.
I hope you folks don’t get tired of hearing it because I say it all the time but THIS IS A GREAT PRODUCT !
This technology is going to change the way we fight fire!
It actually sells itself after you see it work, all I have to do is explain how and why.
Our booth stayed PACKED!
I’d dare say that we were the busiest booth on the floor.
Often times, we would have folks lined up out into the aisles waiting to see the product and receive a personal demo.
I think the show was another HUGE success for Zach and the Foxfire line. I guess I should say that I KNOW IT WAS A SUCCESS because we actually sold out of the helmet bands while there. That means that at least that many brothers and sisters will be able to preform their duties more efficiently and SAFER.
So, we worked the floor non-stop for the next 2 days! At 4 pm on Saturday, we broke down the booth and Zach and the Foxfire crew were on their way home. Rhett, Jeff and I would stay for another day.
After packing up Foxfire and seeing them safely on the road, we had the honor of packing and loading another unbelievable exhibit. The 9/11 Better Angels exhibit by Dawn Siebel.
This is a HUGE exhibit that has hundreds of pieces. Most of the pieces are fragile and must be individually wrapped and packaged.
It was an HONOR to have been entrusted with this task.
If you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, you need to do so. Im not sure where it will be on display next but at the very least, hit the link I provided above to read about it and view a video of the display.
Thanks to the NFFF for all they do in getting this enormous exhibit out for public display!
( I’m reasonably sure that the exhibit will be on display somewhere on the grounds duringthe Memorial Weekend coming up in October in Emmitsburg, Md. If you haven’t done so yet, MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND NOW … here’s the link with all the details Fire Hero.org )
So, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest before heading out to dinner. I should have went to bed hungry! If you haven’t heard or read it yet, we ended up at a very “exclusive” restaurant for dinner that night. Special thanks to Jeff’s “GUY” for the recommendation. HAD I ONLY KNOWN HE WAS A COP! LMAO .. anyway if you missed it, CLICK HERE for details.
Sunday morning, we were up and at it early again. This time, we were packing for our journey home.
Home is about an 8 hour drive for Rhett and me but we had some stops to make along the way. Jeff was going to tag along as far as Charlotte due to his plane / train ride back to Raleigh NC being cancelled due to Irene. I rode in the back so I could keep an eye (and my pistol) on the two of em after their escapades the night before.
We headed straight to Charlotte’s downtown fire station #1.
We were greeted by Captain Blake Redden. Another great fireman who understands the meaning of “Brotherhood”. I had actually met Captain Redden on the floor of FRI. He knew Jeff ( Fire News.net ) and they had met up somewhere on the floor. Jeff brought him by the Fox Fire booth for a quick intro. Next thing you know, we’re invited to drop by for a tour on our way home!
L-R Charlotte Fire Captain Blake Redden, Ironfiremen.com's Captain Wines, Charlotte Dispatch Supervisor Jeff Williams and The Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz
It was a very cool visit.
They even have their dispatch center on the top floor of the station. We got the COMPLETE tour.
Captain Redden took up upstairs where he introduced us to lead dispatcher Jeff Williams. Jeff fit like a glove! We could have sat and talked with these two guys for hours!
Unfortunately, we were still on a tight schedule and had to get back on the road.
Special thanks to Captain Redden and Jeff Williams for their time. Rhett and I both know and understand what it’s like to have visitors roll in on a Sunday.
We left Jeff Harkey in Charlotte and Rhett and I got back on the road. We had one more stop yet.
Ryan Monteith, The Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz, Captain Wines of Ironfiremen.com and Bill Shick
You may remember back to an early July (2011) post where I posted on a visitor to Lucky #13. CLICK HERE FOR THAT POST . Brother Bill Shick described himself as an avid reader of the site and was passing through. He said he just HAD to stop.
Bill and I had a great visit back in July and he told me that if I was ever in or around Charlotte to be sure and look him up.
Ironically, Bill works at Charlotte’s Station #1 but he was off duty on Sunday. The good news was that we was working his 2nd job as a firefighter in Davidson, NC. It was on our way home and just a few short miles.
Rhett and I had a great visit will Bill, Julia ( Bill’s girlfriend) and Ryan. Of course, they gave us the tour and showed us the rigs but the best part of firemen visiting firemen is sitting on the tailboard and telling stories. We did a lot of that.
I knew back when Bill walked into Lucky #13 that he was a good guy. Our visit with him on Sunday proved it. Thanks to Bill, Julia and Ryan for their time and brotherhood.
Ok, to wrap things up, I need to say a special THANKS to Rhett. He has been a great friend and a TRUE BROTHER. We have traveled a lot together and each trip gets better and better.
Thanks too to Jeff Harkey. I have just recently meet Jeff and knew I had made another great friend from the first moment. Three men living together in a hotel room for a week takes a lot of tolerance. When 1 of those 3 men is me, the tolerance level multiplies. LMAO
I also need to THANK Rhett’s other sister Vanessa. Vanessa works for Westin and has always been the one behind the scenes setting us up in hotel rooms as we travel across the country.
I’m glad she doesn’t work for the Econo Lodge or Super 8 because every hotel we have ever stayed in is FIRST CLASS!
I mentioned that for our stay in Atlanta, we had a two room suite! IT WAS AWESOME. We had room to work and play.
When our guests would come in, they couldn’t believe the view! There were helicopters landing on buildings BELOW us !
So, it was indeed ANOTHER great trip for The Fire Critic and Ironfiremen.com Better than that, it was even better for Rhett Fleitz and Willie Wines. Our next stop will be Greenbelt, Md for our 3rd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on September 11th! We hope to see you there. Until we see ya again, Stay Safe and in House!
I hate to tell ya this story but I gotta. We finished up the “work” portion of FRI (Fire Rescue International)yesterday. We’ve had a GREAT week here in Atlanta. It started for me and Rhett with our 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. It ended with us tearing down, wrapping, packing and loading the Better Angels exhibit for the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation.
