Our Brothers of  B-shift  caught some work over the weekend … a LOT of work.

Here in “The Noke”, we take a lot on pride in holding a majority of our fires to “room and content”.  Despite older homes and balloon construction, we do a good job at getting water on the fire quickly and efficiently.

This job just had too much of a jump. What makes this fire odd is how it got such a jump …. it’s only a few blocks from Station #5 and it was occupied (up and down stairs).

The call was received around 01:43am with reports of people trapped. Heavy flames (above the roof line) made the fire visible to the 1st due companies from near their station.

Upon their arrival, the crews quickly learned that the two occupants from the upstairs apartment had jumped from the 2nd floor and lay injured on the ground. With all occupants now accounted for, operations became defensive.  Read brief local news coverage HERE.

The members of stations #5, 13 and 2 of B-shift did a GREAT  job on this one … SOLID WORK! What I’d also like to share with you is part of the reason that I believe it got such a “jump” on em.

The picture shown is of the front of the house. It’s believed that the fire may have started on the 1st floor, right front bedroom (Division 1, Alpha / Delta … but remains “under investigation” at this time). It’s reported that the occupants of the first floor escaped through the front door and left it open. One of those occupants then went to the rear of the structure and opened the back door to gain access to the stairs leading up to the 2nd floor apartment.

Having both the front and rear doors open allowed the heat, smoke and gases (Fire) to rapidly spread front to back ( Alpha to Charlie ). When the 2nd floor occupants opened the door at the top of the steps, they were pushed back and forced to jump.


As bad as the front looks, the rear sustained even heavier damage. You can’t get “tunnel vision”, focus only on the fire you can see and push into jobs  like this…. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS  … have it or die!  If you’re on the job and don’t know what that means, you’re lucky to be reading this. That’s a post in itself but nobody teaches / preaches it better than my good friend and Brother Chris Naum from over at Fire Safety.com . If you haven’t been to his site before, HIT THAT LINK …. it’s worth your time!

I’ll also say that I (and many others) consider our Department to be “AGGRESSIVE”  ( I like to think “cautiously” aggressive). We are an interior Department who, like I mentioned above; take pride in getting water on the fire quickly and efficiently. We not only get water on the fire, we get it on the seat and do so from inside.

That said, it takes DISCIPLINE  for an “aggressive” Captain / Chief  ( Company Officer ) to go defensive. It’s like you’re giving up without a fight. Well, sometimes; it’s what has to be done and my hat is off to my brothers on B-shift for having the discipline to do so. IT’S NOT AN  EASY CALL  (although it should be). We could have got several brothers hurt or killed on this one. I wish I had more pics for ya … it’s amazing that it’s still standing at all.

Do YOU have that “Situational Awareness” and “Discipline” ? 

I hope so. Again, WELL DONE  to my B-Shift Brothers … solid work and sound decisions!

Ok, moving on …. “Jacked up on Mt. Dew” ! LOL …. well that fits both me and the Buckaroo here lately.

We’ve been very busy and the result has been sporadic  postings here at Ironfiremen.com. Obviously, the farm has kept the Buckaroo and I on the road but, beyond that; I’ll try to catch ya up on some Fire Department happenings of late …

This past Saturday was VERY busy. I was scheduled for duty and it was our “Vacation Sign Up Day” . For those that may not know, we have to sign up for our days off a full year in advance. It’s a long story that I’ll explain in a future post but will tease you with the fact that Rhett ( The Fire Critic ) and I already have a lot of trips scheduled for 2012 and I got all the days off I needed.

Saturday was also our Union’s Banquet ( IAFF Local-1132) . The Banquet is ALWAYS a good time and this year was no exception!

One of the best things about the Banquet is that you get to see so many of the Brothers and Sisters that you normally don’t get to because they’re on opposite shifts.

A lot of the retirees also return on Banquet night. The picture to the right is 2 of my favorite retirees … my dad ( aka “Pop” ) and Jimmy Jennings.

Firemen… good friends, cold beer, good looking gals and a live band all in the same room….. WooooHooooo!

Attendance was up this year and everyone seemed to have a good time. Mike Hank’s tie ended up tied around his head and someone’s pants hit the dance floor! LMAO … here are a few pics from the festivities ….


Rhett and I even had dates! Yea …. girls … REAL ones … and pretty too!

I found this one hanging out with a real “Grinch” and convinced her to trade him on a taller model …. ME …LOL

I don’t talk about her much and don’t think I’ve ever posted a pic but that’s actually my beautiful bride of 25 years Donna.

I think the gals have as much fun at the banquet as the guys do … and WHY NOT. Married to and putting up with all us firemen …. they deserve the night out as much or more as we do.

Donna is a fairly active member in our Women’s Auxiliary . These ladies do a FANTASTIC job of supporting our members and play a HUGE roll in pulling off our Banquet.

Visit the Roanoke Firefighter’s Auxiliary Web Site or find them on Face Book .

Special Thanks to Missy Mutter, Lori Compton and all the Auxiliary members for all their hard work and efforts year round!

Things have been just as steady around the station. Vacation sign ups, riding the Battalion and Randy nearing his 6 month evaluation.

We’ve also had a few visitors drop by….

Lexington Firefighter Chris Potter stopped by for a visit. Chris made his Ironfiremen.com debut back in July after his wife invited Rhett and I down to attend his suprise Birthday Party .

See that previous post HERE

We have remained in touch and became good friends … Chris is a GREAT guy! He was in town shopping for his wife’s birthday and dropped by with a bag full of hand cut steaks for me and the crew! They were FANTASTIC  brother!!! Steak and eggs for breakfast on the morning of and during vacation sign ups …. BEAUTIFUL !!!  Thanks again Brother!

I also got to meet another avid follower / fan of the site this week.

Brother Chris Gardner stopped in for a visit and to purchase several of our Ironfiremen / Fire Critic.com Brotherhood Chips!

Chris has been trying to catch up with us for a while now …. I’m glad he did. He actually works part time for our Department as a Fire Inspector. He is also on the job up in nearby Radford, Va.

Visit the Radford Fire Department web site HERE

We always enjoy meeting and making new friends … Chris was no exception. We had the chance to sit down for a few minutes and swap a few stories etc. I enjoyed the visit and hope he finds the time to drop by again for a cup of coffee and more story telling.

OK, so to wrap it up tonight; I’ll give ya another “tease” in that I will soon be kicking off my “2011 Santa’s Sexy Helper” postings. Those of you who have been following me for a while may remember that we counted down “19 Days” in 2010

See the kick off post “Working Fires and Santa’s Sexy Helpers” by clicking HERE

See how it all ended by clicking HERE

This year, I think I’m going to narrow it down to a 10 day count down so STAY TUNED … you’re NOT going to want to miss it!

As always, thanks for reading and following along. Don’t forget to follow, like and recommend us on Face Book / Twitter as well. We start 4 day break in the morning but I’ll check back in with another post in a day or so. Until I get back, stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines