Firefighting in Roanoke Part Deux

Comments: 2

The time has come to finish what was started with Firefighting in Roanoke. I plan on writing the second book on the history of Firefighting in Roanoke in the future. This book will be very similar to the previous one showcasing the Roanoke Fire Department, Roanoke Emergency Medical Services, and the Roanoke Fire EMS Department which was created from the two. I also plan on delving a little bit deeper into the Roanoke Life Saving Crew, the Williamson Road Life Saving Crew, and the Hunton Life Saving Crew and First Aid Crew.

The new book, which has yet to be named, will focus on Firefighting and EMS in Roanoke since 1972 when the 3rd platoon was added to the Fire Department. That period in time is where “Firefighting in Roanoke” trailed off.

I have already spoken with a few guys about getting some photos and history from. The book will be the same format: 128 pages with anywhere from 124-250 photos. I will rely on photos and information from Roanoke’s Firefighters and EMS providers who worked here during this era and who are still here.

I am looking for photos of:

  • Big Fires
  • MVA’s
  • Rescue
  • Fire Apparatus
  • EMS Apparatus
  • Other incidents
  • Training
  • Historic Events
  • Promotions
  • Retirements
  • etc.

The photos need to be very good quality. I have a great track record of getting the photos scanned and returned quickly. I do not need to hold on to the photo during the creation of the book. Turnaround time should be a couple of days to no more than a week.

Basically, if you want a shot of having your photos, your crews, yourself, your fires in the book then I need to have stuff submitted. Feel free to contact me by phone, pager, or email to get the photos and information to me.

I need to get my hands on the photos in order to ensure that I get a high quality scan. If you do not want to give up your photos and would rather scan them yourselves just let me know and I will give you the details on the image I need.

I really wanted to write the complete written history of the department, but in talking about it it seems as though most of my brother and sister firefighters would rather see the last 40 or so years done first. I aim to please, so I decided to do this book first.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a question. I have 128 pages to work with. So basically I have about 30 pages to allot for each decade: 1970′s, 1980′s, 1990′s, and 2000 to present. If all goes well I should be able to have this book created in about a year. However, that is only an estimate. If I get a lot of photos submitted and get rolling on this book it could be sooner than later. It took me about 9 months to write the first one, but only about 20% of those photos were submitted. The other 80% were on hand from the collection of Maurice Wiseman. This time it will probably be the opposite. I will probably have about 20% on hand already and hope to have 80% or so submitted.

Soon I will begin the daunting task of going to the History Museum, Library, and VT Imagebase to collect images.

I am creating this book for my brothers and sisters. I really appreciate any and all submissions of history, ideas, and photos for the book.

I cannot guarantee that your photos will be used and I will not know which photos will be used until the final months of the project. I will do my best to showcase our history as best I can.

To get a hold of me, use the contact form (button at the top of the blog), email, or call me.

-Rhett Fleitz


2 Responses to “Firefighting in Roanoke Part Deux”
  1. Jon Martin says:

    Hi Rhett,

    A cornerstone was laid for the new Roanoke Life Saving Crew building on 10/15/1955. Do you know if this building still exists?

  2. FireFleitz says:

    Yes it is still standing. I was in it the other day. It is at the corner of 4th and Day SW.

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