I had to "Pull the Book" !

It’s been another busy day here at Lucky #13. The good news is that if I make it til 07:00 am tomorrow morning, I’ll be off for 13 days! WoooooHoooo! Rhett, Kevin Tottin and I will be heading up to Baltimore, Md for the 2011 Firehouse Expo ! I’ll have more on that trip in future posts but for now, hit the link above and make plans to attend.

Today has been busy all the way around. With a new “Rookie” in the house, things are always a bit busier. Today was no exception. We’ve been working on the “basics” with him over the past 3 days. Today was SCBA day.

The “word of the day” was  ROAM

“ROAM” is an acronym for Rules  OAir  Management .

That’s Randy pictured to the right sweeping the station floor while wearing his SCBA  (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus).

Click Here for an earlier post about SCBA’s under ” Tricks of the Trade”

Now, I know you’re wondering (or at least his mom is) … Why would you have him wear an air pack while sweeping?

Well, I didn’t. 

I made him wear it while sweeping, mopping AND mowing grass!

I need to know that he knows how to operate his SCBA. I’d rather find out here in the station than out on a fire.

I need to know that he wears it correctly and that he’s comfortable with it on. The more you wear it, the more comfortable you become.

I need to know how quickly he will use a bottle while working . I know that sweeping, mopping and mowing is no where near the  physical exertion that fire fighting is but we have to start somewhere.

I wanted him thinking about his breathing while working. He knew I was looking to see how long his bottle lasted so he was “forced” to think about his breathing.

He had to think about and remember to pay attention to his “heads up display” and pressure gauges.

To me, it’s like imprinting a baby colt. If I teach him to think about all these things early in his career then, hopefully;  it will stay with him throughout.

Randy did fine. Actually, he did better than fine. I even had him work through his “vibra alert” and take the last breath from the bottle. He was mowing at that point. I wanted him to know how long he could last with the vibra alert. I also wanted him to feel that sensation of taking a breath and sucking his mask to his face. I hope the only time he ever does that again is in training like this.

I’m proud of the kid .. he knew his pack well and lasted 44 minutes.

You folks know me well enough to know that this won’t be the last time Randy has his pack on so it’s a safe bet that his 44 minute mark will improve.


Of course, I should have know he would do well with anything related to SCBA. He was the “Champion” recruit for SCBA training and “field crawl” during the Academy … Recruit Class #14. They even gave him a Championship Belt made from an SCBA harness and steamer cap.

All of this attention can be hard for a “Rookie” firefighter to handle. I think the belt thing and all my praises may be going to his head. I’m not sure if it’s due to him having legs  6 feet long or wearing a size 13 shoe but I swear I think he’s walking with a little “strut”. LOL Maybe it’s because I told him about all the e-mails I got asking if he’s single …LOL .. well, HE’S NOT single but I did have to pull the book on him today. Not the Essentials Book … the other one. Effective Company Command! (1973 by James O. Page Borden Publishing Company).


Pulled it and read it to him. Expect him to have it memorized by the time I return from vacation. Well, paragraph 4 of page 121 anyway. Here’s what it says …


“A drive through most any community is likely to present an occasional view of feminine charms. It is not the intent of this book to discourage the pleasure generally associated with such a view. However, it should be recognized that one of the factors which sets professionals apart from nonprofessionals is emotional restraint. A fire company which is viewed hooting, hollering, whistling or staring transfixed at an attractive female is likely to be categorized as a band of sex-depraved barbarians. On the other hand, a reasonably quick glance (maybe even accompanied by a collective smile) will assure their viewing public that their firemen are normal, red- blooded American males.”

Poor fella. He can’t help but to stare “transfixed”…. I’m sure he’s seeing things here that the folk back in Max Meadows have only heard of …LOL

Ok, moving on … I need to give a shout out to the Brothers and Sisters of the Clinton Fire Department in Clinton, MO.

Vist the Clinton Fire Department on Face Book

I’ve mentioned on here several times how my dad …aka “Pop” drives a tour bus for the Bluegrass Band Nothin Fancy.  Well, one of his recent trips had him in Missouri.

Pop needed a place to stop, rest and clean up a bit. The band was playing there for a local fair / carnival.

Of course, with 30 years on the job behind him he knows that all he has to do is find a firehouse.

Well, Clinton only has one but he found it.

Pop got the grand tour and was very impressed. He commented to me on their apparatus in particular. He said that although the pieces have some age on them, you’d never know it by their looks. Very well maintained!

The station, he said; was no different. The fact that these folk have pride in their job was evident!

The members were just as professional.

The Chief and a group of 6-8 members took excellent care of Pop and seen to his every need. That’s Chief Leo Huff pictured to the left.

 They even  allowed the band to shower and freshen up at the station.

I’d like to send out a special THANKS to Chief Huff and his members for the brotherhood and professionalism! If any of you guys are ever in our area, please let me know and allow me the chance to re-pay the favor!

So, for my next “shout out”, I need to talk about a Brother from the Salem Fire and EMS Department … Mike Christley.

Mike operates an excivating company on his days off and did me a huge favor yesterday.

On short notice, Mike hauled some mulch out to the Tech Farm for us. Not only did he do it on short notice, his price was very affordable!

I guess maybe I should have charged him a little seeing as how I supplied his co-pilot. The Buckaroo couldn’t wait to get in and Mike seemed just as excited. Of course, this was not the first time Mike and the Buckaroo have been riding together. See  THIS POST  for their first trip together. So anyhow, for you local readers; if you ever need any kind of excivation work or hauling, please keep Mike in mind. Cave Spring Excavating Inc. 540-537-2923 .

The Buckaroo also got a little time in on the Bobcat yesterday before we had to head out to the hay field.

The little fella LOVES anything he can ride or drive.

We’ve got a couple of busy days ahead of us as we try to finish up our hay making before my big trip to Baltimore.

I’m not sure what I’ll do for a week without him even though taking care of Rhett is NOT that much different (and the face that they are the same height is also a plus). Hell, we may just take the Buckaroo with us!

Like I said, more on the Baltimore trip soon. I’m gonna stop here for the night. I start 13 in the morning so lets hope it gets here quick! I’ll check back in as soon as I can. Until then, stay safe and in house!

Captain Wines

Added note: Special Thanks to Lt. Baron “Smurf” Gibson for coming out tonight and sharing his knowledge of SCBA’s with Randy (Smurf was our SCBA Technician for 21 years).