October 6, 2007
With so many negative things happening around the Department this week, I thought I’d share a more positive story with you. We had a visitor at station #9 last week by Roy Lane. Roy belongs to the Kazim Temple’s Fire Brigade here in Roanoke. He told us a story of the Lexington, Va. Fire Department donating an Engine to the Temple. He said the guys of the Brigade worked endlessly to refurbish the Engine and had it in great condition. He was really excited to tell of how Captain Brown’s men ( Roanoke Fire / EMS Station #1-C ) had donated some 2 ½ hose and even went as far to load it into the bed for them. He continued to detail their work and said all they really lacked was to find some axes for the holders already mounted on the Engine. Roy and I know each other pretty well, so he knows I have a pretty large collection of Fire equipment etc. and thought I may have an axe or know where to get one. He also knows me well enough to know that my dad was once a volunteer Firefighter for Lexington (before being hired here in 1971) and knew I may have an interest in participating. Well, in particular, he was looking for a flat head axe, feeling it would be safer for the kids that often climb on and play around their equipment. Well, as my luck runs, of all the axes in my collection, none are flat head. So, I contacted Vince Stover at Fire Administration to see if he could help. Vince was happy to help and even offered to donate a new axe from our supply closet. That’s the good news, the bad? We only have fiberglass-handled axes and we just didn’t think that would be a good fit for antique apparatus. So, more calls were made. We contacted Chief Adkins at RTC to see if he had any wooden handle flat heads and as unbelievable as it is, he didn’t. Not to be stonewalled, we kept searching and were finally able to locate 2 axes on Reserve Engines (904 @ #10, and 901 @ #14). The Officers at both stations had the axes sent to # 9 where my guys worked most of the day refinishing and painting them. Lt. Richard Alley led the work and despite my opinion being biased, they turned out GREAT. Well, the timing was perfect because the Brigade was heading to Lexington this morning in that Engine to lead in a Parade. They left a few minutes early to stop by our station and thank the guys for their work and allow us to present them with the refurbished axes. The ironic thing here is that they wanted to thank us, yet they are the ones deserving the thanks for all they do! My hat is off to them and all who helped in this project (Roanoke Fire / EMS Dept., Vince Stover, Chief Teddy Adkins, Captain R.T. Flora, Lt. Stacy Booth, and the men from stations #1, and #9 C-shift).
In closing, I would encourage everyone to stop by the Shriner’s building (located on Rorer Ave behind the old # 3) to look at the Antique Fire apparatus they have. They have a really neat Ladder Truck, complete with wooden ladders that even have American LaFrance carved into them. Better yet, sign on to help these guys out in a really deserving cause.
W.W. Wines Jr.
Captain, # 9-C