Some sad news, a little more emotion and a day at Lucky #13 with The Fire Critic, Captain Wines and Rookie Randy

My last post, “The Calls you just can’t shake“; has drawn a lot of attention and several comments / e-mails.

First, allow me to say THANK YOU for your concern. With that said, also allow me to assure you that I am doing fine. I realize that the post was personal and very emotional  but that’s who and how I am.

You can’t be 100% committed to this profession and not become emotionally attached. My Pride in and for the job sometimes allows my emotion to spill over to my writing. I allow it to happen in hopes that the honesty in my stories may have a positive impact on another Brother or Sister out there somewhere. We all share the same emotions /stories, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have an outlet to share them as I do here at I hope we’re making a difference.

Having said all that, I have some bad news to pass along. Rhett and I learned this morning of the passing of our good friend and Brother W.D. Patterson.

His death came  as a HUGE shock to us as I’m sure it did to many others.

Rhett and I have remembered W.D and discussed his passing all day but it still hasn’t “sunk in”.

I’m sure many of you are in the same position. When I said above that “not everyone is fortunate enough to have an outlet to share them (re: emotions / stories)” that’s not entirely true. You see, we have each other … The Brotherhood!

Don’t be afraid to go to your Brothers and Sisters … your Company Officers, your peers when something is bothering you. When little “Rookie Randy” was assigned here I explained to him that as his Captain, I’m now his priest, his banker, his marriage counselor, his therapist or whatever he needs. I have built and gained a trust with him that hopefully assures him that he has somewhere to go …. someone to talk to. As Brothers and Sisters, we all have that. We are never alone because we have each other!

For me, it’s like calling an “Emotional Mayday”  and like the fire ground Mayday, calling it should be second nature.

Read a previous post “Time For a MAYDAY” by clicking HERE

Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of W.D. He will be missed by many. Should you need a shoulder to lean on or an ear to talk to, please remember that Rhett and I are always available. I will pass along the details of arrangements as soon as they become available.

Ok, on to a lighter subject. Obviously, from my comments above; Rhett is working here at Lucky #13 again today.

I can’t believe we keep ending up together or that the “powers to be” even allow it.

Rhett is paying back some time he owes to a C-shift Brother over at Station #14. As it turned out, I was a man short and needed a driver. Station #14 had a “full boat” so it was up to them to send a man over …. they sent Rhett instead! LOL

Yea… Rhett is driving, I’m in the seat and good ol Rookie Randy aka “Rocket Randy Armbrister from Max Meadows Virginia” is in the bucket of Engine Company #13!

Now don’t worry your self Dave Statter …. me and “Rookie Randy” will be just fine.

I fitted the Engine with some special equipment so that Rhett could easily see over the dash and get us safely to our destinations.

Yea … not one, not two but THREE phone books! LMAO

The poor little fella pouted all day. I’m not sure if it was because he thought I was fretting him or because the phone books actually worked.

All kidding aside, Rhett fits very well into our team. He’s both a great driver and pump operator. He hasn’t had to display his pump skills as of yet but we have logged several runs today.

For us, keeping busy helps the day pass. We started off with an Incident Management / High Rise class this morning. It was an excellent class. Randy even got to run a scenario … it was his first and he did really well.

We got out at lunch time and have been pretty much on the road since.

We did manage to make it back to the station a few times so Randy got to put in some time on his map books.

Well, some may call it “map work” but it’s more like arts and crafts or coloring time if you ask me ….LOL

I’ll share more of his work in a future post because he’s doing an excellent job with it. He is actually color coding his streets and index to make them easier to locate should he need to go “to the book”.

Of course I’m old school and expect him to know his territory and not be dependent on the map but I also know how easy it is to draw a blank or simply forget a street from time to time.


Later, we even convinced Rhett to cook!

Flat Iron Steak, medium rare, seasoned just right and prepared on the grill! Becky is one lucky gal. I hear he can even run a vacuum cleaner and that he does laundry and windows…. LOL

I can’t wait to get him out to South Dakota next week and show him off to Bob Gard and all the Brothers and Sisters out there!

THAT’S RIGHT … next week, Rhett and I will be touring across South Dakota in a Spartan ERV Fire Truck!

We’re headed out for the South Dakota Firefighter’s Benefit  and we have plenty of stops scheduled along the way. We arrive in Rapid City and will end up in Sioux Falls for the event on September 15th.

If you are anywhere near South Dakota, you will not want to miss this event! Also be sure to hit us up and we will do our best to meet up sometime before and along the way …. it’s going to be a BLAST!

The Benefit will support both the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation and the National Firefighters Endowment .

If you’re not in the area or will be unable to make it out for the festivities, don’t panic. You can still support the event by making a donation. For each $10 donation, you’ll receive a chance to win a custom Phenix 9/11 Memorial Helmet !

Click HERE for your chance to win !

Ok, I’m going to wrap it up here for tonight. I’ll check back in tomorrow some time. Until I get back …. stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines