Alive and well

Good news for some, not so good for others BUT … I am alive and well. Thanks to everyone for the e-mails, texts etc. As it turns out, I was a lot sicker than I thought when we returned from FDIC.

I’m not the kind to run off to the Doctor with every little ache and pain plus … I’m just a wee bit hard headed.  My wife decided that if I wasn’t going to go to the doctor then she’d  have Father Webb come out and at least administer Last Rites.

For whatever reason, she couldn’t find him but later, I did manage to drop by station #2 ..aka.. “The Deuce”.

This house has had many nick names throughout my career. Back when the North Side Battalion ran out of there, it was know as “The Palace” and it’s members the “Palace Guards”.

Apparently, these members have received quite the promotion and / or they are recruiting with a much higher standard than they were when I was assigned there as a Private.

Do ya see it? They are posing in likeness of “The Last Supper”

Actually, their pose is fairly accurate.

I am a little confused as to why they chose Jayson Anuszkiewicz (yes.. that’s his REAL name and why we call him “alphabet”) to sit in Jesus’ position. We have a member whom everyone has nick named Jesus but he’s a Captain over at #5 … not a Firefighter/Medic at #2.

I don’t know but it must be something to it because after visiting Station #2, I’m now much better.

The worse part about being down sick was that I also infected my computer. I figured it either got the virus from me or from the Buckaroo watching all that porn…LMAO. I don’t know how I did it or how long it will last but, obviously; I got her back up and running today. I should try to make this a quick post (in case she goes down again) but I have a TON of catching up to do.

So… where to start???  FIRE !

The Brothers and sisters here in “The Noke” have been earning our pay here lately.

Forget about the shootings and stabbings every night … now it’s fires. I don’t know the exact numbers but our last 2 weeks have been BUSY.

The picture to the right was from a few days ago on Patton Ave. The fire resulted in a civilian fatality and sent another to the burn unit at UVA Medical Center. The Brothers and Sisters of B-Shift put in some SOLID WORK on this one. You won’t believe some of the details ….

More details of Fatal Patton Ave fire HERE 

Just last night, we had a fire that displaced 10 residents. I don’t have a lot of details for ya on this one but, from the news video and pictures; it looks like the Brothers and Sisters from “The Big Show” put in some solid Truck work.

More on that fire from WDBJ 7 HERE

On a brighter note, one of our newest members Shawn “Chum Lee” Sloane of #7 B-shift got the first “grab” of his career Thursday.

Shawn graduated our last Rookie School ( the same class as my own … and now famous “Rocket” Randy Armbrister) and had been on the job less than 1 year.

Once again, our members logged some solid work. A quick and solid knock down allowed Sloane to rescue the family pet ( dog … pictured center left in his arms).

More on that fire HERE


The bad news in all the fires here ( beyond the fatality, injuries and loss of property) lately is that a lot of them have been arson.

From the outside, it almost looks bad on us. We’ve been putting a lot of houses on the ground (making “parking lots”) but, from the inside; we’ve been doing one HELL OF A JOB … let me explain.

Ya see, here in “The Noke”; we take a LOT of pride in being an “aggressive” Fire Department.

We have a LOT of2-3 story,  balloon framed, older construction that has now been divided into multiple apartments etc. They key to our success has been the fact that we are on scene in 4 minutes or less 90% of the time. Our members are well trained, equipped  and disciplined and the result is that we get water on the fire QUICKLY.

The fact here lately is that these houses simply have had too much of a jump on us. We are rolling up  to houses FULLY INVOLVED and our Officers are having to go defensive.

Details on the Hanover fire (above right) HERE

TRUST ME … it’s NOT an easy thing to do. Especially in a Department like ours.  I’ll go back to those two words…. TRAINING and DISCIPLINE. I applaud the effort and calls our guys are making out here on the street … they’re getting it RIGHT and our members are going home the next morning.

As a Company Officer, first in; do YOU have the training, knowledge and ability to make the Offensive vs Defensive call? What factors do you use to determine which way to go?

Do your members have the discipline needed  to follow your direction or will they try to push in?

Holding firefighters back … IT AINT EASY. It’s something to think about. As the situation worsens, how easily can you and your Department transition from offensive to defensive?

If you need some help figuring it out, my good friend, Brother and Fire Service Leader Chris Naum can help. If you haven’t already, check out his web sites … THEY ARE MUST READS !

Visit Command  The Company and  Buildings on


For those of you close by, I believe that Chris is going to be the speaker for our 4th Annual Officer Seminar held here in Roanoke. If he gets the job … this will be our best seminar yet and you wont want to miss it! The event is held in September. Rhett and I will post more details as soon as they are final.

