From the Battalion… A Letter of Thanks ….

I’m back on duty today and holding up well. It was cold and snowy but we laid “Boots” to rest on Thursday at 11am. It was a beautiful service with full Honors. Our members gave him a great send off.

I’m going to attempt to write about it tomorrow but until I get that done, I wanted to share this letter of thanks from my Battalion Chief, Teddy Adkins (photo added by me)…..

100_0228“Loyalty, Above All Else, Except Honor!” unknown

“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. There is an adage which says that, “Nothing can be destroyed except by fire.” We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor. We are defenders from fires of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. But, above all; our proudest endeavor is to save lives of men-the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society.” -Edward F. Croker, Chief of Department, F.D.N.Y. 1899-1911

These two quotes reminded me of Todd “Boots” Harris, what he thought about our profession and how he lived his life!

These are not my words; I did however witness the meaning of these quotes this past week, especially on Thursday March 5, 2015. The acts of kindness, Brotherhood, and Sisterhood each of you willingly showed the family of Firefighter Todd “Boots” Harris and to the Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel will be forever remembered and a debt I hope we will never have to repay!

My self and Chief Hoback were able to visit with Todd a couple of weeks prior to his death. It was as you can guess very emotional but I am glad to have had the opportunity! (Thanks Chief Hoback!)  Todd was very grateful for everything we did for him, and he expressed that to us. I made a promise to Todd and with your help I was able to keep that promise. It was a simple request “Take care of each other, tell them I love them and tell them thanks!”

On behalf of the Officers and Firefighters of Roanoke Fire-EMS Department C-Shift;

Father Sandy Webb, Pastor Kyle Ferguson, thank you for your spiritual guidance, for you prayers, for being there in our time of need, for your friendship you are our “Rock”!

Thank you Roanoke Fire –EMS personnel for all you did, including working for C-Shift personnel in order for them to attend the services. Thank you to the City of Salem and Roanoke County personnel for staffing our stations so we could attend the funeral and pay our respects to Todd and his family. The Fire Service has no jurisdictional boundaries!

To IAFF Local 1132 for Todd and family, our Honor Guard, you make us all proud!! To Roanoke Fire-EMS Chiefs Hoback, Sanders and Altman, The City of Salem Chief Prillaman and Roanoke County Fire Rescue Chief Burch thank you for being there for us and thank you for your support and prayers as we mourned.


Battalion Chief Teddy W Adkins

C-Shift North Battalion

Battalion Chief Matt Dewhirst

C-Shift South Battalion