Welcome back to RoanokeFire.com. This blog was one of the first of it’s kind on the internet, beginning in March of 2005. The site went silent in 2010, when then editor/author Rhett Fleitz decided to move on to create FireCritic.com.
Please welcome Nate Camfiord as the brand new editor here at The Roanoke Fire Blog. I wish Nate the best in he endeavors as he uncovers the Roanoke Valley and beyond in photos and stories.
Nate has the ability to capture a story within a single photograph. Nate is a photo columnist in the Fire & EMS Virginia Magazine (2011-present). His work (cover photo and images throughout) can also be seen in the new book “25 to Survive” (PennWell Publishing/Fire Engineering). Two videos can be found below that also feature his work.
Here is a little bit about Nate:
After spending most of my life in the DC/Northern Virginia area I relocated to Roanoke in July of 2012. After years as an operational Firefighter/Paramedic I had to “hang up my gear” for the last time in 2011 due to a rare neurological condition. Since then my primary focus (which initially began in 2008) has been Fire Service photography. It’s been on the job training. As time passed I realized my true passion in terms of photography has been to tell “The Fireman’s Story”… in as many ways as possible.
When I moved to Roanoke I was blown away by the Fire Service in this area. I sensed so much pride, commitment, tradition, dedication and brotherhood. As I said to a friend “The Fire Service here in Roanoke is the best kept secret in the state”. I am both honored and humbled that Rhett Fleitz is willing to hand over Roanokefire.com to me. I hope that in time I can earn your trust, develop a positive reputation and tell YOUR story. It’s one that deserves to be told.
Most respectfully, Nate Camfiord
Please do me a favor in welcoming Nate to his new role as editor/author/photographer here at RoanokeFire.com. You can contact Nate at email@example.com.
- Rhett Fleitz
Info from Roanoke Fire EMS Press Release
Photo by Mike Overacker RoanokeFirefighters.com
To view more images go to RoanokeFirefighters.com
Pictured in the image below is Lt. Travis Simmons 2A
On Saturday, March 21, 2009, Roanoke Fire-EMS responded to a residential structure fire at 618 Loudon Ave. The call was received
in the E-911 Center at approximately 6:36 p.m. The response of 4 engines, 1 ladder truck, 3 medic units, 2 Battalion Chiefs, 1 EMS
Captain, the Investigation Unit, the Assistant Fire Marshal, 1 Administrative Chief and the service truck for a total of 29
personnel responded to the scene.
When crews arrived they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the front of the one story structure. Crews quickly began to extinguish
There was no one in the house when the fire started. There were no injuries to civilians. Two firefighters were transported to Carilion
Roanoke Memorial Hospital with minor, non-life threatening injuries. They have been released from the hospital.
The cause and origin of the fire are currently under investigation. One person was displaced from the home. They are being assisted by their family. Damage estimates at this time are approximately $40,000.
Roanoke Firefighters were not swayed by the weather today for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (at least not all of us). Numerous firefighters and our families enjoyed the parade even though the weather was the worse it has been in years.
Captain Willie Wines Jr. seemed to be the ring leader for the festivities. We planned for the best, but prepared for the worst. Nathan Foutz was out at the crack of dawn preparing some of his famous chicken. That stuff will make you smack whoever is next to you. Willie brought his tractor and a trailer into town to carry the children and wives around in during the parade.
The event was rained on all day long. Although it seemed as though the even planners learne from last year not to scrap anything. If you remember last year all of the meteorologists were calling for rain yet it did not rain. The festival was canceled and many people were peeved when it ended up being very nice out. I remember walking in a tshirt.
This year they moved the festivities after the parade into Corned Beef and Company. A very strategic and financially beneficial move by the bar if you ask me.
Roanoke’s Bravest moved to the Union hall once the Parade was over for pizza and the ever famous Foutz Chicken. We enjoyed the comraderie at the Union Hall amoungst Firefighters, spouses, and children.
I must also add that we enjoyed the company of Mike Mohler, the VPFF President. Mike, along with our very own Mike Hanks, led us with the IAFF for McAulliffe Banner. Thanks for coming down to Roanoke Mike, we appreciate it and we hope you enjoyed yourself.