This is a HUGE exhibit. It’s heavy, bulky and VERY fragile. Every piece is individually wrapped before being packed for shipping …. EVERY PIECE. It took a group of about 12 of us nearly 3 hours to break down, pack and load it . IT WAS A HUGE HONOR ! If you haven’t seen this exhibit in person yet, you should. Dawn Siebel did an awesome job of honoring the 343 FDNY members lost that day. Here’s a short video from the Foundation’s site if you didn’t hit the link above.
So, after we got the exhibit loaded and secured, we headed back to the hotel. WE WERE ALL BEAT. Jeff Harkey of Daily911 Deals and Fire News.net moved in with us for the remainder of the stay. We had all decided that we needed a few minutes of rest, a tall tottie and then a nice big steak for dinner! The only question was where to go. Jeff was on it … “I got a guy” he says. Immediately, he was on the phone finding a restaurant. His “guy” told him we should try this place “Cowboy” something or other. COOL !! sounded right up my alley. About 15 minutes later, his “guy” calls back and says DON’T go to the cowboy whatever bar. He had gotten his names mixed up. The “cowboy” place was actually a local gay bar / restaurant. THANK GOODNESS he stopped us in time. He then advised to head out to this place called the ” Cow Tipper”. Cool …. again, it sounded right up my alley.
We catch a cab, give the driver the address. “Haven’t been there in a while” he says. Hummmm. We arrive. Neat looking joint. Seating inside or out. Christmas lights hanging and strung between the several palm like trees on their patio. It was a beautiful night so we elected to sit outside. Rhett and Jeff are in deep conversation.
My first hint was the two guys making out at the table next to us. The two gals holding hands behind us, the group across the way playfully smacking at the waiter’s butt was another clue (although I’m not sure if it was a waiter or waitress).
I turn to Rhett and he knows something is wrong. “What’s the matter Brother?” he says. I lean over and whisper in his ear … “Psssssssst … we are at a gay restaurant”. “That was the other place you idiot … relax” he says. I tell him … take a look around you.
I’m watching him scan the patio as his eyes grow larger and larger. The three of us are the center of attention….. “FRESH MEAT”. Everyone just watched me lean over, pull him close and whisper in his ear. Here were 3 reasonably good looking guys who came in together, having an obvious good time laughing and joking; we are setting together and now I’m blowing in Rhett’s ear.
I’m wearing a silk shirt, jeans, cowboy boots, my buckle and hat. The wait staff is fighting over who gets to bring our drinks. I am now like the best item on the menu!
I get “the speech”. Relax … it will be ok. We are already here. It would take 15 minutes to get a cab back to us .. lets just have a few drinks and eat … how bad can it be?
The longer I sat, the more uncomfortable I became. Then it hit me … we’re in Atlanta … HAVE SOME FUN. So, as they say .. “When in Rome … do as the Romans”. I scooted my chair next to Rhett and threw my arm around him. I thought the entire patio would break into applause.
Guys were buying Rhett and Jeff drinks ALL NIGHT. We were the hottest couple in the place and IT WAS PACKED. Needless to say, I’m gonna kill em. I’m thinking about just digging a hole on the farm some where but if I decided to do a little something more “formal”, I’ll let you know about the arrangements.
I’ll have a good update for the trip very soon. We are on the road to home this morning with a brief stop in Charlotte. Until I get back .. Stay Safe and in House!
Most of you know by now that Rhett ( Fire Critic ) and I are in Atlanta, Ga. We are here for Fire Rescue International ( FRI ) 2011. Atlanta is an AWESOME city and we are HAVING A BLAST!!
We participated in our 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb yesterday morning. You can see my post on the climb HERE and Rhett’s HERE .
As I always do, I got a little emotional while making that post and cut it short. I stopped without adding some much needed thanks. I like to take this chance to say “THANK YOU” to The National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation for sponsoring these climbs and for everything else that they do. We also need to say thanks to The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Fire Department for hosting the event. Thanks as well to the Westin Peachtree Hotel for providing the facilities and allowing approx. 187 firefighters to take over their hotel.
Again, I’ll add that if you’re on the job and haven’t yet participated in a Memorial Stair Climb … YOU SHOULD. It’s something you’ll have to do to fully understand. I hope you come away with something close to what Rhett and I have taken from these events. I can’t explain how proud I am of our accomplishments. We get our drive and inspiration from our families. Our families on the job and our families at home. I want to share with you an e-mail I received from my youngest daughter (Reba) the morning of our 1st climb in Baltimore, Md (July 2011).
“Dad , today after reading your most recent blog ” we are all climbing ” I wanted to tell you ….. Your the most amazing selfless person I know … You work so hard to save people you don’t even know and at the same time are working just hard to save all of us … You use your spare time to spread the word of your great profession that in my opinion (and yours) you can’t call a ” job” it’s just something you were meant to do …. There is no one else in this world like you !!!! ( well the buckaroo and I – but we are exceptions bc we are only a mold ) …. Good luck on your climb I know you can do it ESP bc of the cause but also because I’ve never seen ANYTHING you can’t do !!!! ( well you might not be able to carry Rhett lol unless u had to ) ….. Anywho …. Just wanted to let you know your amazing in everything you do and the buckaroo and I love and miss you very much …. Be safe have fun , Love .. Reba and YOUR buckaroo ”
How AWESOME is that? I feel like I could climb 500 stories every time I read that. I read it before we climbed yesterday. I will read it again on September 11th because Rhett and I will be in Greenbelt, Md to make our 3rd climb. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
Moving on …. we are having a BLAST here in Atlanta. After the climb, we crawled across the street, toasted the 343 and shared a beer… ok a pitcher of beer.
We have met folks already and made some great new friends! Rhett is the type of person who has never met a stranger.
Me?? I’m the chick magnet….. LOL. It’s the mustache … they can’t help themselves.
