Covering on A-shift again

It’s not my scheduled day but I’m covering a tour for a brother which has me riding down at “The Big Show” on A-shift today. Engine 1, Ladder 1, Medic 1, Battalion 1 and RS1 are housed here along with of Chief’s administrative offices which are located on the 3rd floor. There was a time in my career that I could say that I’ve worked at least a shift in every station in the city. I can’t say that anymore. This will be the first night I’ve spent in this house and I have yet to stay in the new #5. This house is another station established from the closing of 2 high profile and busy houses. Old #1 (now called “Historic 1) and old #3. I made Captain at old #3 and Dad retired from #1. Here are the pics..

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.. I work at the “new” #3 … so how was the “old #3 closed to form the new #1. Well, yes, my station is #3 but it took the place of the Airport station (#10). When Old #3 was closed, the Engine and Medic went to join the Ladder company and Battalion from old #1 to form the new #1. Confusing??? You should try working here LOL. Anyway, I’m here tonight and working with some old friends. Most notable is probably Roger “shit bird” Guilliams. Roger has been on Ladder #1 A-shift for 100 or so years now so we worked plenty together from my days at Old #3. I’m doing a little Truck work today and Roger is my wheel man. Here he is in action..

Now usually, this company runs a 100′ Tiller truck (hook and ladder) and I have to agree with Captain Schmoe, if you’re gotta ride a ladder, A tiller is the way to go and driving the tiller is without a doubt the best seat in the house. Unfortunately, the Tiller (the only one left in the city) is in the shop…BROKEN. So, we are riding the “Beast”. A 121 rear mount Gruman.

Big, bulky and SLOW…real slow but hey, we actually made it to a call earlier today. A stove fire out on arrival that needed a little ventilation and utility control.. just look at Guilliams dancing around the rig..

A few runs with nothing eventful or blog worthy. We were able to attend Chief Slayton’s retirement party held at our Union Hall. Bobby worked almost 44 years and had been a Battalion Chief for 25 of em! There was a great turnout of young and “older” faces at the party. Here’s a few old “Jakes” chewing the fat…

(Left to right…all retired Captain Carl Epperly, Captain Ed Watts, Captain Gerry “Big Daddy” Sullivan and Battalion Chief Jim Patton) I can’t count high enough to tell ya the years of service and experience sitting right there. Here’s another shot of some of the group in attendance..

Captains Trussler and Flora along with Lt. Hylton organized the event which turned out to be a huge success. Foutz worked up about 60 or so chicken on his mobile kitchen …. beans, slaw, chips, cake and plenty of cold beverages made for a heck of a spread. Lt. Hylton opened the remarks with a quote (that I can’t remember word for word) concerning beginnings and endings. Captain Trussler presented Chief with a beautiful bugle then Captain Flora presented the refurbished grates from the fire place at Station #9 (where Bobby spent a lot of time). Needless to say, (as evidenced by his years of service) Chief Slayton is passionate about the job and did his best to hold back the tears. But, just like he said; it’s impossible to spend this much time with so many good people and form the bonds we do and not be emotional about it…

Chief was a little nervous when my dad offered to tell a few stories from back in the days that he drove Bobby… LMAO… maybe they should wait a few more years before telling some of those adventures. Here’s a shot of Bobby and Pop…

Congratulations and good luck again Chief.. you have EARNED it. Ok, so I think I’m gonna wrap it for tonight.. It looks like I’m working again tomorrow and then my regular tour on Monday… YEA.. 72 hrs straight.. WooooHoooo (what was I thinking???) Anyhow, I’ll try to get a post or two up while working. Until I do or can, stay safe and in house..