Messing with the "Po Po", Company Pride and a fire kicking Ass!

I know I’m behind on posting but I’ve been trying to get things squared away in preparation for Rhett and I hitting the road again this weekend. I’m VERY excited.

We will be speaking at a Fire Department Awards Dinner this Saturday night. This will be the first time Rhett and I have spoken together in this type of setting. We hope and plan on doing a lot more teaching / motivational speaking etc in the future …. let’s hope this one goes over well.

Then, on Monday; we’ll be heading back to New York City with Zach Green and MN8-FoxFire. This is going to be a GREAT trip! I’ll give ya more details on it in just a bit ….

Ok, messing with the “Po Po” …

Here in “The Noke”, we have a GREAT working relationship with our Brothers in Blue (Police Department). You never read it in our paper or see it on the news but we see a lot of shootings, stabbings and just general assaults. Having a good and trusting relationship between Fire/EMS and Police is crucial on these types of incidents.

Last day (Tuesday) we got to spend some time with one of our Brothers in Blue in a much less stressful situation … a public relations event.

We took the rig up to a local Church’s pre-school class and met up with Sgt. Keats and his police cruiser. The kids were learning about people in their neighborhood who “help” them.

I LOVE these events. Me and the kids are usually on about the same reading level (sometimes they’re a little above me) and always hit it off. Boots and George do a fantastic job with children as well.

We started off with a quick talk and moved right into showing em the rig.

Seeing their eyes when they step up into the back of the truck is priceless.

My talk always included the fact that we respond for EMS as well. We don’t just run “fire” calls. Here in “The Noke”, if they or a family member become sick or injured, it’s very likely that they will encounter firefighters in our big red truck before anyone else.

We always get the medical bag out and let them see some of the equipment in a situation that’s a lot less stressful for them.  A blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, and oxygen mask in this type of setting can go a long way towards getting to use either in an emergency setting and the child has never seen it or thinks it’s gonna hurt.

Of course we soon move out of the “band-aid” portion and into the good stuff …. firefighting.

We carry 1,000 gallons of water and have a rubbish line in the bumper so I always spray a little water on these details.

Let me rephrase that … we let the kids spray some water.


To end our segment, we had plastic fire helmets, coloring books etc to pass out. We were a HUGE success. If your Company or Department doesn’t participate in events like this, YOU SHOULD. The teachers were just as excited as the kids and the image portrayed is VERY POSITIVE.

One of the things I enjoyed most (other than the kids) was being able to throw a jab at Sargent Keats.  You see, of portion of the demo was complete. The kids and teachers were clapping, cheering and all wanted hugs from the crew.

Before we parted ways and sent the kids down to Keat’s cruiser, I quietly leaned over and told him ..

“see if ya can top THAT cop!”  LMAO !!!

Like I said, Sgt. Keats is a good and long time friend of not just me but the Fire Department. We’ve been in the street a lot together over the years and he knew I was just busting balls… (he also knew I was right but don’t tell him I said so..LOL)

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Company Pride. Rhett and I have been posting about it a lot here lately. I’d like to think that I’ve always had it. For whatever reason, I’ve always seemed to build strong companies and my foundation has always been Pride, Tradition, Respect, Honor and Brotherhood.

The sad part is that our Department (administration) doesn’t value the same philosophy. Rhett and I have posted before and it remains no secret that our current morale in the toilet. The theme now a days seems to be divide and conquer. That’s a very long story in itself but can be traced back to certain appointments, hirings and promotions. The good news is that we still have some solid firemen left here in “The Noke” and there are a few of us who haven’t lost all hope.

Read The Fire Critic’s 5 part article OWNING THE JOB by clicking HERE

We started to see some of our Company Pride return as stations began to build custom kitchen tables. Our members have built some BEAUTIFUL tables. See some examples of custom Firehouse Kitchen Tables from The Fire Critic by clicking  HERE .

We are not allowed to wear custom or “Company specific” shirts or patches. Some companies have made shirts along the way but just haven’t worn them on duty. It has been tolerated for some select companies to wear uniform shirts with their company number on it.

We don’t have “slogans” or company “Logos” on our rigs.

It’s not a new concept here … our history and tradition is deep … it’s just been stopped / lost somewhere along the way.

The patch to the right was created by Battalion Chief  Billy Obenchain (deceased) many years ago.

It’s a GREAT patch…. just look at the detail. The “Ass” is even wearing a Scott air pack.

Read my post on this patch from my “Melrose Misfit” days HERE .

Well, it seems as though the “patch thing” may be coming back to us. I mentioned above that there are a few of us left here who haven’t lost all hope and Captain Todd Stone is one of those members.

I’ve posted on Todd (or mentioned him anyway) several times on my sites. We used to travel together to New York City for ride-alongs and the St Patty’s Day Parade. He’s the President of our National Public Safety League Football team ( The Roanoke Rampage), our Union’s A-shift Vice-President, a true Brother and a damn good fireman. I mentioned him in a very recent post because he stood up and spoke out on behalf of all our members (knowing that he would face certain retaliation) . See that post  HERE .

Well, Captain Stone sent me a letter the other day. A special letter. “Special”  because it had something inside it. A PATCH.

Todd and the Brothers from station #6 have designed a new patch!

I have a lot of history with Station #6 and Captain Stone is well aware of that.

My dad spent right at 20 years assigned to #6. I was there as a kid the day they moved from the “old” #6 to the new (current). I spent a lot of time in both stations.

Later, I would be assigned to #6 myself when I made Lieutenant. It’s always been a busy house and the members there see more than their fair share or work. Houses like that produce good members … Captains like Todd Stone, Scott Mutter and Alan Austin build good companies in these types of houses.

The patch is a great idea. A motivational tool a PRIDE builder. GOOD JOB BROTHERS !! Keep up the good work and THANKS for the patch!

While we’re talking about Pride, Honor, Respect, Tradition and Brotherhood, don’t forget about the two FDNY Rescue 2 members still recovering from critical injuries sustained while operating on a Crown Heights (Brooklyn) fire back on December 19, 2011.

More details from by clicking HERE

The families of Firefighters Weidmann and Gersbeck need our support and MN8-FoxFire, The Fire critic and are doing all we can. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Since Monday Jan. 23rd through Monday Jan. 30th, MN8-FoxFire will donate 50% of ALL ON-LINE SALES to the Rescue 2 Mayday Fund! That’s 50% of ALL SALES that will go directly to these members and their families.

Don’t think it’s all about MN8-FoxFire and selling something either. We have it setup so you don’t HAVE to make a purchase…. you can DONATE DIRECTLY to the fund through the site as well.


It’s a VERY secure site where you can use a credit card or even Pay Pal.

Just think … if everyone who reads this post will donate just $1 …. HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT WOULD THAT CHECK MAKE ON THESE MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES ?!? That’s what “Brotherhood” is all about. What if it was one of us? Who would help take care of our families??

Zach, Rhett and I will hand deliver the check during our visit to New York City next week. Help us help these Brothers and show the FDNY that the Brotherhood is alive and well !

Learn MORE, PURCHASE MN8-FoxFire or DONATE directly by clicking HERE 

(Hit the “click here to support…” then “Today’s Super Deal” to direct donate)

Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines