Geesh.. I had a post darn near complete and had to come back and erase it. I should warn you though, this one will be a long one. Those of you who followed me here from the Misfit Blog know how long winded I can get. For our new readers, pull up a seat and relax…this may take me a while. My first post started by going back to the post I made on 3/15. I have received tons of comments (both verbal and in the comment section)on that post and feel as though I should clarify and elaborate somewhat. First, from the comment section … I don’t think I’m being punished. If I am, I don’t know what for. I appreciate and agree with all the comments as to how we (#9C pre-the “big shake up”) were doing a good job. I had a top notch crew no doubt. A band of “Misfits” and “cut ups” but the ones you wanted on the scene when there was work to do. Yes we played and fretted hard but we also trained and worked with twice the diligence. No, I’m not at the Chief’s office every day and especially not on my days off, nor am I known as a butt kisser (at least I hope not). My evaluations were way above the norm and I / we received several commendations from our chief as well as from the City. The moves made no sense to me and still dosen’t. I have said that multiple times and have yet to receive an explanation other than “we know you’ll do a good job out there”. Is that punishment? Maybe. I don’t think so but who knows? Do I like being out here in a slower company??? NOPE. But hey, there are people running this department that are a heck of a lot smarter than me and I’m sure that they have a plan. I have faith that they know what they’re doing, I just wish that the plan had me somewhere that I felt a little more useful. But hey, it is what it is…. I’m here and not “there” and that’s it. Now, on to the next topic from the comments. Everyone could pretty much figure out that I was not happy on the 15th when we were not assigned to a fire just blocks away on the main drag that we’re located on…. A STRAIGHT SHOT. I haven,t figured that one out either but did come up with a possible reason that I’ve shared with the boys. I could have beat 3 of the 4 Engines in there but it’s not about who can beat who. It’s “strategic planning”. You see, out here in “never never land” we are truly the last line of defence.
Oh wait a minute….I can find a better pic than that..
Ohhh yea… that’s better 🙂 ! Anyway, as I was saying; they’re keeping us in reserve. The LAST LINE OF DEFENCE. If we get to go… things are bad and /or its gonna be BIG and at least we’ll be rested. Well guess what.. it happened tonight. We’ve had companies out of service most of the evening searching for some missing men from an overturned boat in the river. Check out the local news coverage HERE. That call in addition to our normal call volume taxed the system so much that our dispatchers had to switch to “crisis mode”. Crisis mode, Swift Water team activated, companies scattered everywhere and here we sit. Then it happened. We caught a job over in North West with our brothers and sisters from Engines 9 and 5, Ladders 2 and 13, Medics 9 and 3, RS1, service truck 2, Battalion 2 and even Chief 2. Local news link. At the same time, companies were still on the river AND… AND a second fire call came in over in South East AT THE SAME TIME! The city was DUMPED. How bad was it??? Well, for starters, it was bad enough that we got in on a job. 2nd, it was bad enough that our County brethren filled in at our station. Oh yea… a school bus yellow fire truck..errrrr “Wagon??” in a city house.
Whats even worse is the fact that our good friend Brandon Sheppard (also made famous on the Engine 9 blog)from the County is off injured. I haven’t mentioned it on the blog yet but Brandon was in a serious vehicle accident a few weeks back and has been off recovering. I’ll post more on him next day and won’t fret too much about how I’m sure it’s killing him to know his men were assigned to a City station for a while tonight (and even caught a city run). Anyway, the job was a decent one. Heavy fire from the 2nd floor, side Alpha. Engine 9 was 1st in with reports of occupants trapped. Us and Engine 5 were neck and neck but they were closer to the hydrant leaving us to establish command. YEP… that puts me in the street! But hey, at least I got to watch the boys do some good work. I mean REALLY good work. The ladders were coming but from a distance. Meanwhile, the guys were thinking enough to knock the fire down and then use a little hydraulic ventilation … solid “Engine company” work from the nozzlemen. Doing more with less. It’s not that uncommon here anymore either. The guys were also able to throw a few ladders before the truckies made it in and took over. All searches were negative and no injuries to civilians or firefighters. WELL DONE LADS!I wish I had some pics but I left my camera here on the desk…. maybe I’ll get the audio up in the next day or so. Ok moving on. I took last day off for a few reasons. 1. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. 2. We had a media day and scrimmage for our National Public Safety League Football team 3.It was a BEAUTIFUL day. the team is coming along good and hopefully we will be able to “fine tune” a few details before our first game on April 3rd. Speaking of that, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!! We are non-profit and play for charity. Each team has their own and our chosen charity is Steps 4 Billy. Billy Obenchain is a retired Battalion Chief (now deceased) from our department. His fight was with Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL)and we have taken over that battle. PLEASE… PLEASE take the time to check out the links and then come out and support our cause. The game is at Salem Memorial Stadium and it is family oriented. We will have tail gating pre-game and even an Easter egg hunt for the kids at half time. We have a fan page on “picture book” (that’s face Book for all you computer geeks…lol). Search Roanoke Rampage Fire and Police Football team. So… Saturday. It was media day so that meant interviews, team and individual photos before the scrimmage. Here’s the video cove
rage from one of our local news channels…
**(Video player may not show up on City computers if not, I’ll work on it)**
Or you can check out the link HERE.
Our photographer was none other than retired Lt. Mikey Overacker. Mike always does a fantastic job behind the lens and it was great to have him out with us Saturday… he should have found some pads and a helmet though.. here’s Mikey at work
And here’s one of one of our oldest and toughest players from the Fire Department Captain Phil Dillon
And since it is my blog, I’ll add in a few of yours truly…
I’m #35. The little guy with the cute butt walking away, center right in the top pic and lined up in the tail back position in the lower photo. I think those pants are spandex or something…whoda thunk it???? Firemen in spandex! Oh yea, heres 1 more of me and my baby brother Jackson
Alright, I’ll try to wrap up here. I will post more on this topic next day but I wanted to get the word out that we are loosing a good member, and friend. ben Obaugh will work his last shift next day. Yep…. TYRONE is gone. Moving on to bigger and better things. He will be missed. I’ve always had a soft spot for tyrone and he grew on the readers of our station blogs as well. Posts where he was the star or topic of discussion generated the most hits and / or comments. If you didn’t follow us back then, or even if you did, check him out in one of our “meet our members” post HERE. tyrone was a BLAST to work with. NEVER a quiet or dull moment. I have several memories of our time together (both on and off duty) that I will carry throughout my career…hell my life. He was easy to blog about. If I needed something to talk about or a funny pic… go find Tyrone. his videos made RFD9 history. Here’s another link to wet your Tyrone appitite. That title says it all…”Everyone needs a little Tyrone”. Well, like I said, I’ll post more on his departure next day but until then, I’ll leave you with on of my favorite pics of him….
LMAO!! You gotta love him. Alright to close I’ll throw in a couple pics of the Buckaroo.. the best little cow hand this side of anywhere. He’s still helping Paw-Paw feed “his” baby calf (but he always saves the last sip for himself)and heres another of him and his buddy Gordon taking a break in the only shade they could find…wel plus they both LOVE tractors.
OK, I’m done. Sorry it was so long. We’re back on Wednesday. Stay safe and in house.