Sorry I didn’t get a post up last night … I just wanted to keep that “support system” up for as long as possible..LOL
You guys know how it is in the firehouse …. RUMORS are rampant! There has been one circulating for over a year now and I am shocked and disappointed that it has taken me this long to get to the bottom.
That’s kinda why (or one reason why anyway) that I have the reputation as being the a##hole. If I hear it and want to know …. I’ll call up whoever and ask point blank. That’s just what I did this time.
The rumor surrounds The Roanoke Rampage Football Team. I talk about it enough so you all know by now they we have a team here in the “valley” that plays for charity in the National Public Safety Football League. It’s a GREAT league playing for some GREAT causes!
This will be our 2nd year as a team in the league. Our members are from the following Departments … Roanoke Fire/EMS (Roanoke City), Roanoke City Police, Roanoke City Sheriffs, The Va. State Police, Roanoke County Police, Roanoke County Sheriff, Salem Fire/EMS, Bedford County Sheriff, Blacksburg Police, Radford Police and the Virginia Tech (VT) Police Department.
If you work in a Public Safety Department close enough to make practice etc and want to play … we WANT and NEED you! The one big name missing on the list of Departments represented is The Roanoke County Fire / Rescue Department. The RUMOR has been that the County Chiefs told their members that, if they played and got injured; the County WOULD NOT support them nor COULD they hold or “protect” their job. This rumor is simply NOT TRUE!
I made a call and spoke directly to a County Chief. I expressed my concern and educated the Chief on the “rumors”. Here are some points discussed…
In only our 1st season, The Roanoke Rampage was the 3rd highest contributor to Charity. The League as a whole raised $116,000.00 for Charity last year. The Roanoke Rampage raised $42,000.00 , of that; $10,000.00 was donated to our Charity Steps4Billy (our operating expenses etc were higher being that this was our 1st season… buying equipment, uniforms etc).
Roanoke County has a great history of supporting softball and hockey teams / leagues in the name of Charity (MDA etc). A member can / could become injured just as quickly playing either of those sports as they could playing football.
Here locally, we have had several injuries per year due to motorcycle, farming, construction accidents etc. The departments haven’t “banned” motorcycles or farming on our days off.
County Chiefs and members showed support by attending “Home” games (pictured above left).
The Chief understood and agreed with all of these facts. One thing pretty cool about the County Chief Officer staff is that I CAN call and talk to them. They are “firemen friendly” Chiefs because they have been there. They worked their way through the ranks!
If you don’t know the Chief of Department for Roanoke County Fire / Rescue, its Richard E. Burch Jr. (Rick). Chief Burch has “been there and done that” and he got it honestly.
His dad is Captain Richard E. Burch Sr.(deceased) of the RichmondFire Department. “Grand dad” made history in not only the Richmond FD but in the entire state of Va. as well… ( the VPFF). Department wise, I think he is remembered most as a long serving Captain on their “Flying Squad”. State wise, he was instrumental in the passing and signing of Virginia’s “Heart / Lung” Bill. He is pictured at that signing on the County’s Local’s site HERE
I remember back when I had just made Captain in 2000. I was assigned to old station #3. Grand dad was in town visiting Chief Burch and wanted to tour and visit some “City” houses. A call was made and we had them out for dinner. Nothing fancy … if you want to eat in my house… you eat what we eat everyday…. what we can afford on fireman pay. That night, we had fried fish and chips. Cole slaw and I can’t remember what else. My Lt then (Richard Patterson… “Patty” ) could put ANY seafood restaurant out of business … “Patty” knows how to cook fish.
Anyway .. it was a regular but good meal. The conversation was even better. Grand Dad told stories and interacted with ours. I think he appreciated the fact that he didn’t get “smoke and mirrors’ … he seen us as who we were. At the end of the visit, he asked “how much we owe?”. Of course, our reply was “nothing … you’re our guest”. BULLSHIT! ” It cost you guys to buy it … we’ll pay our part”.
In a firehouse, just the offer to “chip in” is worth ten meals. We held fast .. stood our ground…. ‘we got it” … “your money is no good here”. In the end, after the hand shakes, thank yous and goodbyes, we found the cash on the counter! Sneaky old Jake!
My point here is that Chief Burch didn’t just stumble into his position. We grew up in a fireman’s home. He seen Department softball teams, company sports etc. He understands how we are and what we do because he has lived it himself. That makes a good Chief!
Second in command is Chief Dustin Campbell.
Dustin and I go WAYYYY back.
His Fire Service Career began as a Volunteer for the County. Dustin worked his way through the ranks there and soon got hired to the paid staff.
Back in his volunteer days, I worked part-time for the County. City wise, I was a Private at Station #5-A. I would get off duty for the City after having fought 1 or 3 fires that night and pull a 8 or 12 hour shift in the County.
Dustin either loved the smell of smoke that I’d bring into the County station or the stories I’d tell but either way, we became close friends. He even began to come out and do some “ride-a-longs” with us. LMAO … one night on Engine 5 showed him more than he’d seen in a years worth of “up scale” County runs.
It was Dustin who sat up the Dinner with Chief Burch, Grand Dad and himself at old Station #3.
Again, my point here is that Dustin (Chief Campbell) too has come through the ranks. Volunteer to Deputy Chief in one of Virginia’s most decorated Departments. He too understands how we feel and the benefits a little “football” can bring to his members, his Department and our Valley.
Contact Captain Todd Stone (Roanoke City Station #6-A) through our website ( HERE ) to sign up. We practice on Monday and Thursday nights … I’ll see ya on the field!
Until then, stay safe and in house!