While the crowd was not as big, the parade not as long, and the festivities not as plentiful… YOUR Roanoke’s Bravest were there to enjoy themselves and to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This day only happens once a year and we weren’t going to give that up on account of rain.
Many thanks to Captain Wines, Lt. Foutz, Mike Hanks and Mike Mohler, and to all those who helped out with the day.
View the coverage here:
Thanks to all the Firefighters who helped out. You guys really make us look good.
New Station 3 – $3 million
New Station 4 – $4 million
Having to carry jugs of extra hydraulic fluid because your reserve ladder truck leaks and won’t be fixed. PRICELESS
I know we could go on all day long…well that isn’t such a bad idea. Anyone else have a better one?
Seriously though, it was overheard on the radio the other day that Ladder 1′s crew which is driving the reserve ladder has to carry jugs of extra hydraulic fluid because the cylinders that lift the ladder are leaking very bad.
You know that the budget cuts have occurred and will happen again, yet there are still non-operational programs being funded.
Anyways, happy turkey day. There is a lot to be Thankful for. God Bless you all.
I have more stories and stuff for the blog in the future, I have been busy with a lot of stuff recently. If you have anything to share, send it in.
The art work is by Lieutenant Jim Hylton. We felt the images should reflect the community we serve. The front has the small Maltese cross we use on our department shirts, but the inside of the cross has a picture of two wine glasses and a rose. Yup, South Roanoke is the land of wine and roses.
There is a very strong sense of community here. The people are very nice to us.
The words, “South Roanoke Fire Station” are on the east side of the building (not on the shirt).
The picture on the back of the shirt is hand drawn of Engine # 8 in front of the station.
The Star is in the background.
The caption says, “Serving South Roanoke Since 1929.”
If you look close, you will see the white squirrel “Lola” in the lower left side of the picture.
Lola was a popular community figure here for several years until she passed a couple months ago.
The shirts are limited edition. We’re not really trying to sell them, but if you want one, contact Jarrod Fuhrman at “First Due Fire EMS Gear” or ask one of the guys at # 8.
We paid more for them because we wanted shirts that were made in the USA.
What about Medic 8?
Yes, there is talk of putting a medic truck here at # 8.
How can I get assigned to Medic 8 you ask?
If you are interested in being assigned to South Roanoke, please answer the following questionnaire and send it to the Medic 8 Application Committee here at station 8. The application process will be both demanding and vigorous. Bribes will be accepted. Please answer the following questions;
Medic 8 Application Questionnaire
1. What is the difference between a Chardonnay and Beaujolais?
a. A Chardonnay is a white wine and Beaujolais is a Hungarian car.
b. A Chardonnay is a brand of faucet and Beaujolais is Buddhist cheese.
c. Chardonnay is a white wine and Beaujolais is a dry red wine.
d. Chardonnay is a punk band; Beaujolais is a town in Canada.
2. What type of water do we keep in the booster tank on the Engine?
3. If you have a call for a fire in the butler’s pantry, what is the primary concern of the homeowner?
b. the fire
c. that we may track up the carpet
d. the butler
4. To what level are we accredited?
d. intergallactically (only at number 8)
5. Which station has a swimming pool in the basement?
a. Station # 1, in the bay where they dug it up
b. Station #5, turn left five times, back in
c. Station #8, spring fed
d. Station #2, don’t mind the asbestos
6. Where the meals are big, the kitchen is small, and there are 2 dishwashers on every shift describes which station?
a. Station #1, sorry, it’s not about you
b. Station #5, circle the block again
c. Station #8, the Texas Tavern kitchen of South Roanoke
d. Station #2, could it be?
7. To what station does a chief go to become a captain?
a. Station #1, sorry it’s still not about you
b. Station #5, keep circling
c. Station #8, uh
d. Station #2, two what; rabbits
8. What level of EMS certification is required to ride M-8?
a. I don’t want to ride the box
b. I don’t want to be an “i”
c. I don’t care
d. What’s a box?
9. What level of fire performance standards must I maintain?
a. the same as the rest of the department
c. more than the rest of the department
d. Will we eat well?
