Sunday, December 28, 2008

Belated Happy Birthday Wishes to Lori Pooser!

Happy Birthday, Lori! We apologize for being a day late. Hope you had a great day!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just a Thought......

This week completed another chapter in the story of this department with the release of the ISO report changing the rating from a Class 1 to a Class 3. We know that all of you expected a change and hopefully see it as necessary to continue the progress of this department. It reminded me of my days as a firefighter when ISO would come to inspect us. While the ISO rating was an important part of determining insurance premiums, we never used it as a measure of our ability to do our jobs or the effectiveness of our department and neither should you. Don’t ever forget that the history of this department is being rewritten daily and that your spirit and determination to move this fire department forward, in the face of just another moment of adversity, is what will truly define this department. Keep the faith, my friends, for there is much good ahead for all of you. Our Team is excited to be here with you to watch it happen!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chrissy's Gift!

Chrissy Welsch with Team members Richie, Jim, Gerald and Amanda.

Several months ago, I posted here about a young lady who had decided to save and donate her allowance to the "Raising Engine 11" restoration. She and her mother had watched by the highway as the procession for the Charleston 9 traveled from downtown to the Coliseum on June 22, 2007. When she heard of the project to restore Engine 11, she decided she wanted to help. Yesterday, Chrissy Welsch and her mother, Diane, came to the Team office so Chrissy could bring in her donation. Thank you Chrissy for your generous contribution!

"Smokin' Mack" Comes to Town!

Yesterday, we received a package at the Team office from the office of the President of Mack Trucks, Inc. in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Apparently, they had seen our website and the story of "Raising Engine 11". The card read, "To the Charleston Firefighter Support Team, Good luck in your endeavors. We are sending our corporate icon for luck."

"Smokin Mack" came with his own turnout gear and helmet and will reside on the dash of Engine 11 when it is completed. What a great gesture on the part of Mack Trucks! We appreciate their kindness in thinking of us.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dealing with Anger

What can you do when you are so consumed with outrage at another that your own quality of life is negatively impacted? How do you stop a behavior that you know is unhealthy but has infiltrated your personality and has taken over the controls?

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Does your anger change the past?
2) Are you willing to forgo your happiness for someone who is insensitive, greedy, oblivious, or dishonest?
3) Do you believe your anger will change how others view this person?
4) Are you prepared to allow another to define your mood?
5) Are you ready to recognize people are not held to your values and that to wait for such will be fruitless?

Remember what defines you as a loving spouse and parent, as a dedicated worker, as a positive role model for your children, as a productive member of the community, as a true friend, as an honest person. Regardless of the transgression of another vow to be the better person- admit fault, acknowledge flaws, recognize imperfections, learn from your own life choices and pledge to not make the same mistakes. Refocus on your abilities to make this world better for yourself and those around you. Do not waste precious time fuming over one who is not worthy of your respect. Each time a negative thought comes to mind about this person do not dwell on it but instead make a conscious effort to give a well deserved compliment, do a favor , remember a person who has positively impacted your life, laugh out loud, help when it is not expected, appreciate what you have in your life. Never forget that you are the one in control of your emotional well being!

Amanda Custer

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Salisbury Fire Department at Work!

Richie Denninger and I visited our friends at the Salisbury, North Carolina Fire Dept. this week.  As you know, they lost two of their own in March. Our Team has been honored to visit them on several occasions to represent you and to lend our assistance. They always ask how all of you are doing and send their best wishes. While in Salisbury on Tuesday, we responded to a fire with them in a duplex residential structure. The first-in companies encountered heavy smoke conditions with fire blowing out of the rear of the structure. They quickly made entry, with RIT teams in place, and made short work of this one.  Since we first met the Salisbury firefighters and their command officers, we have been always impressed with their spirit and professionalism and today was no different. Our hats are off to the men and women of the department for keeping the faith and moving their department forward in the most difficult of times for them.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CFD Family Day a Success!

The second annual CFD Family Day was held today at the North Charleston Fire Museum with a large group in attendance.  As has become the norm, the CFD Wives' Club did an outstanding job with providing good food and a great time for all.  Thanks ladies for your hard work to make this day a success!
Wonder what Robbie's getting for Christmas??!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What a Night!

The second meeting of the CFD Retirees' "Hooked Up" program was held tonight at the North Charleston American LaFrance Fire Museum with 50 people in attendance.  We were pleased to have Chief Carr attend to welcome our retirees as we were entertained with two beautiful songs by Ms. Peggy Sineath. Peggy has long been a great supporter of Charleston Firefighters and has participated for many years with us in the March of Dimes and Carolina Children's Charity telethons with her beautiful music and voice.  We also enjoyed a wonderful holiday meal provided by A & M Brown's Restaurant in Moncks Corner.

We would also like to thank Smokey Bones Restaurant, Long Horn's Steakhouse, T-Bones Restaurant, the Olive Garden Restaurant, Charleston Silhouettes and A Little Bit of Everything for some great door prizes as well as Frederick's Florist for the beautiful flower arrangements for the tables.  Please remember all of these businesses for their support of this program. Nancy and Ted Jones, Chief Wilmot Guthke's daughter and son-in-law, worked very diligently with all of these businesses in gathering these door prizes.  Many thanks to them and to Grant Mishoe and Ray Bennett, of the Museum, who gave their time to be our hosts.

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all of our retirees and their spouses or guests for attending and making this such an enjoyable event.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

CFD Family Day At Fire Museum Reminder!

THe CFD Wives' Club will present the second annual CFD Family Day at the North Charleston American LaFrance Fire Museum, beginning at 1:00 p.m., this coming Sunday, December 14, 2008. This event is for all Charleston firefighters and their families. Food will be served and Santa will be there for the children. Please make plans to join us for a great afternoon of fun!

Happy Birthday, Lauren Mulkey & Jackie Tillman!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Remembering the Worchester 6

Today we remember the Worchester 6. Our thoughts go out to the brothers and sisters of the Worchester Fire Department on the ninth anniversary of their loss.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Excitement is in the Air!

This is the time of year to enjoy our friends and families and to celebrate the season. We have visited many stations this week and it is obvious there is much more to celebrate this year. The days of anger, mistrust and grief have been replaced with enthusiasm, optimism and hope. Chief Carr is at the helm of a department filled with renewed spirits and attitudes. While the Chief has provided the catalyst for this change, each of you is contributing your part to truly making this a great organization. Our Team is constantly amazed at your resilience and determination to overcome the loss of the Charleston 9 and to move this department forward. We have witnessed your work, both in training and on the fire ground. We have heard you speak and we have listened carefully. While the journey is long, you have all taken ownership in the mission ahead and we are excited for you. I can think of no better way to honor the memories of your fallen brothers.

Stay safe, my friends,


Monday, December 1, 2008

Charleston 9 Wooden Carving Tribute

This beautiful tribute, carved by Capt. Ricky Koger, from 200 year old heart pine, shows an eagle with its' head bowed to the Charleston 9.
It is available for sale by contacting Capt. Koger at As you can see, this is a very unique, one of a kind piece. Thanks, Capt. Ricky, for sharing it with us.

Home of Vinegar Hill Gang Burns!

Most of you know Ralph Esposito, one of our New York firefighter peers, who has given unselfishly of his time to help us since June 18, 2007. He rode to Charleston on his Harley and into the hearts of most of us during very difficult times. He has visited us several times since then to help in our program. Last Friday, while they were out on another call, the firehouse where Ralph works, known as the home of the Vinegar Hill Gang, 23 Ladder and 80 Engine, in the Harlem section, caught fire and sustained heavy damage to the second and third floors. Eight firefighters were injured while battling the blaze that saw 25 FDNY units respond. Thankfully, all firefighters, are okay. Last fall, our Team visited FDNY's counseling unit and the Harlem firehouse. The entire crew made us feel right at home. Our thoughts go out to all of them and wish them the very best during the reconstruction of their quarters. Click on the title above to read the story.