Rhett sometimes get a little jealous but loves taking the pictures
You may be seeing more of Miss Samara in the near future here on Ironfiremen.com I think we just may hire her as one of our “Booth Babes” for the exhibit floor this weekend. We will be holding interviews and auditions later this evening in our hotel suite …I know .. I know .. it’s a dirty job! LMAO ( just kidding Donna … no interviews)
I’ll be working booth # 2853 for Zach Green and Fox Fire . Rhett and I have both done Product Reviews on Fox Fire’s Illuminating products and now both use them on the job. This stuff REALLY WORKS ! It will make your job safer and easier. If it didn’t, I’d be the first to tell ya nor would we put our name / face / reputation behind it. If you’re in Atlanta (FRI) be sure to drop by booth #2853 to meet us and get a personal demo of the Fox Fire product line …. you’ll thanks us for it!
Dinner at John's Creek Fire Department Station #63 A-Shift
So, after a few beers, a hot tub and a little rest, Rhett and I headed out to John’s Creek Fire Department for dinner with the Brothers from House #63.
WHAT AN AWESOME GROUP OF FIREMEN!
Captain Mark Akins contacted me a few weeks back. He described himself as a regular reader of the site. We seen that we would be headed to Atlanta this week and sent an invite to drop in for dinner. We are 450 miles apart, have never met and he opened his house to us … that’s BROTHERHOOD!
Sgt. Tom Johnson prepared some mouth watering steaks, baked potatoes and a salad and rolls. COOKED TO PERFECTION !
It was an AWESOME visit! I knew as soon as we pulled up that it was gonna be a good. Rhett knew right away that they had to be “A-shift”. He said they looked like good firemen. I agreed because had they have looked like “great” firemen, they would have been on “C-shift” … LMAO
Ironfiremen.com andFire Critic.com with Captain Mark Akins and crew from John's Creek Fire Department Station #63-A
All kidding aside, these guys made us feel at home.
A great meal, shirts, hats and even Challenge Coins!
Statterwas invited as well but had to cancel due to obligations with the NFFF. Being the class act that Captain Akins and his crew are, they sent Dave a coin anyway!
Captain Akins runs a great crew. Every member took the time to talk to us. We ate, shared a couple cups of coffee, got a tour and shared some great stories. They didn’t say hello and then run off to their own special corner of the station.
They hung out … with us … together. They are and acted like a COMPANY and Captain Akins should be proud of the impression they made. Thanks to Captain Akins, Lt. Eddie Lee, FAO Phil Pirkle, FAO Kevin Castleberry, Sgt Tom Johnson, FF Jost Cater, FF Brandon Kingrey, and FF Grant Eckard for the hospitality and Brotherhood!
We had a late night with good friend Jeff Harkey from Fire News. net and Daily 911 Deals.com . If you haven’t checked out the Daily 911 Deals site yet DO IT NOW ! They have a great deal on job shirts that is about to expire … you wont find them any cheaper! We wound the evening out in the hotel bar which is on the 73 floor. The ride up there is in a glass elevator and the bar actually rotates. Yea .. as in it spins around (no I hadn’t had too much to drink). Our hotel is round and the top 2 floors rotate … it’s AWESOME.
Chief Siarincki of the NFFF and Matt Blakely of The Motorola Solutions Foundation
This morning, we helped out Dave Statter and the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation with a huge press release. We gathered at Atlanta Fire Station #11 where Motorola announced the award of a $ 1 million dollar grant to the NFFF ! ONE MILLION !
Another GREAT event that was an honor to have been invited to. One million to the NFFF will make such an impact on their scholarship programs was well as to their ability to continue to help and support the survivors of our fallen.
If you’ve never visited the Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md you need to! Make plans now to attendthis October during the Memorial weekend … you’ll never forget the experience.
Ok, so we’re heading out again to set up our boothfor the weekendexhibits. We’re gonna hook back up with Captain Akins and some of the guys from #63 for a night on the town where we can share an adult beverage or two. I’m buying and I sure hope the boys are thirsty! LMAO
Captain Wines hijacks an Evan Williams truck for the boys from John's Creek #63-A
I’ll check back a bit later … until then, Stay Safe and in House!
Rhett and I completed our 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb yesterday morning here in Atlanta, Ga. It was another experience that I’ll have trouble describing to you.
Once again, Rhett and I found “something” in those stairwells that can only be experienced if you climb. We’ve described it before as “spiritual”. See previous posts HERE and HERE .
This climb was different. It was much harder than our 1st in Baltimore. There, we climbed 22 stories at a time. Here, we climbed a straight 73 and then another 37.
We had the honor of being the 1st group up! We climbed with a group of fire Chiefs that included good friend Matt Tobia from Ana Arundel, Md. Rhett and I were the only two in turnout gear within our group.
We set a hard pace. 73 flights with no stops, no water or even fans in the stairway. Near the top, our group began to spread out a bit. Actually, Rhett and I had to slow our pace. My heart was in my throat, my mouth was dry, my coat soaked and my boots full of sweat. I found myself thinking more of my condition rather than why I was there.
We eased up and told the others to keep going … we’ll catch up. Our pace had already separated us from the groups behind us. Rhett and I were now alone in that Stairwell … two brothers with a common goal. It was as it should have been.
Alone, our climb was much quieter. We both knew what the other was thinking and why we were there. We were in a special place, together; reflecting on the 343 members who lost their lives in much similar stairways almost 10 years ago. I wept.
I have never witnessed anything as powerful as I did yesterday in that stairwell. Around the 70th floor, Rhett was struggling. I was trying to help and keep us moving but I knew he was hurting. He stopped, turned around and started back down. I thought we were done. ”I missed one” he said. He went down, turned around and climbed that flight again! It was humbling to witness such an unselfish act of Pride, Honor and Respect … a TRUE tribute to those 343 members who suffered and died that day. Rhett is my best friend and a Brother. He’s a husband, a father, HE’S A FIREMAN .. A “Good Jake” and I was honored to be in that stairwell with him!
We carried the pictures of the lost members that we carried in Baltimore. We have both had those pictures in out turnout coats since that climb. Here, we added some new faces / names to our climb. Rhett carried Joseph Agnello of Ladder 118 and Durrell Pearsall of Rescue 4. I added Captain Terence “Terry” Hatton of Rescue 1.
We climbed in HONOR and REMEMBERANCE of each of the 343.
If you haven’t made a 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb yet … YOU SHOULD. The 10 year anniversary of the attacks is less than a month away and climbs are being held across the Country.
