Ah….What can we say. I imagine that Battalion Chief Bobby Slayton might take the award for being asked the most times about when he is retiring. I don’t think anyone did it out of rudeness, but moreso to see if he was going for some record.

Chief Slayton was hired on December 6, 1965. Up until his retirement on July 1, 2010 he held the #1 spot on the Seniority list for a long long time!

The truth is that Chief Slayton has been a Battalion Chief since before most of the current department members were hired. He was actually considered a District Chief at the time. Then they changed the title to Battalion Chief.

I had the honor of working for Chief Slayton for several years. He was a great guy!

Here are some photos from his retirement party. He got a little choked up, but wouldn’t you?

1111Captain Clonnie Yearout has been on the job since November 12, 1973. He is retiring with 36 years on the job. Clonnie’s last assignment was as Captain at Station 13 A-shift…Who am I kidding? With the exception of a short time, Clonnie has worked his entire career at Station 13.

It has been a lot of fun seeing and interacting with Clonnie at 13 throughout my career.

Clonnie is a proud Grandfather  a couple times over and I am sure that his grand-children will bring a lot of joy to his newly found “extra” time. Clonnie has also painted for a long time and I imagine he will continue painting.

I must say that Clonnie might be the last of his kind…meaning guys who work at one station throughout their career. Mostly we get moved around and shuffled when the wind changes direction. Clonnie has been a mainstay at 13, has maintained distributing the station supplies for as long as I can remember, and knows 13′s territory inside and out. Then again he lives in our first due territory (the county first due area of 13).

God Bless and enjoy your retirement

1038Lieutenant Leroy Edwards retired from the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department after 34 years on the job. Leroy was hired by the Roanoke Fire Department on December 15, 1975.

Leroy’s most recent assignment was the ladder Lt. at Station 13 on A-Shift. He filled that position for a long time.

I have enjoyed changing out with Leroy for years in the morning when C-Shift relieves A-Shift. Leroy and I have had a great relationship of jabbing at each other every morning until one of us gets pissed off and leaves! Just kidding, kind of.

Leroy had a retirement party at the fire station and I was able to stop by. Actually it is the only one I was able to make it to. There was also a retirement party at the Homeplace for Clonnie and Leroy. I have pictures from both events.

Thanks to Mike Overacker for the video below and Tim Cady for the photos from the Homeplace. The photo to the right is from Maurice Wiseman.

The video is great! This was a song that was sung and Leroy joined in…a great passage on to retirement. Leroy and the rest of these guys have a lot to be thankful for…mainly a long and healthy career.

Captain Jimmy Renick has retired from the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department after 34 years. Jimmy was hired on December 15, 1975 by the Roanoke Fire Department. His brother Ronnie retired several years ago as a Captain as well.

Jimmy’s last assignment was Engine 8 A-Shift. I enjoyed eating lunch and hanging out with his crew when I worked at the Credit Union when it was upstairs at Station 8. Jimmy has always been really good to me. We even caught a few fires together back when I used to swap time with Rob Humphreys.

Jimmy, you will be missed. Enjoy your retirement.

The older pictures are from Maurice Wiseman. The newer pictures were taken by Maryanne Marx during Jimmy’s retirement party.


Hank Pfister is retiring after 25 years on the job. Hank was hired January 1, 1985 (that is the date I have). He was one of the original EMS Department Paramedics. Hank is a beloved member of our department and has an affinity for motorcycles!

Hanks last assignment was Station 4 A-shift.


L-R Lt. Steve Jordan, FF Chuck Patrick, FF/PM Hank Pfister, FF/PM Kieth Blankenship, FF Ed Miller, Captain Tim Parry


R-L Chris Brown, Marci Stone, Adam Fleming, Hank Pfister

Ricky Troutt has retired from the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department after 34 years on the job. Ricky was hired on December 15, 1975 and I believe his last day on the books is December 15, 2009 (although he has already worked his last day).

Ricky obtained the rank of Battalion Chief and his last assignment was on the Northside on A-Shift.

Ricky and his wife own Iron Sports Custom Cycles. His son Adam is a firefighter with Roanoke Fire-EMS as well.

Congratulations Chief, if I win the lotto I will hit you up for a custom chopper!

(above) Chuck Wells, Ronnie Renick, Brent Berry, John Sweeney, Ricky Troutt, and Kevin Bell on Ladder 2 A Shift in the early 1990’s. Picture from Maurice Wiseman

(above) Chuck Wells, Ronnie Renick, Brent Berry, John Sweeney, Ricky Troutt, and Kevin Bell on Ladder 2 A Shift in the early 1990’s. Picture from Maurice Wiseman

Roger Markham has retired after 25 years on the job. Roger began his career with the Roanoke Fire Department on October 2, 1984. Roger’s last assignment was on A-shift at Station 14.

Here is the thing about Roger…I hardly knew him and he hardly knew me. I can remember awkward silence when he walked into the Credit Union the first couple of times when I was there because he didn’t know my name and I didn’t know his. We got over it, but still rarely saw each other.

Anyways, here is to a long and healthy retirement Roger!


Roger circa 1994. Photo by Maurice Wiseman

The famous Josh Holmes of B-Shift does not call Station 9 his home anymore. Last cycle was Dr Holmes last with Roanoke City Fire/EMS as he now turns to a more lucrative fast paced career working for “Our Health” magazine. Josh came to the city on 12/11/2000 as a Paramedic/Firefighter and spent most of his time here on B Shift between Station 9 and 10.

via Engine 9 RFD: Josh Holmes.