It has been busy for Roanoke firefighters recently. After the funerals for Chris Brown, Warren Hawley, and Stick Walters, firefighters found themselves settling back into the grind.

  • There have been several fires in the area
  • Roanoke County’s new Station 1 opened up
  • County Ladder 5 was wrecked and is being fixed
  • Station 1 was hit by a car
  • Cluster meetings….they should really rename those!
  • City is going through interviews
  • Battalion Chief promotions coming up next week maybe
  • Lt, 1st Lt., and Captain promotional testing happening soon

C-shifts last day was a fun one! Captain Wines writes about Todd “multi-media” Harris on Engine 9 blog! Needless to say that no one likes an open mic! We tested the hose on Engine 13 and had help from Engine 9 and Engine 2 packing it back on the truck. The process took most of the day while running calls in between.

In the middle of the day we ran a call for a vehicle vs. building! This time the vehicle won. Someone decided to turn Domino’s pizza into a drive thru! Thanks to Engine 5 and Medic 2 for the assistance. A little bit different outcome than when the car lost when it ran into station 1 here. All of the fun ended with a Haz Mat response to Lexington for a fuel spill. There is nothing quite like transferring to another station at 1am to fill in! No big deal though….



Over the past several days, firefighters have been training at the Roanoke Regional Airport.

They also staged an emergency drill.

The Roanoke Times covered the event in a photo gallery. Check it out here.

Hey all. The four alarm fire on Mclanahan was ruled accidental. Here are two additional images from Jim Hylton taken the following day.

Info from Roanoke Fire EMS Press Release
Photo by Mike Overacker

To view more images go to

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
the fire.

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.


Battalion Chief Steve Poff (Ret.) is once again gracing us with a great class on suspended ceilings. The class goes over the basics of how to free yourself if you are caught up in a suspended ceiling. The class also covers many case studies where firefighters have been caught in fallensuspended ceilings. This coupled with the lightweight truss construction has killed many firefighters. Suspended ceilings can also hide many dangers for firefighters including the fire itself. The class was great, and we all learned a lot.

BC Poff covered lightweight truss construction as well. The following class is supposed to cover the building type in depth.

If you do not know the issues with lightweight truss construction and how quickly they fail in fire conditions then you need to learn about it now. One way to start is to check out the link below. This is the online course Poff talked about in the class.

After going to the site you will see NEW USER on your far right at the top. Register and complete the form and save. In the links in the middle of the page find Fire Safety Online Courses which takes you to another page. Scroll down and find Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber in Fire Conditions. Start the course.

The photos show the attendees doing some hands cutting on with various hand tools. Thanks to BC Bishop for snapping the photos

Roanoke Station 13 C Shift trained on Ladder 13 the other day. The idea for training came from If you have not viewed the website, it is a must read. Both myself and Captain Willie Wines Jr. have had articles posted on the site and have utilized the site for training and other ideas. The collaboration of so many great ladder draggers has proved to be very insightful for many things that I had not even thought of before. Even though I am not a ladder dragger, I have been able to utilize ideas for basic firefighting as well as hone my knowledge of truck work. After all, I have to be able to ride the truck just as well as the engine. In addition, how often do you find hose jockeys doing truck work in Roanoke due to our short staffing on our ladder trucks.

Back to our training though. 1st Lt. Sam Stump and Lt. Dean Russell led the rest of us in this very easy to set up training drill. Basically, we set up 3 cones on the roof of Station 13. Then we attached a cone to a rope on the end of the aerial of Ladder 13. One by one, cone by cone we manuevered the aerial to place the cone on the aerial on top of the cone sitting on the station. The drill was very simple to set up, did not take very long to complete.

For this and more ideas on Training, visit

By Mason Adams and David Harrison | The Roanoke Times

Courtesy of the Roanoke Police Department

Firefighters battle a Roanoke school bus fire Monday morning near Sixth Street and Morrill Avenue Southeast.

A Roanoke school bus burned Monday morning in a fire which officials believe was caused by an electrical malfunction.

The bus driver was picking up a student just after 8 a.m. near Sixth Street and Morrill Avenue Southeast when the front of the bus caught fire, according to Roanoke Fire-EMS spokeswoman Tiffany Bradbury. (Click here for more story and photos)

Submitted by Lt. Baron Gibson

At 22:09 station 6 was notified of a structure fire in the 500 block of 18th st. SE. E-6, E-11, L-1, M-6, RS-1 & BC-1 were dispatched. M-6 was returning from the hospital and arrived on scene to find a two story structure with heavy smoke showing from Alpha side and advised dispatch of the working fire. Upon arrival E-6 took their water supply with them with the help of M-6 connecting the hydrant for us. E-6 gave a size up and began stretching an 1 3/4 line into the structure and made a fast and aggresive attack on the fire (it was the rookies first nozzle job and he did ok) that was located in an upstairs bedroom. A second 1 3/4 was stretched as back up but was never charged. Cause of fire appears to be electrical, but is still under investigation. It was very cold water began freezing quickly but we never experienced any problems with the cold temps. A cat was found under and behind a couch on the first floor after the fire much to the delight of the owners. No one else was hurt and we all came home from the working fire at apprx. 23:50hrs.

Mike over at has several pictures of the fire on 715 1st Street NW on February 10th.

Click here to view more images.

Photo by Mike Overacker


On February 24, 2009, Roanoke Fire-EMS responded to a commercial fire
at 1207 9th St., Shirts Unlimited. Three engines, 1 ladder truck, 1
medic unit, 1 EMS Captain, 1 Battalion Chief and the Investigation
Unit responded to the scene for a total of 15 personnel. The call
was received in the E-911 Center at approximately 3:29 a.m. and was
ruled under control at 3:51 a.m.

When crews arrived they found smoke showing from the basement of the
single story building. Crews entered the structure and extinguished
a small fire found in the basement.

There was no one in the building when the fire started. There were
no injuries to civilians or Fire-EMS personnel.

The fire started in the basement and was contained to the basement.
There was minimal damage. Damage estimates are approximately
$3,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

I decided that instead of spending a lot of time reading and giving you all the skinny on this new reflective vest requirement I would simply give you the links to the information. did a good bit of research on the new requirements
and offers this .pdf the 3m quick reference guide
and this .pdf the vest push card

You can also see information here on

I hit a milestone this week. The new went live. Check it out here: Tonight, I added photos from the ladder ops class. Check out the story and photos here.

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.