Rhett and I will complete our 3rd climb on September 11, 2011 in Greenbelt, Md. I HOPE YOU’LL CLIMB WITH US!
If you hit the link above, you already know that this trip has several purposes. I’ll hit them briefly for ya.
1st. Rhett has family here in Atlanta. A sister, her husband and their 1 year old son (yea … Rhett is an Uncle). We stopped and stayed at his sisters house yesterday. We’re having fun already! Rhett and I are like family and even though I have never met his sister, she took me in as if I was just another brother. She even had a cooler FULL of my favorite beer waiting for when we arrived. What’s my “favorite” beer ??? COLD ! LMAO. All kidding aside Valesha has taken VERY good care of us. Their home is beautiful and her family tops that 10 fold.
I’m an early riser so I’m sitting here now waiting to watch the sun rise over Atlanta … YOU SHOULD BE HERE TOO !
I say that seriously because the 2nd reason we are here is to participate in our 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. THAT’S RIGHT … OUR 2nd! At 10 am this morning, we will be climbing the Weston Peachtree Plaza in momory and honor of our 343 fallen brothers from the World Trade Center.
This climb will be a little different than the one in Baltimore. Here, we will climb 71 stories before returning to the lobby to complete the final 39 . If you haven’t made a climb yet and have ever waved the “Never Forget” flag, YOU NEED TO!
Regaurdless of status ( Paid or Volunteer ) or rank, find a climb and participate.
We are rapidly approaching the 10 yr anniversary of the attacks and everyone is busy planning Memorial services etc. What better way to remember and honor those we lost than by completing their climb?
I hope we have good participation this morning. FRI (Fire Rescue International), I think; typically is attended by and geared more towards Chief Officers rather than back seat firemen. It seemed that way in Chicago last year anyway. I hope the Chiefs in attendance here in Atlanta step up and climb as well. There were plenty of Chiefs climbing 10 years ago!
Our Chief, and 7 other members from our Department (of various ranks) are here in Atlanta. I hope they brought their gear and plan to attend. How cool would it be for Rhett and I to be able to climb with our Chief ? Our Department has big plans for the 10th anniversary. We will be hosting a regional ”Rememberance” ceromony with Roanoke County, Vinton and the City of Salem. Chief Counts of Salem has even designed and purchased new shirts for his members to wear on duty. It’s my understanding that they will wear these every day … not just on September 11th. That’s the back of the shirt pictured on the side.
Any way, I’ll post more after we climb and get checked in to our hotel. Bottom line is that if you are here, we hope to see you there … climbing or in support of those of us who are.
OK, we are also here for FRI … Fire Rescue International. We will have our hands into all sorts of thing while “on the floor”. I will be working with / helping our good friend Zach Green in the Fox Fire booth. Rhett will be in and out of the booth. Make plans to stop by. We will give you a personal demo of the Fox Fire product line ….. you’ll be AMAZED!
As usual, we are running late…. I’m a slow typer. After the climb, we will find the closest beer and lunch. LOOK US UP !! We love meeting new people. Shoot us a text message at 540-597-8068 or 540-537-8158. We will be staying at the Peachtree following the climb. We have the suite … YEA … THAT’S HOW WE ROLL !!! LMAO.
I’ll update ya soon. Until then, Stay safe and in house!
Rhett and Jeff have launched their first sale over on Daily 911 Deals !
Old man winter is just around the corner so, fittingly; their first deal is a job shirt.
The shirts are 95/5 cotton/poly super weight fleece .. MADE IN THE USA.
They only have 50 available so you had better hurry!
If you haven’t registered yet, don’t panic … it’s quick and easy.
Get on over there and grab your new job shirt for only $34.00 … here’s the link .. Daily 911 Deals.com
Got a lot of last minute chores to finish up before heading down to Atlanta for FRI in the morning. It’s also my Dad’s Birthday but I’ll try to check back in late tonight. Until I get back .. Stay Safe and in House!
Well, I’m not actually going on “vacation” but I will be off for 13 days if I can only make it to 07:00am tomorrow morning!
On Tuesday, Rhett Fleitz ( Fire Critic) and I will head out for Atlanta, Ga. and Fire Rescue International ( FRI ) 2011 ! We have a GREAT week planned and hope to see you there. While at FRI, Rhett will be facilitating a 90 minute discussion on Social Media and Incorporating Technology in the Workplace on Friday, August 26, 11:00 am-12:30 pm in the Firehouse Café. If you are reading this and will be at FRI then you should make plans to attend this discussion!
Rhett will also be working the floor of FRI for the new company he and partner Jeff Harkey just launched … Daily 911 Deals! You have GOT TO check these guys and the new site out. Their 1st “DEAL” is scheduled to go live tonight! Basically, they will provide various Fire, Rescue and Police products for a limited time, in limited numbers at GREAT savings! I know what the 1st deal is but don’t want to spoil their unveil. TRUST ME…. it’s is something you will want / need and the price is UNBELIEVABLE! If you haven’t registered yet hit the link above and do so NOW. Also, don’t forget to follow and like them on Face Book and Twitter.
On Wednesday morning, Rhett and I will participate in our 2nd 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb !You may remember that we, along with Salem Fire / EMS Captain Kevin Tottin; just completed our 1st climb while in Baltimore, Md. for Firehouse Expo. See related post HEREHERE and HERE . If you’re going to be in Atlanta and haven’t registered yet, you can do so HERE .
I will also be working the floor ( or a booth anyway ) with my good friend Zach Green for MN8 Products / Fox Fire ! We were a HUGE success at Firehouse Expo last month and I hope to improve on our sales while in Atlanta.
If you haven’t seen these products yet PLEASE take a minute to hit the link above. This stuff REALLY WORKS and will make your job safer! Drop by our booth and I’ll give you a personal demo. We have a completely darkened tent and when we get you inside where you can see the illuminating quality of these products, you’ll be amazed. I love the look on firefighter’s faces when they step inside.
If that’s not incentive enough for you to drop by, I think we will also have a couple of ”booth babes” on duty. They’ll be pretty enough to get ya to stop long enough for Zach and me to rope ya in and show you the product.
Like I said, take the time and stop by …. you’ll thank me for it!
We have a ton of other stuff on schedule for FRI as well. One of the events Im most excited about is that we were invited to a firehouse for dinner. I mentioned several posts back on the fact that we were planning to attend FRI. Next thing I know, I get an e-mail from Brother Mark Akins of the John’s Creek Fire Department. Captain Akins wrote of how he and his crew are huge fans of Ironfiremen.com ( of course, they had never heard of Rhett or Fire Critic…LOL ) Captain Akins extended several offers of good ol “southern hospitality”….. how could we refuse?
Rhett and I will be eating dinner at Station #63 on Wednesday night following the Stair Climb. I’m a little nervous because, as I understand it; Sergeant Tom Johnson (from the Rescue) will be the cook that night. Rumor has it that he’s a “box and can” cook. I received an anonymous note saying to pray that the can opener remains in good working condition or we may starve! LMAO …. I’m just kidding Sarge. Rhett and I are humbled and honored that you guys will share your table and break bread with us. TRUE BROTHERHOOD! We look forward to meeting you guys and can’t wait to sample some of your famous Hamburger Helper.
I’ll post more on our trip and plans in the next day or so …. I missed last days post because I had too much other stuff going on. Last day really wasn’t that exciting anyway, so you really didn’t miss much. I even had to ship little Randy out so the new “star” of the blog wasn’t here.
We shipped him out to Station #14 under the leadership and direction of Captain Robert Perdue. On a side note, Captain Perdue is off for a while due to having surgery today. Get well soon Capt and call if ya need ANYTHING. Any way, Captain Perdue is known as a slave driver who trains ALL DAY LONG. He was even assigned to the Training Division at one time.
Well, the Captain must have been in rare form on Wednesday because he wore my poor little Randy out!
They sent me this pic and and I blew a gasket!
Here I am trying to mold Randy into a fine tuned firefighting machine and Captain Perdue wears him down to a frazzle in ONE DAY! LMAO. They actually had a decent day of work. I asked Randy this morning what he learned while at the one, four. Now remember … he’s from Max Meadows, Va. His reply was that he learned that here in “town”, some men actually dress up like a woman! LMAO … I guess he has never seen that down in good ol Max Meadows.
Today, we got him right back into his groove. We started the morning with multiple runs back to back. He was assigned to cook again today and was actually spotted in the kitchen several times. Of course lunch was late but that was because of all the runs. We do need to have a class on how to drain the grease from ground beef! LOL … I though he fixed hamburger soup.
He did a little better at supper time with a little assistance.
Some kind of “chicken smack” in gravy, mashed potatoes, brocoli and home made mac and cheese … UMMM UMMMM !
Awwww.. his Moma is gona be so proud!
Today’s training was a little easier to stomach than Monday’s CPR training ( I still can’t get the images of him french kissing the manikins out of my head ..LOL ).
He worked on exposure problems and deploying a 2 1/2″ line vs. 1 3/4.
We got to talk nozzle selection, available GPM’s (gallons per minute) and effective stream application.
Another effective tool we carry here on Lucky #13 is a 500 gpm Mercury Monitor. With minimal reaction force, these bad boys are a dream to operate. That said, I hope it stays on the rig tonight!
We also had a few special Guests today. Not just special ….. VERY SPECIAL. Hillary and Sam are driving South for vacation. Against her better judgement, she decided to allow husband Dave Statter to tag along and figured they’d just drop him off in Atlanta along the way.
She said he’s been very excited to get out of Statter 911 Headquarters and that he LOVES riding with his window down. He’s made several request for “stops” along the way as he’s spotted items / locations of interest.
On today’s leg of the trip, he kept talking about firehouses and how he’d really love to see inside one. Well, Hillary knew her route would bring them through “The Noke” so she planned a stop here at Lucky #13.
Dave was like a kid in a candy store. It was all Sam could do to keep him under control ! LMAO
No Rhett … it’s NOT an optical illusion … that actually IS Dave Statter in a fire truck!
Hillary and Sam got to ride as well. Just a quick cut around the block but pretty cool all the same.
Despite Dave’s rich history within the Fire Service, Hillary and Sam have never rode on a rig of any sort.
They say you always “remember your first” and I had the honor of giving Hillary hers! LMAO just kidding Dave.
It was very cool that Dave and his family took the time to stop by for a visit. Despite what you read on our sites, Dave (and Hillary) is a GREAT friend and has always taken care of me and Rhett.
Hillary will be dropping Dave off in Atlanta to attend FRI. Rhett and I will hook up with Dave Wednesday morning at the Stair Climb. You’ll see a lot more of us and our escapades from Atlanta throughout next week. Dave also has a very special report coming to Statter911.com very soon…. check it often …. you wont want to miss this one.
OK, I have to get some reports completed. I’m gonna stop here for tonight but will check back in as soon as I can. Until I get back…. Thanks for reading! Stay Safe and In House!
We usually call it our 4 day “break” but I didn’t get much of a break on this one. Thursday and Friday was spent getting up hay and preparing the Farm for visitors and tours due to a community celebration. Everything worked out well and the Buckaroo even got in a little “creek time”.
Saturday morning, I met my Lieutenant George, his wife Caroline, sister Debra and her fiance’ Dave for a quick motorcycle ride down to Lexington. We rode down to participate in the Sgt. Mark Riley Charity Poker Run. Mark’s home was severely damaged in recent storms, flash flooding etc.
I couldn’t stay for the ride but Georgie did and said they had a GREAT time! Our brothers and sisters from the Lexington Police and Fire Departments were very gracious hosts. The run took Georgie and the group through some scenic areas of my hometown … Rockbridge County. They made several stops along the way. They took in a couple of firehouses and even made it by Sgt. Riley’s house. I’m not sure of the official count but I think they had somewhere around 30 riders. I hope they were able to raise enough money to help Mark and his family get back on their feet.
That’s what brotherhood is all about! I’m glad we made the trip and I know that Sgt. Riley and his family were thankful. Georgie actually had the 3rd best hand of the run and donated his winnings back to the cause! Class act Georgie! The run ended in Buena Vista where they had a chicken dinner, live music, a raffle and silent auction. Georgie commented several times today on how much they enjoyed the day and that we plans to ride the route again. Thanks to Chief Ty Dickerson, The Lexington Fire and Police Departments for inviting us down.
I rode down to the registration (paid the fee and purchased 50/50, raffle tickets etc) but couldn’t stay for the actual ride. I spent a little time talking / visiting with Sgt. Riley, Chief Dickerson, good friends Chris and Cassie Potter and others. My visit was brief because I had to be in Charlotte, NC for a wedding.
Not just any wedding … my sister Marci’s wedding!
Marci lives in Charlotte with my mother and step father. Actually, they live just outside of the City in Indian Trail, NC.
Indian Trail is a beautiful, rural community.
They had the wedding at the house with the front yard pond as the back drop.
Family and friends did a ton of work to have everything looking “just right”.
They did an awesome job …. it was BEAUTIFUL!
The colors were purple and white with a “butterfly” theme.
The only thing more beautiful than the setting was my little sister!
She made a stunning bride!
And yes …. I even got a little teary eyed (I do have a soft, gentle sensitive side too you know …LOL)
Everything went according to plan and off without a hitch.
Little Miss Marci Wines is now Mrs Aaron Barrier … I’m PROUD of them both and wish them MANY MANY happy years together.
There were several “neat” and “cool” things about the wedding but I’ll share just a few with ya.
First was the fact that she had 2 Grandmothers in attendance, both of which are 90+ years old.
The 2nd was the fact that she had “Granny Wines” and me sign the marriage certificate as witnesses. Mine name on there is not such a big deal but it was awesome that she thought to have Granny sign …. her signature and the memory of the signing will always be there!
Something else really cool was the Pergola Aaron (the groom) hand crafted for the ceremony.
He hand crafted this thing out of saplings and vine! It looked as if it had been there forever and fit perfectly with the decor (YES .. I just used the words “pergola” and “decor” in the same post….. see above mentioned “soft, gentle, sensitive side” comment).
The other really cool thing that I’ll share is the fact that my baby sister Jessie was in from California for the wedding!
You folks may remember Jessie for our Rampage Football trip out to California …. see that post HERE and HERE .
She worked her tail off making sure all details were attended to.
Saturday, the day of the wedding; everyone was busy busy but I did get to spend a little time with her on Sunday.
The wedding was a HUGE success and everyone had a wonderful time.
CONGRATULATIONS and BEST WISHES to my sister and new husband Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Barrier!
Ok, on to Fire Department stuff. The earlier post announcing the Sgt. Mark Riley Charity Poker Run was titled “Brotherhood”. I had another example of “Brotherhood” during my trip to North Carolina. You folks may remember Firefighter Bill Shick of Charlotte’s Ladder Company #1.
Bill is a self described “avid reader” of Ironfiremen.com and dropped by the station for a visit while traveling through back in early July. He even brought apple pie and ice cream!
Bill and I exchanged information and when he read that I was heading to Charlotte, he shot me an e-mail. Bill invited me out to his station for a visit and offered to show me around a bit. Sadly, this trip didn’t allow me the time to take him up on the offer but with family in the area, I assured him I’ll be back soon enough and we will definitely meet up for a tour, beer etc. THANKS to Firefighter Bill Shick for following the site and for the gracious offer!
My visit to NC was short because I had to be back for duty today. It’s been a fairly busy start to the dreaded Monday, Wednesday Friday tour!
We started out the morning with CPR training. The FULL EDITION of the new AHA standards.
One person, two person, adult, child, infant … blah blah blah. Could they make these training videos any more BORING?
It was also a little embarrassing. You see, even though Randy is engaged to be married, I don’t think he’s kissed too many girls.
He seemed to enjoy the “mouth to mouth” ventilation part of the class a little too much if you know what I mean. It was like watching soft porn or something! LMAO I felt like I needed a shower after watching it. That said, Dana is ONE LUCKY GAL because he sure looked like he knew what he was doing!
He was in HOG HEAVEN. He got to kiss a few gals he had never met (manikins) plus he got to cook!
We were late getting out of class so we were pushed for lunch. We decided to let him keep it quick and simple .. hot dogs, chili and fries. EASY right?
Who knew it took an hour and a half to bake a pan of fries and fix a few chili dogs? I thought we had adequately explained to him how we eat at noon and six. I though that’s why we chose dogs and fries. Hummm?
Maybe he’d do better this evening?
I’m not sure how to answer that one.
It seems as though I have another “NINJA COOK” in my midst (that’s what I used to call Opie back in our Melrose Misfit days).
I call him a Ninja cook because dinner hit the table at 6pm but I never seen Randy in the kitchen. It was almost like Boots helped did it for him.
Or maybe he really is a Ninja and was able to sneak in and out of the kitchen without being detected? LMAO
All kidding aside, Randy did cook today. Boots helped him out a little bit this evening but all in all, and despite being late for lunch; Randy did a good job. Once again I’m proud of him.
Apparently, I’m not the only one proud of Randy and his performance.
It’s seems as though Dana and his parents feel the same way.
He neglected to remind me that he had a birthday back on the 4th. They threw him a nice surprise party over this 4 day break. Not only did they throw him a party, they also got him somethings he’s been wanting since getting on the job… A leather style helmet!
So, this evening; we have little Randy off learning to drive the Medic truck. He should be heading back to Lucky #13 any minute now and hopefully, we will have a quiet night. As I mentioned, we’re back Wednesday and Friday. I’ll check in as soon and often as possible. Until then, stay SAFE and IN HOUSE !
It’s been exactly one month since Randy was assigned to “Lucky #13″ and today, he caught his first fire.
It was what we call a “bread and butter” fire but it was enough for his first one ( this was also Station #3-C Rookie Jake Perry’s first fire ).
Randy (and Jake) did well. Good work from both of em !
The call came in at 10:41 while we were out of the station, in territory and available by the radio … we call it “on air and available”.
The fire was actually our 2nd due but the company that would have been 1st was out of service for training.