So, big fires most often mean big water … or bigger than our typical 1 3/4″ anyway.

That’s been our focus of training here at Lucky #13 this week.

We’ve been putting our Rookie … “Rocket” Randy Armbrister  through the paces of deploying a 2 1/2″ for exposure protection this week.

The weather hasn’t been perfect as it’s been near 90 degrees and hot but the little fella LOVES it. He’s always got that grin on his face and never complains.

We actually got a couple evolutions out of this drill. We got a little hydrant work in before moving to the 2 1/2″.

We carry 1,000 gallons of water and I very seldom take a hydrant with us ( meaning he doesn’t get a lot of practice catching em ). Like Chief Billy Goldfeder, I believe in getting in there and getting water on the fire as quickly as possible. If successful, 1,000 is is MORE than enough water (most of our Engines carry 500).  That said, we typically have the 2nd in Engine lay the line.

It works well for us and we try to train on even the routine operations as often as possible.

We carry and Randy deployed a pre-connected 2 1/2″ line with an adjustable fog nozzle. I like the fog because it allows us options.

In a wide pattern, it make for a great water curtain between the fire building and an exposure. You can also dial it down to a “straight” stream (not “solid”) and advance it inside if necessary.

Keep in mind that I said it’s an “option”. Personally, I don’t advocate advancing a 2 1/2 ” inside a structure (residential structures anyway). I think we (my company) make up for fewer gallons per minute in having the maneuverability and ability to put the water exactly where we need it.

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While out at the training center, we got to see a few Brothers that I haven’t in a while.

Pictured right are Captains Mac Craft ( Rhett’s Captain, seen on the left) and Todd Stone.

Captain Stone is on crutches due to an injury he sustained while playing football in the National Public Safety Football League.

Captain Stone is the founder and President of the Roanoke Rampage. As if that’s not enough … Todd also plays (or he did anyway).

I wasn’t able to play this year but the boys look REALLY good. Their final game is here at home on May 19th against Southern California at 3pm. Help fill the stands of William Fleming High School and show our support for these Brothers as they play full contact football for charity.
We also had a few visitors (well… one anyway) drop by the station this week.

Chief Scott Morrison of the Knotts Island Volunteer Fire Department was in town and Rhett was able to give him a tour of our city.

They hit a lot of our stations (new and old) and ended up here for lunch.

Boots (Firefighter Todd Harris) whipped up an “old style” firehouse lunch of cowboy beans, fried cabbage, squash and fried potatoes. My dad even stopped in to eat with us!

I think (and hope) Chief Morrison enjoyed the visit. Rhett and I always enjoy when our fans / readers drop in to say hello. We take a lot of Pride in our job and our Department and have a blast sharing our history with our Brothers and sisters.

Speaking of taking PRIDE in what we do …. have you seen our new challenge coins???? THEY LOOK GREAT ! The folks over at NM Coin did a fantastic job for us. If you’ve been thinking about getting a custom challenge coin, badge or patch made …. these are the guys to go to!

Rhett and I will try to keep a small supply to pass out but they go QUICK. We ran out in no time while at FDIC.

We are NOT going to try to sell them ourselves. The honest answer is that it’s simply too difficult for us to handle with everything else we do. The good news is that you can purchase our coins direct from NM Coin individually or in  a package deal. Find all your options on purchasing our Challenge Coin by CLICKING HERE .

The even better news is that the coins are currently being run at a special discount price on Daily 911 ! For just $14.40 …( THAT’S 40% OFF ) you get our Challenge Coin, our Custom Patch and a stock NM Coin Firefighter Challenge coin!

CLICK HERE for 40% off our Ironfiremen / FireCritic Challenge Coin


Speaking of Challenge Coins, the National Firefighters Endowment should be announcing and presenting their new coin very soon. This will be another “MUST HAVE” coin for your collection!

The National Firefighters Endowment is accepting video submissions for a grant process currently underway (separate and different from the Challenge coin mentioned above). Simply create a video, upload it to Youtube, and your department could be the recipient of a $5,000-$6,000 grant from the Endowment!

Visit the Endowment Web Site HERE

Find, Like and Follow them on Face Book HERE

 I’ve got a lot more cool stuff to share and pass along to ya but I had better get this one posted while the computer is still up and running.

Although I have a GREAT rehab routine, I don’t think the Hot Tub and totties will work for my computer…LOL

Hopefully, I’ll have a new one in a week or so and wont have to worry about her crashing on me.

I’ll get back to ya with more as soon as possible (assuming this laptop holds out) … until then, stay SAFE and in House!

Thanks for following!

Captain Wines