Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

Happy St. Patty’s Day from Ironfiremen.com

I hope the “luck of the Irish”  rides with all you brothers and sisters out there on duty tonight. Regretfully, I’m one of those pulling a tour. But hey, I know all you Jakes out there with the night off will drink a green pint or 20 for those of us who cant be out there with ya!

If any of ya find any leprechauns running around out there that look like this one …. snatch on to her for me (you guys know I have a “thing” for thigh highs and midgets…LOL)

All kidding aside, I hope you are all having a fun and safe night out. That said, if you are out painting the town green, DON’T drink and drive. Please remember to use a designated driver or call a cab .

Even though I’m stuck here, we really haven’t had too bad of a day. The weather was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and it’s beginning to feel a little like spring.

They’ve been paining our station for the past week or so and the oil base paint has added a new aroma to our house. We’ve had all the doors open and fans set in every direction but we are still faced with the not so pleasant fragrance. Lucky for us, the Chief came to visit.

He decided there was no way he was gonna allow us to cook or eat in these conditions so he invited us up to Station #5 for our evening meal.

Turns out, the Chief was pulling double duty today … chief and chef.

Chief Adkins (Theodore Wendel …. TEDDY) and I worked together for many years on Ladder 2 when I was first hired. Teddy was the Senior Private and I the Junior when Ladder 2 was a tiller (open tiller). We went through a lot doors together and he taught me several lessons along the way. Working back then was FUN … we didn’t want a day off because we were afraid we’d miss something.

Teddy taught me about “seniority” in the fire house. As a kid and rookie fireman, obviously; I wanted the tiller position. Teddy would always remind me how I needed to learn “this” position or “that” task before trying to jump right to the tiller. That was unless it was raining, snowing or just plain cold as hell …. then it was time for me to learn the tiller …LMAO.

Teddy was also one of the men who taught me how to cook in a firehouse. It’s NOT EASY. The station was a double company with the Battalion stationed there as well. There were 10 men to cook for each day. You had to plan the menu, shop and cook and meals had better hit the table at noon and 18:00.

One of Teddy’s special dishes is the St. Patty’s Day staple … corned beef and cabbage.

It’s a casserole type dish that is very good. Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots. Anyway, that’s what he so fittingly prepared tonight.

Thanks to Chief Adkins and the Brothers and Sisters at Station #5 for having us down.

We weren’t the only guest at the Station #5 table tonight. The ambo had a paramedic student riding and the Chief had Priest ride along. The student is Jewish so it was mentioned that I should include a joke in tonight’s post…. 12 Firemen, a Jew and a Priest were sitting at …errrr… LOL … I’d better not.

The Chief’s ride along was Reverend Sandy Webb of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The Reverend is helping to start a Chaplin Program in our Department and wants to get out to meet our members and see a little of what we do and face.

We have attempted Chaplin programs in the past but none have lasted. Our Brothers out in the County have a great one in place and I hope Father Webb can create something similar.

Everyone was on their best behavior and the Father seemed to enjoy not only the meal but the typical firehouse table chatter.

I’m not sure he fully understands what he’s getting into but I know that he has some pretty good help by his side so I’m certain he’ll do just fine. (sorry about the first picture and the “midget and thigh high” comment Father but I did ask you to keep an open mind when checking out the site…lol) Special THANKS to Reverend Webb for his efforts on our behalf.

It’s a bit odd I guess but St. Patty’s Day always has me thinking of New York and the FDNY. I used to go up every year and march along side the Brothers from 39/16. I made the trip one last time following the 9-11 attacks and was honored to march ahead of 343 American flags.

FDNY Chaplin Mychal Judge (Died September 11, 2001)

With the FDNY on my mind and a Priest in the house, my thoughts were of Father Mychal Judge.

Father Judge was the Chaplin for the FDNY and was known and loved by all its members. He was a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor

You’d never know it by looking at him in that pic would ya?  He looks like a fireman. Most FDNY members who knew him would likely tell ya that he was a fireman.

He responded to countless incidents to pray for and comfort the victims and members of the FDNY. The attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 was no different. Father Judge was there from the beginning.

At 09:59 am that morning, when the South Tower collapsed; Father Judge was in the lobby of the North Tower. Debris and rubble from the South Tower collapse filled the North Tower lobby and took Father Judge’s life.

He is officially listed as the 1st victim of the attacks. His body bag was labeled “0001”.

I will never forget the images of those 4 men carrying his body from the rubble in a chair.

His funeral was held on September 15th and was attended by more than 3,000 people. His helmet was presented to Pope John Paul II and there has even been talks of Sainthood. Streets have been given his name, statutes have been erected, and medals awarded. The Father Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance takes place every year in New York around the 9/11 anniversary. It begins with a Mass at St. Francis Church on West 31st Street, then proceeds to the site of Ground Zero, retracing Judge’s final journey and praying along the way.

So as you can see, the position of fire Department Chaplin is not one to be taken lightly.

Father Judge set the bar high.

I’m wondering how many of your departments have a Chaplin Program? How is it working? Do the members find it helpful? Do you have any advise for our members or for Reverend Webb as we begin building ours?

I did find a site with some information on Chaplin Programs for those of you who, like us; may not have one in place or may be thinking about starting one. Check out  Chaplin Fellowship Ministries for more.

That’s gonna do it for now …. for all you local folks, don’t forget to come out and support The Roanoke Rampage as we take on the Chicago Fire Department in full contact football for charity this Saturday, 3 pm at Salem Memorial Stadium.

Until next time… stay safe and in house!

Captain Wines