Medic 2 arrived first with smoke showing. Ladder 2 took the address seconds later with us being the 1st arriving Engine.
When the 1st due is out and not responding, it sometimes adds a little confusion to the incident. You’re running with companies that you normally don’t or the next due is coming from a direction different from what you’re use to. Of course that scenario is quickly becoming more normal these days. Something else uncommon for us today was the fact that we were running with 4! That’s how it should be ! Georgie driving, me in the seat and Boots and Randy riding backwards. A 4 man crew is safer and more efficient.
Photo by Lt. Travis Simmons
We arrived with smoke showing from a 2nd floor window, Alpha side at the Alpha / Delta corner. Occupants met me in the yard stating that the fire was in the up stairs bed room and that everyone was out of the house and accounted for.
I made the door and proceeded up the steps to locate the seat of the fire while Randy and Boots made the stretch. I quickly found the fire, closed the bedroom door and moved back to the top of the stairs to wait for em. They were right on my heels.
We stretched in dry and got into position at the door way just as George sent us water. Randy made a good, quick knock down and we advanced in.
Captain Martin and his crew took a 2nd line and made the attic steps. The fire had extended into the attic but they were right on top of it. 1st Lt. Stump and the crew from Ladder 2 made quick work of the searches which were all found to be “all clear”. Captain Croft laid us a hydrant line from Engine 2 and Chief Adkins had command. Engine 4 was RIC, RS-1 served as “Safety” . Medic unit 2 and 4 as well as our support truck (Donnie Foutz) were also on scene.
The fire was knocked down and under control in 5 minutes … GOOD WORK folks!
Being with a firefighter on their 1st fire is an honor. As long as Randy is alive, so will be my memory because you never forget your first one.
It’s kinda cool and I hope he lives to be 100!
Even though this was not MY first fire, today; I kept the memory of 2 great Firemen alive.
Since returning home from the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, Md. I have continued to carry the pictures of Joey Angelini and his son Joey Jr. in my turnout coat. See previous posts on the climb and why I carried these pictures HERE and HERE .
So, past the fire; it was another busy day here at Lucky #13.
Randy has been ”jacked up on Mt. Dew” all day! He was mowing grass at 08:15 this morning .
The fire had us late for lunch so we went out. Dinner .. well, dinner was on the Chief but Randy cooked … kinda anyway.
Our Chief (Battalion 2-C … Teddy Adkins) bought the entire Battalion steaks … BIG ones .. good too!
Well, obviously; we weren’t gonna put the Rookie in charge of the steaks but we did let him bake the potatoes and make a salad. That’s him frying up a little bacon to top it off.
We did allow Randy to check the steaks once or twice but Boots took charge and prepared them to perfection!
SPECIAL THANKS to Chief Adkins (Theodore Wendale) for dinner … a CLASS ACT !
We start 4 day break tomorrow. George and I will be riding down to Lexington, Va early on Saturday for a Charity Poker Run. The ride will benefit firefighter and Lexington Police Sgt. Mark Riley and his family. Read a previous post on the event HERE .
Later in the day, I will be heading down to Charlotte, NC for my sister’s wedding! I’ll try to get a post or two in before we come back for the dreaded Monday, Wednesday, Friday tour. Until I get back, Stay Safe and in House!
It’s our middle day here at Lucky #13 and we’re trying to ride it out quietly. It’s “that time of the month” (check time) so things have been a little crazy. Last day, I didn’t post on “Randy” because he wasn’t here. It was his first day “traveling”. They needed a body down at The Deuce and our rookie’s number was up.
The Deuce houses and Engine, Tower Ladder, Medic and our Haz-Mat unit. Randy rode the Engine and caught 12-13 runs. He got to see a little different section of town and caught a good variety in the runs. He was with a good crew who looked after and took care of him. It was like sending your kid off on their first day of school for me. I was a little nervous. I hoped everything we’ve been teaching him had “stuck” and that he would make a good showing .
Well, at 10 pm Saturday night the Chief called me. EATING MY BUTT. “What have yall been teaching this boy?!” The Chief had stopped in to check on little Randy and gave him a pop quiz on ropes and knots. He did real well until the Chief asked him to show him a “dragging bowline” … LMAO … He stuttered, stammered and finally admitted her didn’t know that one.
Well, 1st thing this morning, Randy learned what a dragging bowline is … LOL you shoulda seen the look on his face. Shortly after that, we shipped him off again. This time he rode around with our EMS Supervisor to chase ambulances in order to catch some BLS transports. The rookies have a set number of EMS runs and skills that need to be preformed before they are “checked off” to ride / drive the ambulances.
I he finished up around 9pm tonight and I received a positive report on his performance.
Our little “Rookie Randy” is one step closer to becoming a Doctor!
He’s back Lucky #13 with us tonight and for the first time in a LONG time, we’re riding with 4! I don’t want to have to work, but if we gotta … I’ll take riding with 4 over 3 ANYDAY.
So, A quick catch up on last day includes a MVA with a “mutual-aid ” ambulance.
They actually ran up on the incident and stopped to help.
This ambulance company is owned and operated by our Level 1 Trauma Center. Generally, they handle pt transports for the Hospital only but occasionally run mutual aid in the city when our Medic Units are “dumped”.
What was neat about running with these guys is I knew the Medic (Dale Thacker). I worked for this Ambulance Company before getting hire on the Fire Department and Dale and I were partners on the mid-night shift. I haven’t seen him in a while. The other neat thing was what his partner said to me as they were leaving .. “Hey Capt… love the blog… keep up the good work”. I still can’t get used to folks coming up to me and talking about the site out of the blue. I say it all the time and again, it is truely humbling.
Rhett put a post up tonight over on the Fire Critic about how us Fire, EMS and Police Bloggers are becoming more popular and kind of “spokesperson” like. It’s a good and interesting read … check it out HERE .
We took in several more runs on top of the MVA with our friends from Carilion. It was a busy day.
Thunder storms rolled through town in the evening so once again, everybody was on the road.
It’s been just as busy (and HOT) at home on the farm. That made for good and bad news for the Buckaroo.
