I'm alive! Half naked cowboys, firefighters down, head shaving and a lot more "catching up"

Despite what The Fire Critic (Rhett Fleitz) says, the stress was NOT more than I could bare.

Read his post ” Apparently it was more than Willie could bear

There was a ton of “talk” going around the valley after my postings on the state of Botetourt County’s Emergency Services.

( Revisit those posts by clicking HERE

A lot of that “talk” surrounded the rumors of the Buchanan VFD Chief Billy Joe Carter hunting me down for a fight. Apparently, that’s all it was … “rumor”. I spoke with Billy Joe personally over the phone. He wanted me to know that he was NOT hunting me down and wanted to share some of “his side” of the story. I told him that I thought I had heard “his side” from the TV and newspaper interviews but he wanted to go into more detail etc.  He also stated that the e-mails I copied in the bottom of that last post were NOT from him.

Anyway, Rhett was partially right in his post. It was NOT more than I could bare and I have NOT been in hiding. BUT …..

The Buckaroo is ALWAYS on guard !

LMAO …. this is how the little fella greeted me a few days back when I got home from the firehouse.  Is he ready or what? I reckon it’s a good thing Carter didn’t come a looking.

If you haven’t read it or hit the link above, here’s a quick quote from Rhett’s post….

“Word is that the Buckaroo is on a 24 hour watch…sitting in a rocking chair on his front porch with a red tipped pistol, his knife (with zip securing it), some bug juice, and a tonka truck. Rest assured that the Buckaroo has things under control.” 

So everyone can rest assured … I am very well protected, alive and kicking.

The Buckaroo was down for a few days with the flu and we have been VERY busy on the farm. We have been sorting and hauling cattle or delivering hay from sun up to way past sun down. We even baled hay a day this week. Seriously … we BALED HAY this past Wednesday! By the time we got back to the house, grabbed a bite to eat and got our baths, it was straight to bed vs trying to publish a post.

I’m back on duty today (starting a Fri, Sun, Tue cycle) and have a ton of catching up to do so I’ll see what I can fit in and keep your attention.

I finally put my new helmet into service today!

I received my new Phenix Leather helmet  back in January but needed to have it blessed and outfitted with a new front before putting her into service.

Read about me getting my new Phenix HERE

Our Department Chaplain Father Sandy Webb came out on Feb. 11th and Blessed it for me. I have a tradition of having my helmets Blessed and must  admit that this one has meant more to me than any of the others.

It was apparent that Father Webb was honored to have been asked this favor. He was very prepared and moved me to tears with his prayer. I elected to do the blessing in private and not share the experience with the entire company. That was  just my personal preference but it’s also an experience I would recommend to any of you.

Read about having my helmet Blessed by clicking HERE 

I LOVE my new helmet. It’s a lot lighter than the New Yorkers I’m used to wearing. I have it out fitted with a MN8-FoxFire illuminating  Helmet Band and Tetrahedrons. She’s capped off with a custom shield from  BOX ALARM LEATHER ! If you haven’t checked these guys out yet … YOU SHOULD.

So I broke her in right too.

We started the day off by heading out to Troutville for some great hands on RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) training.

The Troutville VFD has a GREAT facility for RIT training!

It’s an old school building that has been converted into class rooms and multiple “mock ups” for MAYDAY and RIT situations.

We are able to run multiple companies through multiple scenarios simultaneously.

 Talking about these situations in a classroom setting is one thing but getting “hands on” for actual experience is invaluable.

Something seemingly as simple as moving someone “down” up a set is much more difficult when it’s a firefighter.

They are wearing an air pack, turnout gear, helmet etc.

We have several “techniques” to help us overcome these obstacles but it’s takes continuous training, progressive thinking and modifications to keep us in the condition we would need to be if the situation ever arose.

Getting a firefighter out from the 2nd story is another scenario we trained on.

It’s not always possible to go out the same way you came in.

Often times, the interior means of egress may become cut off or blocked by debris in these types of incidents.

Here, we practiced taking a downed firefighter out of the 2nd floor window using the SCBA as a harness.

We used search techniques to follow hose lines to downed firefighters.

We were able to deploy some not often used search rope and techniques.

We practiced techniques for removing members from basement areas where there was no stair access and got got lots of time and “hands on” with our RIT bags (carried only on our Ladders at this time).

Another really cool thing about this morning’s training was the fact that Father Webb was not only in attendance, HE PARTICIPATED.  Yea … Father Webb joined us for RIT training … turnout gear, SCBA and all. He was even assigned to my crew! Here’s what a local reporter thought of the training ….

So, moving on; I’m headed down to Surry County North Carolina tomorrow to attend the 1st Brotherhood Cuts event. These guys are trying to raise money through the National Firefighters Endowment to purchase some much needed Bail Out Kits !

Rhett posted on the event HERE

It’s a GREAT cause and hopefully you’ll see many more pop up across the Country as the Firefighters Endowment continues to support needy firefighters and their Departments. Never heard of the National Firefighters Endowment?? Don’t know what they do??? Here’s a quote from their “about” page …

“National Firefighters Endowment is a non-profit, public charity with a driving passion to protect the lives of our firefighters. We believe that small actions can have life altering results and that the right equipment in the hands of our heroes can literally be the difference between life and death.”  

Visit and learn more about the National Firefighters Endowment by clicking  HERE

It’s Friday night and we’ve had a long tour. I’m going to stop here for now but will be back on Sunday …

Until then, stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines