Less than 12 hrs til 4 day

We’re winding down a fairly busy cycle. It’s been a good week but I’m ready for our 4-day break!

I think Randy is looking forward to it as well.

This week’s training centered around “calling the MAYDAY”, “Search and Rescue” and “Vent Enter Search”.

Of course, we caught our normal run load and had some cleaning to do in between…

Well, LOTS of cleaning!

Like I said …. Randy’s moma would be so proud!

He’s scrubbed his little fingers to the bone and next week he will even get to COOK !

LOL … you shoulda seen the look on his face when we told him he would be cooking next cycle.

He went from scared to disappointed when we gave him the rules … 1.) No TV dinners   2.) No hamburger helper   3.) No instant potaotes   4.) MEAT and POTATOES are a “staple”   5.) No pre-made meals from Moma   6.) we eat at noon and 6pm.  (unless we caught a run)

LMAO … this is gonna be good.  Like all of us were, he’s nervious already. Cooking at the firehouse can be VERY stressful but it’s also somewhat of a life lesson. I’d dare say Randy hasn’t had to prepare many meals for himself at this point in his life, much less for himself and 3 fretting firemen.

If he tackles this challenge like he has every other to this point, he’ll do just fine.

So far, I’m happy with his performance. He must be happy as well because he is still walking around with an ear to ear grin.

He’s caught some decent runs over the past few weeks but has yet to catch anything really “bad” or serious.

He hasn’t caught his first fire yet and as we all know, that will be his first “TRUE” test. We did catch a small compactor fire today with our Brothers and Sisters from Stations #5 and #3.

Last cycle we caught a roll over MVA out on I-581 with our brothers from #3 and County Station #1.

The vehicle contained a lone female occupant who escaped with only minor injuries despite the high M.O.I ( Mechanism Of Injury ).

This is a very busy Interstate so the incident could have been a lot worse than it was.

The other good news is that there were several “lessons” for Randy…. He got to work with one of our Mutual Aid Departments. That means he was tested on his knowledge of his radio ( we were operating on a “County” tac channel ). He got to see first hand the importance of stabilizing a vehicle involved in an accident. He also got to see the dangers of working an incident along the Interstate.

The highlight of the incident was that he got to meet the County’s 2nd best pump operator…. Brandon Sheppard

I say he’s the “second best”  because Brandon just completed a DPO … “pump operator” class and the facts are facts.

Unlike his typical performance, Brandon did NOT finish at the top of the class.

I’m not sure of HER name but I know that at least one other firefighter finished ahead of Brandon.

LOL …. OK, OK … I’m doing a little “fretting” there.

Brandon is a great pump operator despite where he finished in the class or who finished ahead of him. A good fireman, great friend and top hand around the farm!

He also has on a cool helmet band … a FOX FIRE  illuminating helmet band!

Their whole company is wearing them (that’s Brandon’s Captain Brian Witt pictured left) !  Back when I first did a Product Review  of Fox Fire, we painted one of County 1’s axes.

I trust and value Captain Witt’s opinion and thought it was a great opportunity to spread the product around through some diverse companies / response areas.

Apparently, Captain Witt and his crew were so impressed with the illuminating epoxy that they decided to buy the helmet bands as well. LOOKING GOOD GUYS!

Oh yea …. here’s another lesson Randy has learned since being on the job here at “Lucky #13”


PEOPLE …. these lanes are marked for a REASON and YES … the “no parking” part means YOU!

Of course, the owner of the grey vehicle was in a much bigger hurry than we were. Their business was also twice as important as the job we were called to do.

The sad thing is that our business had us on the upper floors of this building so we were away from our rigs for some time. We musta parked a little too close to the passenger vehicle making it impossible for the driver to manuver out of the prime parking spot. Hope we didn’t make em too late  🙂

OK, to wrap up tonight, Captain Jeffrey Bowen of the Asheville, NC Fire Department will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Coverage of this 2011 LODD can be found  HERE  HERE  HEREand HERE

Jeff Harkey, over at FireNews.net has all the details of the service as well as for the “Fallen Firefighter Fund” which has been established as an education fund for Captain Bowen’s children.

North Carolina is close to home and I really wanted to attend this service. I had even intended on taking Randy along with me. I think that attending a LODD funeral early in his career could make an impact on how he views firefighter safety as well as the reality and dangers of our job. Something good out of something so tragic maybe. Anyway, Ashville is 4 1/2 hrs away. The service begins at 11am and we’re on duty until 7am. There’s no way we would / could make it in time. At the least, I will be there in spirit. I will stop whatever Im doing tomorrow morning at 11am, hold a thought and say a few words for Captain Bowen, his and the Asheville NC Fire Department family. If you can’t make the service, I hope you’ll do the same.

Gonna wrap it up for tonight and start looking for 07:00 am. I’ll check back in as soon as I can …

Stay Safe and in House!

Captain Wines