Check out this story on THEHOUSEWATCH.COM. They are looking at cuts as well.

Read this post of the state of City Employees here

My particular complaint has to do with the fact that the city council, like the school board, has been the tail wagged by the dog. It isn’t like council doesn’t know the woman has been a holy terror. It isn’t like they don’t know she’s called Madame Umbrage – some of them probably have used the terms themselves – but the fact that they still do not take control of the situation rankles my taxpayin’ little self.

When they can’t fill city government positions because nobody is nuts or desperate enough to go to work down there, then maybe, like the school board, they’ll wake up. Meanwhile, the talent drain will continue. Experienced staffers who are excellent at their jobs are tired of the BS and are, like the teachers, voting with their feet or counting down until early retirement.

Read the entire post here

You should read this post on another blog and then you should comment. Before you comment, read my comment on the post. I have put a little below, but the guy doesn’t know what he is talking about. If you have ever posted a comment on this blog, you should leave a comment on his. I suggest you kill him with kindness or speak above him, neither of which should be very hard.

Here is an excerpt from the post over at The World To Muse While Waiting For Roanoke (link)

Roanoke Firefighters have made their opinions clear concerning the proposed budget but I thought there was a reason we have a position with the title ‘Fire-EMS Department Chief’. Roanoke City Council asked Department Chief David Hoback for recommendations concerning budget cuts for Fire-EMS. He gave Council his recommendations.
Six Firefighter jobs should be eliminated.

And of course say hello to The Firefighters Union…
They reject this idea saying the public will suffer with fewer Fire Fighters.
I can’t speak on the mathematical correlation between total number of citizens, density of living space, placement of Fire Stations, necessary equipment and personnel to secure and safely protect a city of Roanoke’s dimensions but I bet I know someone who does.
I would ask The Department Chief.

Hey guys, you have to check out this new website. is a hilarious critique of the Fire Service by using satire. From rookies to Fire Chiefs, no one is safe and all are fair game. The dissection of even the smallest of issues has an edge that will have you laughing. Much of the stuff will have you thinking, why didn’t I think of that or that hit the nail on the head. A lot of the issues hit home with our department. Be sure to read the posts “Captain Brawn”, “Those trucks are made for Using”,

Check out the site here.

I thought you might like this article on driving simulators. I do not know if this is what Roanoke City is getting with the new grant, but it is a worthwhile read.

Link on

Hey guys, the Danville Firefighters are having a blast with their new blog. Ken Jones, whom I have hung out with through VPFF and IAFF functions, recently bet another firefighter $20 to dance for 10 seconds. Through a little coercion, the firefighter finally takes the bet. Check it out here: Also there is another hilarious video they link to from The Bravest Online.

Rarely Forgotten, Always Respected

Every fire department has it’s legends. Chief among them is the firefighter who stood up for what was right despite the cost in personal stature or promotion. When talking about these people firefighters smile because these people are the bedrock on which any department is built.

Read the rest of the post on Firefighter Hourly here
Sorry, I put up a bad link, however I have corrected it.
Have you ever wanted to scan the newspaper, tv news, area blogs on Roanoke, and blogs from Roanoke all at the same time without having to click and scroll through a bunch of websites? Well, I have your answer. This is Roanoke, a website created by Andrew Kantor, comes to the rescue with a site that offers an abstract of the news and blogs on one site. The blog posts and news stories are offered in summary form for instant click-through to the actual website where the story originates.

Basically, it is a one stop shop for all things news related in Roanoke.

Andrew writes:

Eventually I plan to add a message board and/or allow comments on the entries. And I’m absolutely wide open to suggestions of any sort.

I have two goals:
1) create the most useful possible Web site for residents of the area, and
2) to draw attention to as many local bloggers and other news sources as possible.

The website updates automatically when a blog is posted or news hits the websites.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

This is Roanoke

In recent months, I have seen many “Firefighting Blogs” pop up here and there. The contingent of East Coast Firefighting Blogs seems to have grown by leaps and bounds. The actual demographic is the Central/Southern East Coast. While I am sure there are other blogs out there, these are just the ones I have noticed. Some of these blogs come from VA, NC, and SC. While the Roanoke Fire Blog is more of a regional blog for the Roanoke Valley and specifically the Roanoke City Firefighters, some others have a National and even an International scope.

So just how do you become a Firefighting Blogger? Well the simple answer is to sign up using Blogger (my format), or WordPress, typepad, or one of the other many blogging templates. Most are free, some you will have to pay for. There are even websites which have a blog feel to them. is one of these. It offers the RSS feel while still rounding out the site with a lot of content possibilities.

Now that I have provided you where to start, let me tell you how to prepare.