10. The term Division of Labor means;
a. Assignments on the fire ground
b. Laborers doing math
c. Laborers choosing sides
d. Who does the steaks on the grill, who does the potatoes and who makes the salad
11. Which station has an Oshkosh kid with money upstairs?
a. Station #1; why do you always think it’s about you?
b. Station #5; one word, NASCAR; thank you for playing
c. Station #8
d. Station #2
12. Which station has a ghost that walks the bedroom floor at night?
a. Station #8, the phantom
b. Station #1, no, you’re haunted in daylight
c. Station #5, ok they have one too
d. Station #2; no, Trussler exorcised theirs
13. What will be the future name of station # 8?
a. Carillion Clinic Emergency Services
b. Famous Anthony’s Hot Meals on Hot Wheels delivery
c. South Roanoke Cat Rescue
d. South Roanoke Covert Ops
14. What is another name for German white wine?
b. Milk of the Virgin
c. Rhinelűnd Splattze
d. Roger Manuel
15. What is the coefficient for calculating gpm in a solid bore orifice?
a. What is an orifice?
b. GPM = BTU’s; darn* it (Terry knows)
c. GPM = 29.7 x d² x √NP
d. GPM = 1.57 x d² x √NP
16. Asian Toasted Sesame refers to which of the following:
c. Roger Manuel’s aftershave
d. Salad Dressing
17. Why do you want this assignment
a. To meet Kent McIlhany
b. To find my happy place
c. To better myself
d. To ascend to a higher level of Zen conscientiousness
18. How many CFM of air is displaced by a 1 ¾” fog nozzle performing hydra-ventilation?
a. 15-18,000 cfm
b. 20-23,000 cfm
c. 32-35,000 cfm
d. Ben Sweeney
19. What makes us perform best on the fireground?
a. Music by ZZ Top
b. Music by Led Zeppelin
c. Brian Wray
d. Catch phrases on city email
20. Who is the best Firefighter in Roanoke today?
a. Shane Duncan
c. Lloyd Layman
d. Sister Teresa
21. What Firefighter has been assigned to # 8 the most?
a. Rocky Sink
b. Jerry Thompson
c. Christina Aguilera
Several Roanoke Firefighters along with Roanoke Police Officers, local contractors, and company’s have taken on the task of remodelling Officer Bryan Lawrence’s house so that it is accessible for his wheelchair. 1st Lt. Scott Graham and Captain Scott Mutter have spent hours pulling permits, finding donors for material, lining up voluntary help, and working themselves to get Bryan’s house up to par. Bryan, who lives in a split level home in Roanoke County, is awaiting the day when his house will be ready for him to a couple of houses away, headed up the remodel with the help of Mutter who owns Mutter Construc move in. Having made the trip home to Roanoke from Atlanta (I believe) earlier this month, he now awaits his brothers with the Fire Department to get his home ready. Graham, who lives justtion. Between the two of them, they have pulled all the necessary permits and found labor and materials to help out. The remodel was kicked off when the current Roanoke Valley Regional Fire-EMS Recruit School showed up on day 1 to do some “deconstruction” and learn about building construction.
What they are having done is completely redesigning the master bath, making all interior doorways 36″, adding a deck onto the existing one which runs the length of the house, and adding in a chair lift. The deck will offer immediate egress from the master bedroom via a new entry door installed. The deck will also have a chair lift from the ground up to it so Bryan can get to the second floor.
So, heres to the guys who have been able to help thus far. If you would like to help, please contact Mutter or Graham, or even me and I will forward the message.
Scott Mutter posted the following comment, if you can help please contact him:
I know it’s short notice. but if any one can go by the Contractors Yard and pick up 8-10 bags of
Quick-Crete #80lbs bags. We have 2 peer hole for the new deck at Officer Larwences house, that i need to get poured befor it rains tommorrow night. C shift is working so i cant get there to do it. You can put it on my account so you dont have to pay for it. So if their are a few guys that could help out with this please let me know. Thanks Scott Mutter 580-4771
Original Post below:
Scott Graham and Scott Mutter are currently seeking firefighters and others to assist in renovating Officer Bryan Lawrence’s house. They had the recruit class out on Monday to do part of their building construction/destruction class. I understand they did one hell of a job. Scott Graham wrote an email which reads:
Hello Everyone, I am sending another email requesting help to renovate officer Brian Lawrence’s house. We made great progress on the first day and we still need help especially if your on C-shift since Captain Mutter and myself are on C-Shift. We are working toward other days but for now we cannot do that. Please email or call my cell phone if you can help. The sooner the better. Thanks Scott Graham.
