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

Yesterday and today I had the pleasure of meeting up with a true fire history buff. Tommy Herman lives in Chesterfield County. He is a retired Richmond firefighter and a long time volunteer at Ettrick station 13 in Chesterfield County.

Tommy had reached out to me a while back and had called a couple times when he made it to town. This time we were able to meet up. Tommy is a foremost authority on Oren apparatus and the company itself. He has a book coming out in the spring on Oren apparatus and it has several Roanoke Trucks in it. I got to peruse the draft of the book and I cannot wait to thumb through my own copy.

Tommy had some great stories. It was amazing how he knew all the people I had contacted, tried to find, or had heard of when I was writing “Firefighting in Roanoke”. He left me two large files to look through and scan. We went to dinner last night and afterwards I took the time to scan everything. I scanned from 8-12 last night.

Needless to say, Tommy knows a lot. He knows about Roanoke FD, REMS, Oren, Seagrave, ALF, you name it. Hell, he knew Maurice Wiseman too. Willie mentioned my meeting and some news about other Orens here.

One thing he said stood out…He commented on how Roanoke is so quick to get rid of stuff. I couldn’t agree more. Of all the great firetrucks we have had over the years, what do we have to show for it? Squad 1, a couple other rusted trucks hoping for refurb. So many great trucks are gone forever. I realize we can’t keep everything, but at least hand it off to someone who cares.

One thing Tommy was able to do that I wasn’t even thinking about was rekindling my curiosity of our history. He got me thinking about that second book and maybe the complete history book. He got me thinking about continuing to find out history, reclaim OUR artifacts, and move forward.

And with that, I shall set back out on my quest. I just ask anyone who has any images to share please let me know. I have asked in the past and not gotten much of a response. The process is simple…you get me the photos, I scan them or copy them, I get them back to you. If I use them in the future you get credit.

For now I will leave you with this little teaser of some of the images I got from Tommy. You will see more in the future!!! Feel free to chime in and comment on the trucks if you want.

Roanoke Station 13 C Shift trained on Ladder 13 the other day. The idea for training came from VentEnterSearch.com. 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 VentEnterSearch.com