Atlanta baby!

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  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.


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 andFire 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 . 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 !

See a related post  HERE  or visit the NFFF site at

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!

Captain Wines