  1. You need to know your audience and topic. Whether it is Local, Statewide, National, or International you need to know who you are catering to and what they want to read. Basically, you need to keep them coming back to read more. provides an excellent blog that is specific to truck company operations (ventilation, forcible entry, and search and rescue). They seldom waver, yet are willing to expand the scope of writing to include building construction and product information/review. They do an excellent job of staying on task.
  2. You need to know what you are talking about. You will get torn apart by readers if you just ramble on about a topic in which you don’t have a clue. Be sure to do the proper research before talking about something that you know little about.
  3. You need to understand what you are talking about. I have found that I may take the time to research a topic and make a statement in a post. The second I post it, someone else is making a comment about an angle of the story that I didn’t even think about. Try to cover all of your bases.
  4. You need to stand up for what you believe in. If you say it make sure you mean it. I have written posts in the past (the blog is 2.5 years old) that I still have to answer for. Remember that people can still go back and read what you said a long time ago and hold you accountable, unless you are an anonymous blogger.
  5. Make sure you don’t mind someone else posting what you said. The thing about bloggers is that they feed off of each other. As more and more blogs pop up, more blogs are linking to each other and syndicating each others content. Other bloggers will take what you say and link to it, copy it, and either agree with you or tear you apart. You have to be ready to be ridiculed.
  6. Don’t forget that you can be held accountable. I learned early on as a “blogger” that retaliation is something that can happen. I have a first hand account of how what I wrote pissed the wrong guy off. The problem is that he had the power to make my life hell, and he did not hesitate. That is life, I am wiser now and I still believe in what I wrote.
  7. Write to your audiences level of understanding. How many firefighters do you know who have a Master’s Degree? Not too many. You don’t need to write like you are addressing Harvard’s graduating class. Firefighters do not like $4 words that they don’t understand and have never heard before. They aren’t going to look it up either so you might as well omit (leave out) those words. I am not saying that firefighters are dumb. It is kind of like a team being as strong as its weakest player. If you want to write to everyone, leave out the $4 words.
  8. Make sure you have original content. Some blogs are strictly original content by the blogger (Roanoke has a lot of original content, but some copy/paste happens). Other bloggers frequently comment on other bloggers posts. Whatever you do, make sure you offer your own standpoint, opinion, or information if you are copying and pasting a story from somewhere else.
  9. Listen to your readers. One of the biggest benefits of comments is to see what other people are saying. Allow your readers to comment. Remember it is their opinion, just as you offered yours in the post. DON’T TAKE CRITICISM TO HEART.
  10. Increase the amount of readers. The single biggest thing you can do to attract readers is to link to other blogs. Link to other blogs you think your readers will like. Contact those blogs and ask for a reciprocal link.
  11. Last but certainly not least, USE SPELL CHECKER. I absolutely hate reading misspelled words. There isn’t an excuse for it. I don’t want to read misspelled words. Disclaimer: I have forgotten to use spell checker before and I will in the future, but it is not intentional.
Here are some of the blogs I enjoy reading. Some are new, some are old. For more blogs look on the right hand side of the blog. Roanoke’s Blogs are on top and Firefighting/EMS blogs are below.

Firefighting Hourly
South Bend Fire
Fairfax County Fire Department 5th Battalion Training “A Shift”
Firefighter Sam
The Fire Academy
First In
Bristol Firefighters
Firefighter Blog
STATter 911

It is great to see so many bloggers out there on firefighting. I really enjoy getting around to reading most of them daily. Keep up the good work guys.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me by email.

Good luck blogging.

Guys you gotta read this.

There are a few new blogs out there and I have added them to the blogroll to the right.

Somewhat new and new to many of you are:
First In Blog
On The Job (One Firefighter’s Notebook)
Fire Sprinklers
Friction Loss On Charleston

One of them really stands out though.

Read this:

That’s Dumb

Sometimes I’m asked if it’s really that bad at the city. Well…yeah. But, the moron continues, everything appears to be in top shape. My response is that Germany looked well to some people under Hitler, China under Mao, and Cambodia under Pol Pot.

See, if you take a dump and spray paint it white, well, it’s still shit. You can dress up stuff just so long and then the dam breaks. Just like Milli Vanilli. That’s us. The Milli Vanilli Fire Department.

He is writing about the Charleston Fire Department. This is his department, although I think he is retired. The blog is his rant space. The rants are not in vain though, and not necessarily due to the terrible loss of life that the CFD just experienced. More so, it has been developed because there are things that apparently many members have been screaming about for a long time. Issues that need to be fixed and haven’t. These issues have come to light because of the 9 LODD firefighters and the fact that the department is under a microscope. HOWEVER, their Fire Chief is claiming that all is well in Charleston.

His writings are somewhat hilarious at first, but the problems he speaks of are no laughing matter. Check out the comments too.

Read on:
Friction Loss On Charleston
Wherein a man with a bad attitude looks at lunacy.

Heather Flanagan offered this link to a video about Firefighters from Port Townsend, Washington. The link is to a post about a grocery store that burned down three years prior. The video is of an interviewer taping talking to the bystanders and firefighters on the scene. (Link)