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
- Fire Apparatus
- EMS Apparatus
- Other incidents
- Historic Events
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me.
If you all want to purchase the book, let me know or you can purchase it on amazon, the link is below. The RFFA still has several copies for sale.
Unfortunately, there were better stories and websites, but the book actually got second place (ok third since there was a tie for first). So here is to the Roanoke Firefighters, whose book just got a little more notoriety.
Fairfax and Charlottesville also won awards.
I met up with Greg the other day at Grace Myers’ house. Joe, her husband, was a firefighter for Roanoke for about 6 years when he suddenly went blind. The firefighters kept Joe on the books for a year until they had to let him go. Grace still has his helmet and turnout coat. The coat is more of a thick raincoat with buckles much like turnout coats. The material is almost like leather, and might have been leather. Grace also had two pictures out that were related to the fire department. One was of Fire Station 1 and the other was this missing picture of #6.
I have not had time to identify all of the firefighters in the picture but I know of several so far. Left to right they stood in line of rank, both shifts at once. Therefore the first two are Captains, then two lieutenants, then four firefighters. Again this is 1957. On the right is Captain Cox, who later died in the Line of Duty, then we think it is Captain McFarland, one of the lt.’s is Honey Vest and all the way on the right is Firefighter Joseph “Earl” Myers.
Thanks to the Myers family for allowing us to get a copy of the photo. Thanks to Greg Doss and his Father Peanuts as well. This means a lot to us and is the missing piece of the puzzle. We now have every firefighter and fire station pictured in 1957.
As for Daniel “Peanuts” Doss, he is a character. Some of the stories he told me were hilarious. Obviously a prankster, he would have fit right in nowadays as well. Although some of the stuff he got away with back in the day we would certainly be fired for now.
Peanuts worked for Roanoke City from 1958 – 1966 and decided to move on; Tommy Hogan worked here for years, being hired in 1963, and made Captain; Mike Hogan died of Leukemia after working here for a little over a year 1972 – 1973; Jerry Hogan was hired in 1964 and made Captain, you can still see him around at Union Meetings etc.; Joseph “Earl” Myers worked here from 1956 – 1962 and left because he lost his sight.
For those of you on Roanoke City computers, the video will not be accessible due to site limitations. The video is hosted on YouTube, which you aren’t allowed to look at.
And yes I know that #5 is at 12th and Loudoun Ave. not 12th and Moorman. My bad.
I hope you guys liked it who were able to watch it.
The website for PBS is here http://www.wbra.org/html/local/brex.html
Let me know what you think after you watch it. I will be watching it for the first time as well.
I will be at First Due Fire/EMS Gear signing copies of “Firefighting in Roanoke”.
“Firefighting in Roanoke” is supposed to have been published in “Enjine, Enjine” and “Fire Apparatus Journal as well.
The book signing today at the Transportation Museum went well. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the exposure the first book signing received with the article in the Roanoke Times. They did say that the first order of books sold out quickly when the book was released.
If you are still looking for a signed copy of the book, there are several of them at the Transportation Museum.
On another note, I somehow deleted the banner for this site. It might be back up next week, after I recover the files off of my old computer which died on me. I went out the other night and bought a new computer and I am still getting used to it.
Maybe I will see you tomorrow.
I will be at a book signing at the Transportation Museum next Saturday for “Firefighting in Roanoke”. Stop in and get a signed copy if you don’t already have one, or just stop in to chat.
Where: The Transportation Museum
When: Saturday, February 24th from 1-3 pm
The first book signing I did was a lot of fun. Hopefully this one will be just as much fun.
The Transportation Museum wants to set up a book signing in February. I should have a date for you soon.
For all the people who have purchased the book, I hope you have enjoyed reading about the history of the Roanoke Fire Department. Credit the members of the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association and families of those members who are gone for keeping the pictures and getting them to the RFFA for use in the book.
Thanks for Perry Franks for taking the pictures
Firefighter bridges time
A new book follows the evolution of services in Roanoke from an all-volunteer group in 1882 to the Fire-EMS department in 1995.
During the first few decades of firefighting services in Roanoke, firefighters such as Howard Dowdy drove and washed the horses that pulled fire wagons.
More than a century later, Dowdy’s grandson, Bev Mitchell, would drive and wash the gray, and later red, fire engines.
“I imagine we respond a whole lot quicker now than we did then,” Mitchell said, chuckling.
The evolution of the department, from an all-volunteer organization in 1882 to the Fire-EMS department in 1995, is documented in a new book, “Firefighting in Roanoke.”
The book, compiled by Roanoke firefighter Lt. Rhett Fleitz, includes more than 200 pictures that illustrate the changes in Roanoke’s firefighting services, which began almost 125 years ago. (Read More)
Becky brought our children with her and we all sat down and watched the movie Cars with the rest of the crew. If you haven’t seen that movie, it is pretty cool.
It is getting exciting that it is almost here.
I will receive a cover proof of the book in about a week. I will make any necessary changes and submit the book draft. After they alter make the changes the book will go into printing. This will be at in about two weeks. The book will be available sometime in the next 6 months. That is the guarantee. Hopefully it will be available in January or February. The timing couldn’t be more perfect with all of the events of next year.
The long road of writing this book has been enjoyable. I have had a lot of assistance from my peers. I appreciate all of the help. Print the picture out and post it in the stations, this way no one will say “What book”.
Now that I have the book behind me, look for more initiatives in the future.