I believe that most of the days being worked are on A and B shift days currently. Please contact either Graham (1C) or Mutter (6C) if you would like to help. I remember almost 40 of us came out to help with the habitat for humanity houses after the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico a couple years ago. This is a great way to give back to the community as well as showing the community at what great lengths we go to take care of each other. If you can’t get a hold of either Graham or Mutter, send me an email, page, or phone call and I will get you in contact with them.
Thanks and God Bless
“There are no flames to put out, but some local firefighters are sure feeling the heat and all for a good cause. Fire and EMS teams from Roanoke and Salem braved the heat Sunday to raise money for Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Research at Duke University. “
I am sorry I missed this event. I was out of town. I hope all who were involved had a great time and raised some money.
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.
This from the Avalanche Website:
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Avalanche vs Myrtle Beach
Roush Fenway Show Car/ Saturday Night Live (Domino)/ Police and Fireman Appr. Guns N’ Hoses Softball
Roush Fenway Show Car presented by Kroger. Saturday Night Live presented by Miller Lite. Guns N’ Hoses Police and Fireman Softball game presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance
From what I have heard already, the Council Members were very receptive to our message. Some are said to have remarked that our presence and our message was the biggest and most impressive that the Council Members had seen in their tenure on Council.
Another little birdie told me that Mayor Nelson Harris was at the previous meeting at 5pm and even ate the catered dinner after that meeting between 5pm and 6pm. However, at 10 minutes to 7pm, Harris handed the gavel to Vice-Mayor Trinkle and tip-toed out the back door. I guess our presence was something that he did not want to get involved in during Elections. I also understand that the City Manager was not prepared and tongue tied while being interviewed afterwards.
I have so many things I would love to say right now, but instead I will leave you with this fact. Ninety One (91) Firefighters were in Council Chambers tonight. That is more than one-third of the department. Remember that one-third was working. I think we have your attention.
I must say that tonight I was a very proud Firefighter and a very proud member of the RFFA. To see you all come together in unity and solidarity was truly moving. Scooter’s account of his incident, Rorrer’s talk about Scooter, and Rodney’s account of Kyle Wilson all gave me goose bumps. It brought me to a place that I will be speaking of in the future on the blog.
I look forward to the Roanoke Times in the morning. Look for the story on Scott Hetherington on the front page of the Virginia section as well as an article by Mason Adams on the Council Meeting last night.
Click on the links below for news and video.
Firefighter Returns After Heart Attack – WSET
Roanoke firefighter returns after heart attack
Video: Firefighter returns to duty since suffering cardiac arrest – Roanoke Times
Firefighter reclaims spot at station – Roanoke Times
Firefighters upset about proposed cuts to Roanoke’s fire department – WDBJ
City seeks widespread budget cuts in proposal – Roanoke Times
Firefighters Face Cuts – WSET
Roanoke Firefighters Association makes statement at City Hall – WSLS
Many fired up about proposed cuts to Roanoke’s fire department
Firefighters Fight Cuts – WSET (a snippet is below)
Chief David Hoback, Roanoke Fire & EMS – “City council, city manager, no one wants to do this. But the fire department, being the second largest budget, has to contribute their share.” And Chief Hoback decided the only way to reduce his budget by $350,000 to $400,000, as instructed, was to reduce his staffing. A decision that has his firefighters rallying against him. Lt. Rhett Fleitz, Firefighters Assoc. Local 1132 – “This isn’t necessarily the firefighters against the fire chief. This is more so, the firefighters against the budget cuts.” Cuts that would scale back the staffing at Station 13 on Peters Creek Road from six firefighters to three, the absolute minimum required to operate a truck. Fleitz – “This proposal will jeopardize Roanoke City (web) firefighters as well as the citizens we’re trying to protect.” Chief David Hoback, Roanoke Fire & EMS – “They will not see a difference. They will not experience a difference. The truck will still get there in four minutes or less and be able to meet those performance standards.” But Chief Hoback admits, if adopted, this proposal would stretch his department thin. He says reducing any more positions would force them to eliminate a station. And no one wants that.
