MERRY Christmas from Headquarters

Following the tragic events of Christmas Eve, the Fire Service is in shock.  Having lost 2 Brothers in a senseless act of violence, it’s difficult for those of us on the job to be “merry” about anything.  Our hearts are heavy while our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of our fallen and injured.

photo from

Firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczówka were killed by a sniper after  arriving at a house fire in West Webster, NY yesterday.

Firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter were also shot in the incident and remain hospitalized.

An on-duty Greece police officer John Ritter, was injured by shrapnel in the attacks as well.

The Fire Critic and Statter 911 has full and continuing coverage of the incident, arrangements and more over on their sites…


Webster, NY coverage from the Fire Critic HERE

Coverage of Webster from Statter 911 HERE

I’ll share more of my thoughts on this issue, as well as the Sandy Hook incident when I feel it’s more appropriate. It’s been a difficult month for the Fire Service but we will recover.

So, I was on duty yesterday and the “good” part of my Christmas started then.

Rhett came by at shift break to exchange gifts.

He got me a custom made leather radio strap from Wolkpak Leather .

This strap is AWESOME!

The front says “Captain Wines” while the back says “”. The anti-sway strap even has “Buckaroo” stamped into it!

Wolfpak is the guys who made our custom suspenders as well. They also personalized those to include the Buckaroo’s name. These guys do GREAT work and it’s evident in their finished product. The fact that offer the option and that Rhett thought enough to include the extra stamping is AWESOME. It was the PERFECT gift!

In return, I got Rhett an APRON …. LOL..yea…. an APRON!

Not just any Apron mind ya …. I had him one custom made from Jamie Brads of Blue Ridge Rescue Suppliers .

It turned out AWESOME! It was WELL ABOVE my expectations.

The material is actually PBI (the same stuff our Turnout Gear is made of).

It has the reflective stripping just like our gear. The same buckles, snaps and even has pockets!


As much as Rhett LOVES cooking, this should make a great gift.

I even had em put our patch in the center (in case he gets lost at the grocery store).

If nothing else, he’ll stand out in the kitchen.

We’ve already had several folks ask where and how to get one. Even though this was a custom job, Jamie and I discussed the possible demand for them once we got some pictures out.


If you’re interested, use the link above (or just CLICK HERE ) and let Jamie know ….

So, I got off duty this morning and headed home.

As it turns out, I was better than I thought I had been and old Santa made a stop in Catawba!

This is where I received my best gifts of the season.

I arrived home to be surrounded by family.

The Buckaroo, my girls (Donna, Randi and Reba), my sister Marci (and Aaron) and even my mom and step father were in from North Carolina.

The stockings were hung and packages under the tree… it made for a peaceful morning.

The Buckaroo had a BLAST and that’s what it’s all about.

I hope that all of you had just a memorable Christmas as I did.

I hope that yours was spent with friends and family as well.

Thanks for all the well wishes, cards etc that we’ve received through the site, Face Book and even “snail mail” ….. it’s humbling.

For those of you who pulled a tour (or has to tomorrow) THANK YOU for the service. Thank you for covering the shift so that the rest of us can be at home, protected with our families.

We wrapped up the 2012 FireCritic / Ironfiremen 12 Days of Christmas Give-A-Way yesterday (we actually released the final winners this morning HERE). Congratulations to all of our winners and THANKS to our contributors!

The 2012 installments of the’s Santa’s Sexy Helpers ends today. We worked our way up to see what ol Santa would find under the tree and I don’t think he was disappointed. Actually, I think Mrs Claus was also pretty happy.

Here is the final installment of Santa’s Sexy Helpers for 2012 … one for the guys and gals… ENJOY!











Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines