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Wytheville finds some water!

Photo by Jeffery Simmons

I don’t have many details yet but, apparently; the Wytheville Fire Department and Chief Ron King have abandoned their recently discovered “new firefighting technique” and resorted to fighting fire like the rest of America … by putting water on the fire.

The Wytheville Fire Department, along with the Rural Retreat Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire on West Lee Highway on Thursday December 27, 2012.

Chief King, and the Wytheville Department made the local news  back in November when he opted to conduct salvage operations vs extinguishing a fire in the Crocketts Cove section of Wythe County, Va. Chief King took full credit for this “new technique” saying that he had never studied the technique in his “thousands and thousands of hours of training”. He also said, “we plan on using it again”. Find the entire article in a previous post below…

READ “New Firefighting technique developed in Wytheville, Va?”

Photo by Jeffery Simmons

My post on the issue resulted in several comments and e-mails (use the link above for that post).

My favorite comment was posted to my Face Book Fan Page by Jacob. He never came right out and asked but I think he wanted to marry me. Yea… out of the blue, this kid wanted my address so he could send me some rope and a vibrator! Yea … a vibrator LMAO! Read that post below.

Read that post by clicking HERE

 Well, I never received the vibrator or the rope and, judging by the pictures of the most recent fire, Chief King has changed his mind as well. At least they are flowing water and the local news even said they were using an elevated master stream.

Full story from Tricities.com found HERE

I raised several valid questions out of the previous Wytheville issues and have yet to receive a valid response / argument. I even requested the audio files of the fire ground audio from the Crocketts Cove fire through the Freedom of Information Act and never received them.

I gave them the benifit of the doubt thinking that maybe they didn’t know what the Freedom of Information Act was. With that in mind, I posted a portion of the Act for them.

“Any public body that is subject to this chapter and that is the custodian of the requested records shall promptly, but in all cases within five working days of receiving a request, provide the requested records to the requester or make one of the following responses in writing:”

It also says  “Failure to respond to a request for records shall be deemed a denial of the request and shall constitute a violation of this chapter”

I guess I should have also included portions of the Act that discuss the violations or failure to disclose requested information.

“ 2.2-3713 for a violation of § 2.2-3704, 2.2-3705.1 through 2.2-3705.8, 2.2-3706, 2.2-3707, 2.2- 3708, 2.2-3708.1, 2.2-3710, 2.2-3711 or 2.2-3712, the court, if it finds that a violation was willfully and knowingly made, shall impose upon such officer, employee, or member in his individual capacity, whether a writ of mandamus or injunctive relief is awarded or not, a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $2,000, which amount shall be paid into the State Literary Fund. For a second or subsequent violation, such civil penalty shall be not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000.”

More and more details are being brought to my attention every day. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs was apparently brought in several years back to preform a “study” of Wytheville’s operations. Obviously, the findings from that study have been totally ignored.

It also seems that there could be some “conflicts of interest” involved with the person whom I requested the information from in the first place (involving an ex-wife and her current relationship).

It now seems the problems in Wytheville reach deeper than first suspected. Again I’ll say that I can’t understand why the Board of Supervisors accepts this liability. I’ll keep ya posted as more details surface.

So, I trust and hope you all had a VERY Merry Christmas and I wish you all a prosperous,  healthy and SAFE New Year.

My Christmas couldn’t have been better. It was spent surrounded by family and friends and I even managed to get a few awesome gifts.

Pictured right is the gift Rhett (FireCritic.com) gave me. It’s a custom leather radio strap made by Wolfpak Leather Works .

This strap is AWESOME. The detail and craftsmanship are second to none. It not only has my name on it, it also includes the Buckaroo and Ironfiremen.com THANKS Brothers!

I still haven’t got a good picture of it yet but, I had Rhett a custom apron made.

I have to admit that it too was a pretty awesome gift.

It’s made of PBI (just like our turnout gear) has striping, pockets d-ring snaps and his name. He LOVED it.

The apron was made by our good friends over at Blue Ridge Rescue Suppliers .

We’ve already received several comments and e-mails asking where the aprons can be purchased. So far, this is a “one of” but if they receive enough interest, more will be made. Use the link above ( or just CLICK HERE )to contact Blue Ridge Rescue Suppliers and inquire about the aprons. Actually, check them out for any and all of your equipment needs. Call or e-mail and be sure to tell em we sent ya!

Tonight, I’m covering a shift for Rhett.

I’m working at Station #3-A. His Captain, Mac Craft; is on duty and we decided he’d make the better driver / operator so I’m riding the seat and Mac is driving.

It’s been a while since I’ve been behind the wheel so I’m sure everyone is safer this way….LOL

Thanks to Captain Mac for letting me have his seat today.

Rhett’s down in Nashville with family but will be home in time for the New Year. 2013 is shaping up to be our busiest year yet and I’m sure it will also be our best!

Be sure to keep checking back for our 2012 Year in Review posts …. if you haven’t been following along, you’ll never believe where we’ve been and what we’ve gotten ourselves into!

Do you guys remember little Hunter Moseley?

I first introduced you to him through a post back in November (linked below)

Read “PRIDE … Going the extra mile and making a kid smile”

Well since that post, Hunter has made several new friends and had some great experiences.

He now has “Team Hunter” shirts and his own Face Book Fan Page. Take a moment to visit and “LIKE” Hunters page … your support makes a difference for him and his family!

Visit and “Like” Team Hunter on Face Book HERE

My regular shift has me back Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. I’ll check back in as soon as possible. Until I do, stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines

Comments - Add Yours

  • Unlimited Hours

    You know Cap, I’m reading all this stuff about the WFD and I looked at Chief King’s credentials on FFN. A few things stand out:
    1) The Chief has an incredible amount of training and I am impressed that he could get all these courses and certifications in just 24 years. Just knowing what it takes to get FSI I and II, let alone III makes me wonder how much of his training has been applied over the years. In FSI II one learns a great deal about liability in life safety training, documentation requirements, and delivering training that will stand up under the scrutiny of a Court. In FSI III one should learn a great deal more about the liability side of developing new training materials and courses as well as training programs for Departments. I also note the Chief has training in rural water supply operations, and yet, apparently that training failed him also. Running out of water during the initial attack can happen while the first tankers (dispatched by pre-plan on first alarm) are arriving and getting set up. But this should cause a delay of only a few minutes at worst, if at all. Not having water on the road to a working fire is negligent at best.
    2) The absence of SCBA in any of the photos leads me to believe that the culture they have developed in their department makes SCBA use secondary. In my rural Department, everybody dons a pack on arrival, whether you think you may need it or not.
    3) This whole discussion reminds me of a quote from Lt. Ray McCormack which I will NEVER Forget: “If we put out the fire, the fire ground becomes safer for EVERYONE” (FDIC, 2009 I think) If it was safe to make entry for salvage, it was safe to make entry for extinguishment and at the very least there should have been a working hoseline inside to protect the firefighters saving X-boxes.
    4) In my opinion, there are only 2 basic options for SFD fires such as this, either surround and drown, or aggressive attack. You can change tactics as conditions dictate, but you have to do one or the oher. You can’t do a little of each, that just gets firefighters hurt.
    5) Every time I participate in a discussion such as this I drop back to basics: Saving Lives and property is our mission at it’s core. I don’t think the Chief’s ‘new tactics’ accomplish either and in the process he appears to have forgotten that in order to keep his own people safe, he needs to use every tool and resource available to attack the fire in the most aggressive manner possible, whether it is from inside or outside.
    Just my opinion.
    UU

  • Dave E.

    http://www.firehouse.com/news/10861393/va-dept-questioned-about-loss-of-home-to-fire

    Apparently they still need some training with the “water on fire” concept