On Thursday May 1st, the Roanoke Fire Fighters Association will represent in force at the Roanoke City Council Meeting at 7pm. The Firefighters are standing up against the proposed budget cuts by Chief Hoback.
The proposal call for a reduction in 6 positions, although the Roanoke Resource Allocation Plan (fancy for Budget) calls for the reduction in 8 positions in operations. Firefighters are not sure why there is a major discrepancy in the numbers, but this isn’t the first time the numbers don’t add up. There is a long standing tradition of skewing the statistics to help prove a point.
Roanoke’s Firefighters will meet up at the RFFA Union Hall between 4:30 and 5:30pm to get ready for the Council meeting. They are calling for all concerned citizens and Civic Leaders to be at the Council meeting to voice their concerns. The media have been following the story for the past week since the proposal was brought up. 100 firefighters are expected to converge on Council Chambers in solidarity against the budget cuts which they feel will jeopardize their safety and that of the citizens they protect.
Several Firefighters are planning on speaking at the council meeting.
Firefighters from Roanoke County and Salem are being asked to show up in solidarity with its Roanoke City Brothers and Sisters to help with the cause.
There will be t-shirts handed out at the Union Hall for all Firefighters.
If any firefighters, citizens, or members of the media need to get a hold of me my phone number is 540-537-8158 (cell).
In other news, Former Mayor David Bowers leads Incumbent Mayor Nelson Harris in the current Mayoral race according to a poll by News Channel 7 52% to 31%. Maybe Roanoke’s Citizens are finally standing up.
Just a reminder-
The 5th Annual Guns & Hoses Baseball Game will be this Saturday, March 3rd at 3:15pm at Salem Stadium.
Here is the agenda:
- 2pm – Gates open, kids activities
- 3:15pm- Guns & Hoses Game
- 6:07pm – Salem Avalanche Game
If you need tickets, contact me.
In case there is any question, this was posted by an off-duty firefighter.
Dennis is fighting the defending champion below.
Dennis runs Hybrid Martial Arts (website).
Dennis began his training in1995 in Judo & in BJJ soon after having to travel to Va Beach to the world renowned Linxx Academy for authentic instruction. Dennis currently holds rank as
2nd degree blackbelt in Judo under Gus Carper.BLACKBELT in Gracie Jiu Jitsu under Professor Pedro Sauer. He rec’d his Blue belt in 8/98, Purple in 10/01, Brown in 10/04 & blackbelt in 01/08.
He has trained with Pedro Sauer extensively for 12+ years & also with the likes of Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Royler Gracie, Ralph Gracie, Jacare, Luis Palhares, Jeff Curran & Frank Cucci to name a few. Read more on the website here
- Red Cross gives out Heroes awards
The Red Cross honored those people who put forth extraordinary effort — even during an “ordinary” day.
- Pictures from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade from The Roanoke Times
– Including many pictures of Firefighters
- More pictures from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
I apologize for the delay in getting this post put together, things have been a little hectic these past few weeks. I bumped into Johnny last week when he told me he was retiring and he was in good spirits. I hope he enjoys his retirement. Good luck and God Bless Johnny. The picture above was taken by Maurice Wiseman back in the early 1990′s.
He checks in every couple of weeks. I missed his last call, but will be calling him back next week after I move. Click on the images to see larger versions.
Here are some pics from a fire we had the other night. the building was 150 ft by 30ft and foreign nationals lived in it. when we arrived we were told everyone was out. Apparently a power strip caused the fire. I forced entry to the bedroom and did a search while the other firefighter extinguished the fire. The Capt did a 360 and then the 3 of us started ventilation. The fire destroyed the room of origin and damaged several others. We used about 300 gallons of water.