The good news is that a creek runs through the farm and I often stop by to let the Buckaroo play and cool off a bit.
The Bad news was that he didn’t have a bathing suit.
I think he may grow up to be a trail lawyer ….
You should have heard the argument he gave me on how and why we needed to go for a dip …
NO PROBLEM !! LMAO
I turn my back for a second and the little fella is stripped down!
How could I say no to that?
I’m gonna wrap it up for now. We’re already sitting on several runs and have a long way to go before shift break.
I’ll check back in tomorrow or Wednesday. Until then, Stay Safe and In House!
I received a couple notes from some good friends down in Lexington asking if I could get some information out for them.
Mark Riley and his family could use our help and the Lexington Fire and Police Departments are making it fun and easy for us to lend a hand.
Mark is a Sargent with the Lexington Police Department and also volunteers for the Rockbridge Baths Vol. Fire Department. He recently lost his home when severe weather passed through the area (flood and storm damage).
The Departments have orginized a motorcycle “Poker Run”. The cost is AFFORDABLE while the event has a lot to offer. The ride, dinner and live music. They have prizes for the 3 best hands, a 50/50 drawing, raffles and a silent auction!
I have a wedding in Charlotte, NC to attend that day but plan on making a quick run down to the 08:30-10:30 registration to make a donation. MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW to attend as well. If you’re in the Roanoke area and would like to ride down with me, shoot me an e-mail or comment and we’ll arrange to meet.
We’re winding down a fairly busy cycle. It’s been a good week but I’m ready for our 4-day break!
I think Randy is looking forward to it as well.
This week’s training centered around “calling the MAYDAY”, “Search and Rescue” and “Vent Enter Search”.
Of course, we caught our normal run load and had some cleaning to do in between…
Well, LOTS of cleaning!
Like I said …. Randy’s moma would be so proud!
He’s scrubbed his little fingers to the bone and next week he will even get to COOK !
LOL … you shoulda seen the look on his face when we told him he would be cooking next cycle.
He went from scared to disappointed when we gave him the rules … 1.) No TV dinners 2.) No hamburger helper 3.) No instant potaotes 4.) MEAT and POTATOES are a “staple” 5.) No pre-made meals from Moma 6.) we eat at noon and 6pm. (unless we caught a run)
LMAO … this is gonna be good. Like all of us were, he’s nervious already. Cooking at the firehouse can be VERY stressful but it’s also somewhat of a life lesson. I’d dare say Randy hasn’t had to prepare many meals for himself at this point in his life, much less for himself and 3 fretting firemen.
If he tackles this challenge like he has every other to this point, he’ll do just fine.
So far, I’m happy with his performance. He must be happy as well because he is still walking around with an ear to ear grin.
He’s caught some decent runs over the past few weeks but has yet to catch anything really “bad” or serious.
He hasn’t caught his first fire yet and as we all know, that will be his first “TRUE” test. We did catch a small compactor fire today with our Brothers and Sisters from Stations #5 and #3.
Last cycle we caught a roll over MVA out on I-581 with our brothers from #3 and County Station #1.
The vehicle contained a lone female occupant who escaped with only minor injuries despite the high M.O.I ( Mechanism Of Injury ).
This is a very busy Interstate so the incident could have been a lot worse than it was.
The other good news is that there were several “lessons” for Randy…. He got to work with one of our Mutual Aid Departments. That means he was tested on his knowledge of his radio ( we were operating on a “County” tac channel ). He got to see first hand the importance of stabilizing a vehicle involved in an accident. He also got to see the dangers of working an incident along the Interstate.
The highlight of the incident was that he got to meet the County’s 2nd best pump operator…. Brandon Sheppard
I say he’s the “second best” because Brandon just completed a DPO … “pump operator” class and the facts are facts.
Unlike his typical performance, Brandon did NOT finish at the top of the class.
I’m not sure of HER name but I know that at least one other firefighter finished ahead of Brandon.
LOL …. OK, OK … I’m doing a little “fretting” there.
Brandon is a great pump operator despite where he finished in the class or who finished ahead of him. A good fireman, great friend and top hand around the farm!
Their whole company is wearing them (that’s Brandon’s Captain Brian Witt pictured left) ! Back when I first did a Product Review of Fox Fire, we painted one of County 1′s axes.
I trust and value Captain Witt’s opinion and thought it was a great opportunity to spread the product around through some diverse companies / response areas.
Apparently, Captain Witt and his crew were so impressed with the illuminating epoxy that they decided to buy the helmet bands as well. LOOKING GOOD GUYS!
Oh yea …. here’s another lesson Randy has learned since being on the job here at “Lucky #13″
When it says “NO PARKING ..FIRE LANE” DONT PARK THERE !
PEOPLE …. these lanes are marked for a REASON and YES … the “no parking” part means YOU!
Of course, the owner of the grey vehicle was in a much bigger hurry than we were. Their business was also twice as important as the job we were called to do.
The sad thing is that our business had us on the upper floors of this building so we were away from our rigs for some time. We musta parked a little too close to the passenger vehicle making it impossible for the driver to manuver out of the prime parking spot. Hope we didn’t make em too late
OK, to wrap up tonight, Captain Jeffrey Bowen of the Asheville, NC Fire Department will be laid to rest tomorrow.
Jeff Harkey, over at FireNews.net has all the details of the service as well as for the “Fallen Firefighter Fund” which has been established as an education fund for Captain Bowen’s children.
North Carolina is close to home and I really wanted to attend this service. I had even intended on taking Randy along with me. I think that attending a LODD funeral early in his career could make an impact on how he views firefighter safety as well as the reality and dangers of our job. Something good out of something so tragic maybe. Anyway, Ashville is 4 1/2 hrs away. The service begins at 11am and we’re on duty until 7am. There’s no way we would / could make it in time. At the least, I will be there in spirit. I will stop whatever Im doing tomorrow morning at 11am, hold a thought and say a few words for Captain Bowen, his and the Asheville NC Fire Department family. If you can’t make the service, I hope you’ll do the same.
Gonna wrap it up for tonight and start looking for 07:00 am. I’ll check back in as soon as I can …