Roanoke Valley working … fatal fire and mock disaster (multiple shooters at community college)

It’s been a busy day for  Fire / Rescue and Police members of C-shift in the Roanoke Valley (Va).

My tour started with a fatal house fire.

We were assigned to provide mutual-aid to Salem by filling one of their stations. Very soon after,  we were redirected and ordered to report to the scene of the fire.

Knowing I was heading for “work” (and unsure of the resources Salem had on scene), my Battalion added and additional Engine and Truck (Engine 4, Ladder 5) to the Mutual-Aid assignment.

We arrived to find the Brothers and Sisters of Salem Fire & EMS hard at work. They had made a great knock down on the fire and searches were underway.

Crews were able to locate one person dead inside the home. Further details of the fire, the name, age etc of the victim can not be released at this time. Notification of family members of the deceased are still pending and the investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

Read local news coverage HERE

I will comment further on what stood out in my mind and that is how well our Mutual-Aid system worked (especially considering everything else happening in the Valley this morning …more on that in a moment).

Like I stated, at first; we were dispatched (as a single Engine) to fill a station for Salem. They have 3 stations (use the link above for more about Salem Fire & EMS) and all of them were assigned to the fire. When they realized they still needed more resources, we were redirected into the fire.

The location of the incident was just a block from the City / Salem line. My Battalion added an Engine and Truck to the incident so Roanoke County Fire & Rescue then stepped up to provid the coverage for Salem’s station. That’s 3 jurisdictions working together and it was executed flawlessly. We don’t do a lot of mutual-aid for working fires ( it’s mostly for EMS runs and goes both ways between all 3 jurisdictions) so it’s not like we get a lot of practice / training on it.

I’ve got to say that it felt good knowing that all 3 localities were working so well together to get the job done. Different radios, different dispatch centers, protocols etc …. a job well done by everyone involved.

Here’s the other part …. all of this happened while a MOCK disaster was going on at a local Community College. Reports are that 350 Fire, Police and EMS personnel were on hand for this training exercise. There were 150 school employees and volunteers playing the role of victims.

The scenario was multiple shooters on campus with several fatalities and many more wounded. It was an obvious test of our skills and resources. Reports are that the event went well although I’m sure (and hope) there will be some “lessons learned”.

More local coverage from WDBJ 7  HERE

In other news,  Rhett  ( is giving away some GREAT “swag” to celebrate hitting 5,000 “likes” on Face Book… get on over there and get yourself some…

Free “swag” from HERE

Hitting the 5,000 mark is a HUGE DEAL and Rhett is returning the favor with 16 days of free stuff …. no kidding. Hit the link above to get your name in the hat!

Speaking of giveaways, I’ve got 2 more that you’re gonna love.

Shane Parkins over at the National Firefighters Endowment is giving away cold hard CASH and you choice of a brand new Ford or Chevy pickup truck …. that’s right … A NEW TRUCK!

Click HERE for more details from NFE

You’ll also want to make sure to get a chance at winning a custom 9/11 Commemorative Leather Helmet. It’s a Phenix helmet and it looks GREAT! Each $10 donation will receive 1 entry into the drawing. The helmet is 1st prize, 2nd prize is $300 and 3rd prize is $100. Find more info and ENTER to win HERE

This giveaway is part of the South Dakota Firefighters Benefit to be held September  15 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The benefit is the first of it’s kind in South Dakota and all proceeds go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the National Firefighters Endowment.

Rhett and I will not only be there, we will also be touring across the State with Spartan ERV. Yea… me and Rhett touring South Dakota in a fire truck! We’ve got several stops along the way to Sioux Falls and will have  plenty of “swag” to pass out as well. Once in Sioux Falls, we will be the keynote speakers for the benefit … if you’re anywhere close … you’ll definitely want to BE THERE.

Learn more and register for the South Dakota Firefighters Benefit HERE 

I’m gonna stop here for tonight … got another long day ahead of me tomorrow. I’ll be heading down to Wake County’s 2nd Annual Brotherhood Bash !

The South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo  is also happening this weekend but I think the Brotherhood Bash is all I’ll be able to attend.

I may end up making this trip alone …. Rhett has run into a few logistical problems but either way, IT’S GONNA BE A BLAST! If you’re planning on being there, look for me and come say hello. If you weren’t planning on being there .. PLAN ON IT…lol. More details in the link below …


Wake County 2nd Annual Brotherhood Bash

I’ll get back to ya as soon as possible …. I may even grab a few pictures from the Bash. Until I do, stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines