By far the most important issue to most of my brother and sister firefighters is the collective bargaining bill that just passed through the House with tremendous support. In case you were wondering who didn’t support it look here.

The IAFF has been placing an enormous amount of resources towards getting this Bill passed in both the House and the Senate. The goal is to get enough sponsors to make the vote veto proof. You can follow along on the IAFF website here.

Some of you guys have asked what the Bill actually will afford us. The answer is this: The bills establish minimum standards for state collective bargaining laws. I am sure there will be issue with how different sides of the fence interpret the standards.

The video below sums up the testimony from several proponents of the Bill.

Here is another one

This video was produced by Jim Hammerstrom and Blue Ridge Public Television (Blue Ridge PBS) for the show Blue Ridge Excursions. The video is an interview with Lt. Rhett Fleitz of the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department talking about the history of the department and the book “Firefighting in Roanoke”, which was authored by Fleitz. The book was a tribute to Maurice Wiseman who dedicated many years to preserving the history of the department. The video has been reproduced with permission from Blue Ridge PBS.

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.

Hey guys,

You guys want to know what is up with the Collective Bargaining bill that is collecting steam on the Federal Level? Well here is some footage of Kevin O’Conner from the IAFF at a committee meeting in D.C. Check it out and see what is going on.

The information came from:
Will Johnston
Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Thanks for the information Will. Check here for more footage on their Youtube page.

I don’t think that you guys can view these videos at work, however be sure to check them out when you get a chance.

Today, the Roanoke TimesCast was shot at the new Roanoke Fire Station #1. Check out the TimesCast (

FF Frank Leonard and Capt. Todd Stone make an appearance and if you listen closely when Todd is talking you can hear Kelcey Branch over the loud speaker.

If you have never watched the TimesCast, I suggest you take a look. There might be some others out there who enjoy theire jobs more than us. Great job guys.

Roanoke Firefighters took to the streets today for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Roanoke. The event was cold, but luckily well attended. Check out this link for the whole story.

Engine 3

This is a video of Warpipe playing at the Parade. I will have more uploaded soon. I am experiencing yet another issue of Windows Vista and its lovely security features. For you guys at work, I think that the City blocked Youtube, which is where it is hosted, so you will see a big black area. Sorry.
The Greater Roanoke Police and Fire Emerald Society

This is an interesting banner by the Roanoke Police Officers Association. More on that Monday.

Today, I checked out and they have posted a very interesting way to breach overhead doors. The video was sent in by one of their readers and is hosted on The video features some firefighters from Richmond, California breaching an overhead door with one cut and making an entry area bigger than a V cut will ever offer.

Here is another video courtesy of a commenter on of the cut being performed on an actual call.

Check out this amazing video of a Backdraft while firefighters are trying to mount a defensive attack on a taxpayer. The information on the, where the video is hosted, says that no firefighters were seriously injured in this incident. The video probably will not show up on City computers because is one of the blocked sites.

This is an account of what firefighters were faced with in the hours during and following Hurricane Rita. I saw this guy speak at the IAFF Convention in Toronto. His account tells of the problems the firefighters had to cope with and the fact that they were all alone in dealing with the catastrophic event. This is well worth listening to.

Check this out.

If you can’t view the video, check out the direct link here.

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)
Mike Overacker, a retired Roanoke Firefighter, was on The Roanoke Times Webcast on Monday December 11th. He was featured due to his role as the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society President and his photograph which captured the Space Shuttle as it passed through the sky over Roanoke. Check it out.
Check out the video on this post about a firefighting turbine. This is pretty wild. (link)
A small MPEG camera on the engine films fires kinda like COPS. This was a stolen pick-up truck that someone dumped and set fire to. Watch when water hits under the steering column and a magnesium explosion occurs.

If you cannot view the video on a station computer, it is because the video is hosted at

Here is another video, this time from Arlington County Fire Department via the Firefighter Blog.

Apparently when this truck was designed, they accidentally made a huge mistake. I find it hard to believe that this actually happened. However, it was in the newspaper. You judge for yourself. This clip is from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I still have yet to find any truth to this article, if you have anything like the newspaper it came from please let me know.

“Town Angered by Ladder Swap” “Fire engine ladder is 7.5 feet, not 75 feet as originally promised.”