A tour in the snow …

I know it’s nothing compared to Buffalo or anywhere North of here but, this mornings commute to the station was through 5 inches of ice covered snow. I have to leave early enough to check the cows before heading into the city and that was a real chore this morning. The good news is that after I got out to the main roads, it wasn’t that bad.

Checking / feeding cows and horses in the snow is one thing … pulling a tour at the firehouse in snow is a whole different animal. To begin with, we have to run “chains” on the rig. Now, for some; that’s no big deal but, here in the “Noke”, we still run em “old style” (we don’t have the automatic throw chains).

Our Brothers from B-shift had em on already from their tour on Thursday (the day we got all the snow / ice ). The Chiefs put the order out around mid morning today that companies could “drop” the chains at the Officer’s descretion. I decided to keep ours on. We rode a few back and side streets to find that the plow trucks hadn’t made their way out here yet ….

The temps are expected to drop again tonight so the streets that have melted will soon be ice covered. I think keeping em on was the right decision … we will be a little slower getting in but we’ll get there. What if the 2nd and 3rd due behind me dropped theirs? Will they be able to get to where we can? I doubt it. Will that affect my tactics tonight?? YOU BETCHA !

You may have caught my Cold Weather Tips a few days ago where I talked about a few things we do (or can do) differently to make our job and life easier in this type of weather. I talked about a “cold weather bag” … in cold weather, snow and/or ice, THEY ARE A MUST…. here’s where I keep mine.

We have a shovel handy to dig out hydrants covered by the snow plows, we stocked up on wire ties and extra chain links and added a few more “luxury” items to the cab. We’re ready to work if need be but are hoping for a quiet night. The day .. not so quiet. We’re sitting on several and it’s only 20:00 hrs (8pm). We’ve had a decent mix of calls today but surprisingly haven’t run a single  MVC (motor vehicle collision .. “car wreck” ).

We started the day off with a gas leak in a comercial structure. We were 2nd due to E3 who got a handle on things pretty quickly. Filling out the ticket was Engine and Ladder 2 (The Deuce), Ladder 5, Medic 3, RS-1 and Battalion 2.  Ladder 2 took the roof and I was able to snap a quick shot or two from my position (stagging at the hydrant).

Another job well done by Roanoke’s Bravest resulting in no injuries. That’s really about the most excitement we’ve had for the day (and that’s how I’d like to keep it). We’ve handled several EMS runs, conducted a little “in house” training and even had a few visitors drop by.

My dad  ( aka “Pop” ) baby sister (one of em anyway) and 2 nephews came by….

I don’t get the chance to see the nephews very often and it’s always good to see Marci (she lives in Charlotte, Nc). That’s her son “Herbie” on her right and another sisters son “Jonathan Albert” on the end. Pop visits kinda regular and I have to say .. it feels good being in the firehouse with him. I know he misses it and I do as well. Seeing / having him in a firehouse is all I’ve known … I grew up with him as a fireman and at the station. It’s where he belongs.

 It’s funny at times because  1.) I’m his boy and he doesn’t mind treating me like it.  2.) He also knows what needs,  should be or should have been done around the station  so he immediately goes to asking questions and “ball busting” ( Pop was / is a HUGE fretter ). “why’s that truck dirty?”  .. “You got them chains on tight?” … “Who’s cooking?” .. “why aint there anything on the stove yet?”… “Who’s the Captain around here?”  LMAO … slow down old timer … you’re RETIRED!

As fate would have it, I’m cooking today. Homemade chicken and dumplings, mac and cheese and stewed tomatos (one of Pop’s favorites).  At one point, he had decided he’d just stay and do the cooking for me .. (apparently, I don’t know how or I’m not old enough to make dumplings) . Well,  Marci and the boys overruled him so they headed home and the dumplings turned out just fine ..

Yes ladies … firemen cook! Ok .. you know it’s bad when I fall back to food or cooking pictures so I had better move on.

 It seems as though some Va. Firefighters will have a happier New Year than others … 2.5% happier to be exact. Lynchburg, Va. Public Safety workers will not be getting a raise this year but will be receiving a one time “bonus”.  Read the details from local news coverage  HERE.

I also want to give a “shout out” to our Brothers and Sisters over in Salem, Va.  I have posted before about running Mutual and Auto aid with Salem. Just last week we caught a job and went to work with em. Catch that post  HERE . Well, apparently they have gotten tired of reading this “rag” of mine and began their own BLOG…..  2-HOUSE… Working on the East Side . The site looks GREAT  ( as does their new table ). Like most Department’s Salem has a ton of good guys. Mike Elliston sent me the link and I can assure ya that if he’s in on the writing, it will be colorful. Salem aslo has an artist on the job. I’m not sure if Aaron Barger runs out of 2-HOUSE or not but, if he does; the possibility of cartoons etc will be unending. Aaron was the Brother who drew thew cartoon we used at the bottom of the  Melrose Misfit Blog. I wanted to get some shirts made and never did … I still may. The picture / cartoon was AWESOME.

Anyhow.. the site looks good so hit the link above and book mark it. Moving on … tomorrow is a big day for some Brothers over at Station #3. They have a member from each shift enrolled in our EMT-I program. Those guys were the 1st three to pass the written exam (and did it on the 1st attempt I might add) and will now test their “practical” portion tomorrow. Congratulations on the written and GOOD LUCK on the practical! The members are A-shift; Jason “J.G.” Gardner, B-shift: Aaron Murry, C-Shift: Brad “Opie” Glidden.

I have a few more topic I’d like to hit but will save em for tomorrow and wrap it up for now. I’ll leave ya with Day 8 of Santa’s Sexy Helper …

Ok, we’re back here on Sunday but I’ll try to catch up to ya tomorrow as well. Until then, stay warm, dry, SAFE and in house!

Captain Wines