This is an open letter to the Recruit Class which have joined their Brother and Sister Firefighters of Roanoke Fire-
You are about to embark on one of the most honorable professions in the World. While you may not experience a
You need to be quite sure by this point that you are willing to reach as far into the grey area of risking it all to save life. You may never be put into this situation, but if you are, you will not likely have the opportunity to ponder the situation long.
Running into burning buildings is only a small part of the job these days. Gone are the days in the 70’s and 80’s when
This day in age we are more often tasked with making crucial decisions at the scene of
Do not expect a thank you, a job well done, or an at-a-boy. They are few and far between. Rest easy in knowing you did the job to the best of your ability and always learn from your mistakes, experiences, and triumphs.
Always strive to learn more, and be willing to listen when someone is teaching you. Some of the best knowledge I have learned has come from someone telling me of their experiences. You haven’t done everything, you don’t know everything, and you never will. Once you realize this, you will understand firefighting.
Honor your brother/sister firefighters as family. Do not take someone else’s opinion as your own, take the time to form your own opinions. Develop your own style, and learn the better things from your acquaintances. You will meet others you don’t get along with, or don’t agree with. There is still something to learn, everyone has a story.
Remember that when you come across a firefighter at the end of their career and they are not as gung ho as you, they were your age once. They did their time. They have been there and done that, hell they might even have the t-shirt still. They have a lot to teach you. You have a lot to learn.
I wish you well in your career and I look forward to working with you all.
Welcome to THE ROANOKE
- Rhett Fleitz
29 Recruits graduated from the academy today at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. These recruits had attended the academy which started on July 31st at the Roanoke Valley Regional Fire-EMS Training Center on Kessler Mill Rd. in Salem, VA.
19 candidates from Roanoke Fire-EMS, 5 candidates from Lynchburg Fire-EMS, 1 candidate from Salem Fire-EMS and 5 candidates from Roanoke County Fire & Rescue went through the 16 week long academy.
During their training, these candidates learned firefighting skills such as Firefighter 1, Ropes, Vehicle Extrication and Heavy Technical Rescue. Candidates also earned their Emergency Medical Technician Basic Certification (EMT-B).
The following is a list of all of the graduates:
Roanoke Fire-EMS: Joseph Boswell, Aaron Brooks, Bobby Caughey, Josh Compton, Jeffery East, Lynwood English, Bradley Glidden, Collin Humphries, Todd Inserra, Aaron Murray, Jacob Palmer, Roland Reynolds, Jr., Benjamin Sweeney, Brad Sweeney, Michael Upham, Brandon Vaughan, Brad Wheeler, James Williamson
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue: Jared Butts, Brandon Carroll, Ryan Crush, Russell Hurt, Ronald Kovar
Salem Fire-EMS: Ernest Haynes, IV
Lynchburg Fire-EMS: Alan Briceland, Joy Byrnes, Jason Frederick, Joshua Morton, Christopher Spencer