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I began reading a second book by Stephanie Schorow “Boston on Fire”. I finished the first one “The Cocoanut Grove Fire” recently. Stephanie contacted me about a book that Charles Kenney is writing titled “Rescue Men” and it’s a memoir by Charles Kenney whose father was a Boston firefighter and grandfather was a Boston firefighter (who fought at the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire) and whose brother Tom was a firefighter and a FEMA team member sent to NYC on Sept. 12 to help with rescue/recovery efforts. The book also tells the stories of many other Boston “rescue men” and firefighters.

The point of this post is something that I thought of when I read the introduction and forward of “Boston on Fire”. A firefighter wrote that he thought some of the traditions that Boston Fire has were rumored and possibly just hear say until he read the book and believed them after Stephanie’s careful research of the topics.

Which brings me to my point. Roanoke Fire-EMS has traditions. We have things that we do everyday, some make sense, some don’t. We know why we do some of them, and others we have to ask older firefighters for reasons why we do them. These traditions give us a sense of ownership among our department. Ownership of our job. Others lose the meaning of these traditions in the translation when escalating the ladder of promotions, or moving from department to department, or being unwilling to learn about the department where they work. I believe some of these simple traditions keep the morale upbeat in the department. I also feel that these traditions keep the firefighters with a feeling of uniqueness in relation to other departments.

We have many traditions, most have been brought up in posts in the past. What are some of the traditions you know of? If you are from a different department, what traditions do you have?

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