LOL … Ahhhh the places I could go!

LMAO …. I have SO much content and “directions” I could go in for a great post. Of course, my regular readers know that the one thing that I don’t tolerate is “fretting” so I guess I’ll shoot it to ya straight.

It’s been a busy summer for me but for some reason, these last few weeks have really taken their toll. I’m not sure if Im just getting old or if all my work, travel and “running around” has just finally caught up with me. Either way, I’m whooped!

It doesn’t help that Im riding as the “acting” Battalion this cycle. It seems like every time I ride the car, “something” happens so I’ve just been sitting back waiting for whatever it’s gonna be this time.

See previous post … “Buckle Up”

We’re working Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this cycle (24 hour shifts). My first day had me starting out in a  “Harassment in the workplace” class. A half day in a class room with 2 lawyers … WoooooHooooo!  The remainder of the shift wasn’t too bad. No real big excitment. Several runs including a kitchen fire but nothing major. Wednesday, the Buckaroo and I had a busy day on the farm. Of course it rained all day so we were soaked and freezing by the time we got back to the house. Good thing for me is that I would be able to unwind later that evening.

Good friend and Brother fireman Captain Joe Lyons from the Westfield Fire Department in Indiana had contacted me about a trip he’d be making to our valley. Captain Joe, Senior Firefighter Chad Everitt and KME rep. Mike Smith arrived around 6pm Wednesday evening.

We wanted to make sure the guys were taken care of so Rhett (The Fire Critic), Todd “Boots” Harris and I met em at the hotel around 6:45. We ended up next door at a local Mexican Restaraunt for sizzling hot fajitas and cold beers.

It was a good dinner! We hit it off right from the start. Captain Joe was waiting outside the hotel when I arrived. I came disguised in my daughters little sports car type vehicle.  As I got out and headed to the front door, the Captain came to greet me. Hummmm … how’d he know it was me?? LOL. I guess the bunker boots,  mustache and cowboy hat were a bit of a clue.

These guys are good firemen. We were a good fit. It was like we had known each other for years. It’s funny how that works out amoung brothers. I’ve had the honor to meet folks from all across the Country and beyond yet we all seem to share the same experiences. It doesn’t where you’re from when you’re “on the job”…. we all “relate” . It’s the same story with different names from one state to the next.

The Capt. and Chad ( aka “Trucker” )  work for the Westfield Fire Department. Mike Smith is the President of Donley Safety , their local KME distributor. Westfield has a new KME ladder on order but is also working on a new “prop” for their training facility. The guys needed a fly section from an aerial for a paripit wall / roof mock up and Mike had the connections. KME’s ladders are built here in Roanoke so the guys hooked up the trailer and hit the road. West Virginia proved to be an interesting leg of their journey as they were able to stop and chat with one of their State Police officers (LOL). After meeting us, they probily thought they were STILL in West Va!

Anyway, yesterday; I got my Battalion paperwork duties cleared early and escourted the guys over to the KME facility at 07:30am. Afterwards, they would head out for home. I hope they enjoyed the trip … I know for us, it was an honor to meet and share a few stories, beers and a meal with our brothers from Indiana.  Let us know the next time you guys head our way!

After getting the guys over to KME, I headed out to our 4th Annual Officer’s Seminar.

This years presenter was Retired Deputy Chief James P. Smith of the Philadelphia Fire Department. Chief Smith is a GREAT speaker who presented   Strategic and Tactical Considerations on the Fireground .

Chief Smith has a book by the same title … find that book by clicking  HERE . To see more topics offered by Chief Smith, click  HERE  .

It was refreshing to here someone with Chief Smith’s experience and education speak. The Chief could talk “fireman” because he is one! He worked through the ranks … he’s “been there, done and seen that”.  He was even there for the  One Meridian Plaza Fire  back in February 1991.

Fire Service leader, good friend and Brother Chris Naum remembers the One Meridian Plaza Fire over on Command HERE

The turn out for our Seminar was good but could and should have been so much better.

We lost 3 Brothers in the One Meridian Plaza Fire. Due to the PRV (pressure reducing valve) limiting water to the upper floors, the members were forced to  hand jack 5″ hose to the 28th floor! Not just once … they made 3 stretches of 5″ !  Multple alarm  fires (as in 4th alarm and higher) seemed to be “normal” for Chief  Smith. He’s even taken in multiple refinary fires! How could you not learn something from a man with this kind of experience?

The seminar’s attendance was well rounded. We had members from The City, Roanoke County, Salem and several surrounding combonation or volunteer Departments. I hope we were able to “break even” on expenses so that a 5th Annual can be scheduled.

Obviously, these events come with a cost. In an effort to offset these cost, we do several things … raffles, 50/50 etc. I think the biggest “hit” is the helmet raffles.

Captain Billy Scearce from the Danville Fire Department put a custom paint job on two fire helmets.

These helmets turned out AWESOME !

See previous custom painted helmets from Captain Billy Scearce HERE .




 Special THANKS to Captain Billy Scearce for a FANTASTIC job! Find Billy on Face Book  .

I had to remain “in service” so I was in and out of the seminar to take in a few runs.

Nothing big until Captain Martin of City Engine #3-C advised dispatch to notify the Battalion that he was on scene of a mutual-aid “working fire” with our brothers from Roanoke County.

I switched over to the County tac channel just in time to hear command request a 2nd Alarm. I responded in.

By the time I got there ( less than 4 minutes) , companies were already taking up. WTF ?? I thought he pulled a 2nd??

Well, as it turns out; the IC (Incident Commander) struck the 2nd due to the occupancy. This location is a nursing / assisted living facility. Apparently, they had decent smoke showing upon arrival.

The 1st arriving members (County #5 and City #3) along with the sprinkler system were able to knock the fire down rather quickly.

It was a good call. We all know and had just heard from Chief Smith how it’s better to have companies rolling and not need them than to need them and not have them rolling.

My biggest shock was having that many members on scene of a fire under control and a Deputy Chief having to load hose! Yea… a County Deputy LOADING HOSE … on a City rig no doubt! LMAO.

Good job by all members on scene !

After the seminar, I had a pretty busy day. Sleeping in a strange bed in the busiest house in the City …. NOT MUCH REST.

The Brothers from County Station #1 must have known I’ve been having a busy month and invited me out for breakfast before they headed out to the 2nd day of our Seminar (same lecture in 2 days to allow for work schedules etc).

My wife dropped the Buckaroo off at the Station this morning and we headed out to meet Captain Witt and the crew.

BROTHERHOOD !  These guys “get it” .. A GREAT COMPANY !

Thanks to Captain Witt and the boys for the invite … we enjoyed it.

Tomorrow, will be just as busy.

I’ll begin the day with an airport disaster drill. Afterwards, I’ll head over to our “Fired Up for a Cure” event to benifit breast cancer.

There will be all kinds of activities on site.

Kid events .. Fire, EMS and Police demos, free ice skating, music, 5 and 10k runs, free food and much much more.

Check out Va Fire News for more details by clicking HERE .

I’ll even be wearing a PINK shirt ..

Check in tomorrow night for pics and details.

Until then, STay Safe and in House ….

Captain Wines