Someone you need to know …flowing foam, dragging 2 1/2", visitors and more

To start with, I need to mend some hurt feelings. Can you imagine that …. firemen “catching feelings”. One because I didn’t say something … the other because I did!   WTF?

I have mentioned Retired Lt Mike Overacker on my site many times over the years. Last week, I failed to check his site for pictures of some of our recent fires and therefore, didn’t link to his site. I was merely an oversight and an issue of not having enough hours in the day. It was not a case of me getting “too big for my britches”.

That said, Mike was able to grab some great shots of a couple fires last week.

Visit Roanoke  

Instead of sending a nasty-gram e-mail, maybe next time Mikey will use his spare time to call and let me know that he posted some good pictures of this or that fire and I will gladly link to them.

So, obviously; Mikey was upset that I didn’t say something. “Fire Boy” Rhett Fleitz was up in arms over my saying too much. He was apparently upset that I took the time to congratulate Dave Statter on reaching his 5th Birthday over at

In the comment section, Rhett called my post ( Better Late Than Never ) a “love fest” that he thought “would never end”. I can’t win for loosing!

So PLEASE take the time to visit the Fire Critic’s site after you’ve looked at He actually has some good articles and the  occasional picture.

Rhett is always thinking…. bringing new and fresh material to Fire  and keeping both of his loyal followers well informed. Most recently, he has started a new weekly series that he calls “20 Questions”. Basically, he is posing a 20 question interview to some of the top names in today’s fire service (and some folks you may not have heard of yet but should and will soon).

Read his 1st installment “20 Questions with Christopher Brennan of Fire Service Warrior” 

This week, he interviewed Shane Parkins of the National Firefighters Endowment.

This is a man that EVERY member on the job should know.

Shane lives out in California and is the President of the National Firefighter’s Endowment. The Endowment is a non-profit group whose mission is “to support fire departments that may lack the resources to effectively do the job. More specifically, our focus is on ensuring firefighters have the tools to respond in times of crisis, and do so safely“.

In a nut shell, they provide “grants” for the equipment we need to do our jobs. Don’t let the word “grant” scare ya … THEY ARE EASY TO APPLY FOR!

Shane and the NFE is currently accepting video applications for several $5,000 Equipment Grants that they have to offer. Yea… it’s that easy. Send them a short video explaining what equipment your Department needs and why ….. next thing you know, Shane and the NFE could be coming to your rescue!

Details for $5,000 Equipment Grant from the National Firefighters Endowment by clicking HERE 

TRUST ME …. get to know this guy and support the National Firefighters Endowment ANY WAY YOU CAN! These are the folks helping us… the firefighters. In these times of cut backs in staffing, salaries, station closings / brown outs etc .. who else is on our side? Shane gave a GREAT interview in Rhett’s 2nd “20 Questions” installment… he explains a lot of what the NFE is all about …. take the time … READ IT!

20 Questions with Shane Parkins of National Firefighters Endowment

Now go back and read questions #5 and #6 again. This time … hit the links for the NFE’s Officer’s Club  and join. I promise you that your donation will pay off in one way or another.

Ok…moving on… we’re back on duty today. It’s been busy but productive.

We started off by flowing some foam over at our water treatment plant.

Our rig is a Pierce Quantum that carries 1,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of foam.

It’s equipped with a Huskey Foam System that is actually pretty sweet.

We don’t use / flow a lot of foam here in “The Noke” so it was good to get out and flow a little.

This was actually the first time that I’ve flowed foam from this Engine (due to the cost etc … we’re not allowed to train with foam) and I’ll have to admit that I was pleased.

We carry 2 TFT foam nozzles on the rig plus we had an old style “pipe”.

All 3 nozzles did very well at both 1% and 3%.

I only wish Randy …. aka “Rocket Randy Armbrister from Max Meadows Virginia” was with us today. Apparently Captain Clayton “I’m 1st Due everywhere” Martin banged out sick today so we had to ship a man out to Station #3.

The good news about sending our Rookie to #3 is that I’m sure he learned something. The bad news is it was probably all about Band-Aids … you know… “sticky side down” and all that other technical medical stuff…LOL


We got a short break in the afternoon before heading over to our Regional Training Center for Company Evolutions.

Captain Todd Stone ( Station #6-A) is still on Light Duty recovering from a Roanoke Rampage Football injury and has been assigned to the Training Center. Captain Stone spent some time at the RTC earlier in his career and did a fantastic job …. he fell right back into it here in his old age.

We had some quality training tonight. Todd and I are good friend who go way back and I think a lot of him. I was obvious that he had thought about tonight’s operations and planned it so everyone got in some quality work as efficiently as possible (how a “Training Center” should work…right?)

Anyway, he had it set up so the Engines ( us and Engine #1) go some hydrant work, a FDC hook up as well as work advancing a 2 1/2″ hand line and stand pipe operations in a separate evolution.

At the same time, the ladder was able to throw multiple ground ladders as well as do some work from the aerial.

Like with the foam, we don’t attack with a 2 1/2″ line very often here in “The Noke” so the training was needed and fitting. They were timed exercises and we actually did very well.

We were joined by Engine #1, Ladder #1 and Medic #1 … aka.. “The BIG Show“.

During our short period of “down time” this afternoon, we had a couple visitors drop by…. Eddie Snyder and Melissa Farris.

Eddie is a Brother Firefighter from Staunton, Va and a member of IAFF L-3468. He runs out of Staunton’s Station #2.

Rhett and I first met Eddie while speaking at the Swoope VFD Annual Dinner.

Read my post “GUILTY” 

Rhett and I always enjoy when Brothers, Sisters, fans and followers of our sites drop in for visits. I was a little pushed for time today but I was able to give Eddie and Melissa a tour of the station and a small piece of our 1st due. I hope they enjoyed their visit.

Typically, Rhett would have joined us and shown the two around to some of our other stations but the time factor, short notice etc didn’t allow for it this time. Maybe they will get up again and we can show them a little more of our Departments history etc.

He was able to score an Ironfiremen / Fire Critic Challenge Coin made exclusively by NM Coins LLC. Have you seen em yet? Got one? Well you’re in LUCK because they are currently ON SALE for 40% off over on Daily911 .

You get 2 coins (ours and a “stock” firefighter coin) PLUS our CUSTOM patch for just $14.40 ! 2 coins and a patch for under $15.00!!! WHAT A BARGAIN!

40% off Ironfiremen / Fire Critic Coin-patch combo 

We’re back on Sundayand I’ll check back in with ya then. Until I do …. stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines