Back from Baltimore

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz had it right …. There’s no place like HOME!

Yea … I know that’s not Dorothy  but it is how she would have looked had I been the costume designer for The Wizard of Oz … LOL

Anyway, Rhett (The Fire Critic) and I made it up to Baltimore for EMS Today and, most importantly; for the JEMS “Meet Up” sponsored by Physio Control.  We weren’t sure we were gonna make the trip …

My father in law passed away unexpectedly this past Monday. The funeral had to be scheduled for Thursday morning. Soon after the services, Rhett and I were able to get on the road.

Just the ride up was a bit relaxing and a welcomed break.

Within miles of town, I knew it was gonna be a good trip….  check out this ride…

It’s called  Follow That Fire Engine.comA global expedition to encompass 9 months, for 3 charities with a single fire engine. They will cover 26,000miles, 5 Continents and 28 Countries.

The effort is dedicated to the memory of Garth Moore, a 33 year Fire Service veteran. Their goal  is to raise money and awareness for three charities; Macmillan Cancer Support, The Fire Fighters Charity and The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

You can get the entire story … meet the crew and follow their progress from the link above.

I wish we could have caught them stopped somewhere … they look like a friendly bunch.

I will say that it was a bit odd spotting such a rig in South West Virginia.

It just didn’t look right … and definitely stood out.

I’d dare say that it was the only Mercedes Fire Truck in the State.

It’s bed (if that’s what they call it) was loaded down with bicycles …

The steering wheel was even on the wrong side…

She did seem to have plenty of “ponies” under her though … she was running about 75 mph when we caught her.

Take the time to check out their link … I’ll add it again  HERE.

Good luck and best wishes for the crew and their cause.

Ok, so we made the trip in about 4 hours. We stayed at the Sheraton with a great view of Camden Yards.  We hustled over to the convention center floor to meet up with none other than Dave Statter.

Yep… that’s Statter and the Fire Critic at the same table. Just look at my two little “Computer geek” buddies … ok… I’m not sure “little” was the correct word but you get the point..LOL

Everyone asks if there is really a “feud” between these two or all 3 of us for that matter … well hell yes there is!  LOL

We are sitting there looking at Dave’s latest  Xtra Normal production … BEAUTIFUL!

Paul Andrews joined us for a while then it was a quick change of cloths before we headed out to the Meet Up.

WOW … what a GREAT turn out!

I know this will sound “cheesy” but I have to share it with ya. As soon as Rhett and I made town, we were approached by readers / followers / fans.

A guy walked right up to us .. outreached hand and told me ..”You’re Captain Wines” …. “I read your Blog everyday!”  WOW! I had no idea … (wonder how he recognized me? … I wore my cowboy hat to try and remain inconspicuous..LOL)

All kidding aside, it was pretty cool to be recoginized from my site.

We met so many great people … friends, fans, followers and Fire/EMS Service leaders.

For us, it was all about “networking” … getting our name … face and sites out there.

We made a lot of great contacts and have some very exciting plans to work on.

This is gonna be a good year!

Special THANKS to Jems and Physio Control for sponsoring the event!

I even got the chance to Meet Kelly Greyson from A Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver.

More importantly, Kelly was the winner from the EMS side for the 2010-2011 Black Diamond Fire/EMS Blog of the Year.

That’s right .. the Fire and EMS Blog of the Year winners under the same roof.

Kelly was pretty cool. He even bought me a few beers!

The Happy Medic was in attendance as well as Mike Ward …aka .. The Fossil Medic (I love Mike’s view point on many subjects… follow his postings over at FireGeezer)

We finished off the night (and early morning) by visiting a few of the local “watering holes”.

WooooHoooo! I need to get out more.

Gals dancing on the bars … poles … yea.. we had a good time.

The music was a little different than what I normally listen to but I was able to suffer through it..LOL

Everyone kinda gathered at a joint named “Howl at the Moon”. I hear it was a really cool place.

Me?? My directions were off just a bit.

I had hooked up with some Brothers and Sisters visiting from Australia. cool is that? They are visiting and touring the United States and took in the conference. Of all the folks to meet and hook up with … they found me! LOL

Anyway, we went in the wrong door. Apparently, we were in the bar “next door to” Howl at the Moon .. but hey … we had fun anyway!

Pretty cool “blokes” … “mates” or whatever it was they were calling each other. They were a bit hard to understand at times. I tried to explain that their accent was difficult for me to follow … they laughed and said it was me that had the accent! LMAO … a redneck and 4 Aussies .. Baltimore will never be the same!

I’ll post a little more on the trip and the folks we met later tonight or tomorrow (there’s plenty more). I just wanted to let everyone know that we made it home safe and sound and give ya a little “teaser”.

I’m back on duty tomorrow.. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Until I get back to ya … stay safe and in house!

Captain Wines