Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Day of Thanksgiving...

As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, l realized how thankful I am that you have allowed our Team to be a part of the Charleston Fire Department family.  We have been honored to work with each of you this year, whether in RIT or recruit training, at picnics, ball games, or special events or during your personal involvement in our program.  Thank you for your support of our efforts as we look forward to the future and the New Year.   I would like to extend a special thanks to all of my teammates, Chris Wells, Amanda Custer, Richie Denninger, Jim Zukauskas, Mark Cowell, Leann Blanche, Dr. Roxane Scott and Dr. Pat Nnadi as well as Debbie Blalock and Kirby Bond, who provide the administrative support and leadership to our mission.  I feel that I am truly blessed to work with all of them and with each of you. I wish all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Stay safe!


CFD Retirees' "Hooked Up" Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder to our retirees and their guest that the next meeting of the CFD Retirees' "Hooked Up" program will be on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the North Charleston Fire Museum. We will have a great holiday meal and some surprise entertainment for you to enjoy. It was very heart warming to see many of my old friends at the last meeting and I hope that all of you will come.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Congratulations Recruits!

Twenty-two recruits will graduate on Monday, November 24, 2008 in ceremonies at the Gaillard Auditorium and take their places in their assigned companies throughout the department. Congratulations to Joseph Adams, Matt Alix, Grant Belleau, Thomas Brennan, Andy Brown, Isaiah Draper, Jeb Gersey, Brent Gunn, Christian Hallock, Ryan Henderson, Chris Jackson, George Justice, Devin Keber, Jason Ligon, Thad Morgan, Michael Pack, Matt Pileggi, James Rose, Christopher Shaw, Chad Smith, Matt Thomson, and Mike VanHorn on a job well done!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CFD Family Day at Fire Museum

The CFD Wives' Club will be hosting the second annual CFD Family Day at the North Charleston American LaFrance Fire Museum in North Charleston on Sunday, December 14, 2008, beginning at 1:00 p.m., for all Charleston firefighters and their families. Food and drinks will be provided as well as other activities and Santa will be there for the children. We had a great turnout and wonderful time last year and hope that all of you will come to celebrate the holiday season with us.

Please Share Your Thoughts with Us.......

As all of you know, the Team has been working on the restoration of Engine 11 as a tribute to the Charleston 9 and to all Charleston firefighters. We hope that this truck will be a symbol of remembrance for the Charleston 9 and will also serve as a lasting tribute to the men and women of the Charleston Fire Department who have dedicated their lives to making this a safer community.

It has been suggested that when the truck is completed, the number on it be changed to "9". While we certainly don't have any objection, it is important to us that you share your thoughts with us. Please feel free to do so by leaving a comment here or by calling me at (843) 609-8300.

Stay safe,


Monday, November 17, 2008

"Raising Engine 11" Update!

The seats have been completed for Engine 11 and we would like to thank Mike Kornahrens, Louis Mulkey's uncle, of Grady's Upholstery in North Charleston for his time, talent and materials donated to this project.  Here are photos of one the seat backs.  This logo is on the driver's and Captain's seats and both jump seats. Engine 11 is next in line for the paint shop and will be in as soon as the truck in front of it is done. The running boards and other treadplates are going to the sandblast shop on Wednesday and will be powdercoated mirror silver before being reinstalled on the truck.  All is coming together but this has been quite a project to date!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Sympathy

It is with deep regret that we report that the Reverend William Franklin, Chaplain of the Sumter Fire Department, was fatally injured in a motorcycle-auto accident yesterday in Sumter County. Reverend Franklin was on his way to a local hospital to visit with a firefighter who was hospitalized. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Reverend Franklin's family and to our brothers and sisters of the Sumter Fire Department. Funeral services are tentatively set for 2:30 p.m. on Friday in Sumter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Important Day for the Future

Today, 23 new recruits visited the Sofa Super Store site along with several members of the Department. The purpose of the visit was to give the recruits an opportunity to understand the sacrifices of the Charleston 9 and to impress upon them the importance of the efforts to see that this never happens again. Capt. Chris Villareal and Capt. Mark Davis were on hand to share their experiences of June 18, 2007 with the recruits and all others in attendance. Both of these men are true professionals in every sense and, while we know that it was difficult for them to speak, they both reinforced the need for these recruits to prepare themselves to be a part of the future of this department. Thank you Capt. Villareal and Capt. Davis for providing the leadership that will be so important to that future and to the safety of these young men. I know that the Charleston 9 would be proud of you and so are we.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tricounty Fire Chiefs' Firefighter Fun Day set for November 22nd

The Tri-County Fire Chiefs' Association has rescheduled the Firefighter Family Fun Day at the Fire Museum for November 22, 2008. This event was originally scheduled in October but was rained out. A cook-off, tent theme contest, jump castle and popcorn stand will all be a part of the event. Set up begins a 7:00 a.m. with the start of the event set for 10:00 a.m. Anyone desiring more information can contact Scott Luedtke at (843) 693-6847.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Tribute to the Charleston 9

On Monday, November 3rd, the South Carolina State Department of Transportation will formally rename a section of Savannah Highway the “Charleston 9 Memorial Highway”. While this is certainly an appropriate gesture on the part of the State, it brings to mind what we can do to perpetuate the memory of these heroes.

First, let me say that as we visit the fire stations and participate in various meetings and events with all of you, we have noticed how many new faces we see on a daily basis. There have been many firefighters join the department since June 18, 2007. Most of these personnel never had the opportunity to know any of the Charleston 9. Actually, I only knew Capt. Billy Hutchinson personally myself. Billy and I became friends many years ago when he was a firefighter on Capt. Phil Hawkins’ crew at Station 12. I was a young Assistant Chief at North Charleston District Fire Department back then and I drove across the North Bridge to Station 12 to have supper with them regularly. I was fortunate to enjoy Billy’s cooking and his friendship for many years and I have been able to share my memories of him with his family and many other people in the last sixteen months. I’m sure many of you also have a great deal of memories of Billy, Mike, Louis, Brad, Mark, Earl, Melvin, Brandon and Frenchie that would be of great interest to the folks that have joined your ranks in the last year. What a fitting tribute to these great men to have their stories told by the friends closest to them. Our Team has worked with you and the Charleston 9 families in the last sixteen months and we have been fortunate to get to know all of the Charleston 9 through your words and memories. Thank you for sharing with us and continue to honor these men each day with sharing your memories of them with our new firefighters and to others around us.

Stay safe my friends,