Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year to All!

May each of you have a safe and properous New Year!

The Charleston Firefighter Support Team

Friday, December 25, 2009

Support Team to Present Workshop for All CFD Wives and Fiancees'!

The mission of the Charleston Firefighter Support Team is very straightforward. We are dedicated to the emotional health and well-being of the firefighters and families of the Charleston Fire Department. Though the Support Team came into existence in response to the tragic fire on June 18, 2007 our mission goes well beyond helping those impacted by that night. There is growing awareness nationally of the need to provide access to counseling for all firefighters and their family members and our team has an opportunity to lead the way in this important endeavor. We want you to know that you are, as a family member of a Charleston firefighter, an integral part of the Support Team being effective in our mission.

While many CFD family members have been a part of our formal program, it is our goal for the New Year to reach out to each and every person in the CFD family. A part of that effort will be to present our Behavioral Health Workshop to all wives and fiancées of our firefighters. There are specific stressors unique to the fire service that can have an impact on marriages and relationships. This workshop will focus on the issues facing you as the spouse, or future spouse, of a firefighter.

Subjects will include stress, grief, anxiety, bereavement, alcohol or substance abuse, and communications with special emphasis on children and couples’ relationships. One of the main objectives of this program is to open a dialogue with you to seek your input on how we may improve our services to assist you, your children, and your firefighter in the future.

Come and join us for this very important workshop. We look forward to seeing you there! Refreshments will be served.

Please R.S.V.P. Gerald Mishoe at gerald or by calling (843) 609-8300 so that we can prepare for the appropriate number of participants.

When: Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where: Salvation Army Conference Center

2135 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC

Time: 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Special thanks to the CFD Wives' Club for sponsoring this very important and worthwhile workshop.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Team Adds "New" Car to Collection!

Since we completed the restoration of Engine 11, it was not too far fetched to think that we needed (or wanted) another vehicle. Today, we debuted our "new" Fire Chief's car in the Summerville Christmas parade. It will accompany Engine 11 when we attend public functions or events in the community as part of our public outreach program. Both of them seemed to be well received today as the crowd cheered and clapped when they rolled together down Main Street in Summerville.  

The 1962 Ford Galaxie Country Sedan began its' fire service career as the Marion, Virginia Fire Department Chief's car in 1962. After being retired, it passed through several owners before we found it in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Thankfully, it has already been restored and we were able to immediately put it to work.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas on Mary Street

Our Team participated in the "Christmas on Mary Street" program tonight for the Boys and Girls Club of Charleston.  Our assignment was to bring Santa into the party on the back of Engine 11. Obviously, Santa is truly a wise old guy as he wound up posing with Amanda, who apparently was his favorite elf.  

Friday, December 11, 2009

'Tis the Season!

At the September meeting of the CFD Retirees' "Hooked Up" program, the group decided to support the "Debi's Kids" program by collecting and donating toys for the underprivileged children in our community. The retirees held their fourth quarter meeting last night at the Charleston Baptist Church and gathered 120 new toys for the program. Tonight, we were proud to accompany CFD retirees Winston Lesesne and Augie Meyers to present those toys on behalf of our retirees to Debi Chard of Live 5 News, at a live remote at the Tanger Outlet Wal-Mart. Thanks to all who contributed to this effort.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dancing with the Devil.. A Must Read!

There is an article on that is important reading for all of you in the firefighting profession.  It is a story of the struggles of a 36 year veteran of the fire service after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Please take a few minutes to read this article by clicking on the title of this post above.  It will be time well spent.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Taking One for the Team!

Regardless of the need, Richie and Joe are always the first to volunteer.  Today was no different as they, once again, stepped up when called as we all enjoyed the annual Christmas parade in downtown Charleston.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Went to Visit Today!

We took Engine 11 over to its' old home today for photos.  Don't believe it had been there since 1991.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Remembering Our Worcester Brothers

Today, we remember six Worcester, Mass. firefighters, James Lyons, Jeremiah Lucey, Paul Brotherton, Joseph McGuirk, Thomas Spencer and Timothy Jackson who gave their lives in the line of duty on this day ten years ago.  Our thoughts are with the entire Worcester Fire Department family as we mark this day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day of Giving Thanks

Today, I had the opportunity to help someone. My wife and daughter drafted me to go to the local homeless veteran’s shelter and serve the residents there Thanksgiving dinner. First, let me say that I realize we were just three people out of thousands that reached out to others on this great holiday all over this nation. Our vets, residents of the Good Neighbor Shelter in North Charleston, were all non-assuming men who have had difficulty of some sort in their lives. This shelter gives them a place to live while they attend classes or otherwise prepare themselves to be on their own again. It was uplifting to be with folks who enjoyed simple things and the generosity of others. I certainly appreciated the opportunity that they gave me to share this day of thanksgiving with them.

One of the blessings of being a member of the Charleston Firefighter Support Team is being able to work with the others on our Team. All are special people who have dedicated themselves to the CFD family. Sarah, Amanda, Richie, Chris, Sherry, Dr. Smith and the fifteen members of the CFD that serve as peer counselors are the Charleston Firefighter Support Team and I am honored to be associated with them. They are all true professionals in every sense of the word. They make me want to be a better person and I am thankful for each of them. Specifically today however, I want to mention one of our teammates, Christopher Wells. Chris is a quiet guy, most of the time, and is always setting an example for us as he helps others. He is a devoted family man, a great father and husband, and a good friend. Chris teaches his boys, Bryce and Casey, to be good citizens and to always do their part to support others. Whether it is the Ronald McDonald House, the local soup kitchen, or a children’s camp, Chris gives of himself regularly and he teaches his sons to do the same. Well, today Chris, I remembered one of the lessons learned from you. Thanks, my friend.
The Wells Boys, Casey, Chris & Bryce, Working on Engine 11

Looking to the Future!

On November 15, we rededicated Engine 11 to service with our Team and the CFD. Ths engine was dedicated as a tribute to all of our firefighters, "Past, Present and Future". We were honored to have Hunter Benke, son of Charleston 9 Captain Mike Benke, representing the future firefighters of the Department in this ceremony.

Hunter is featured in an article in the Post & Courier today describing his plans to follow in his Dad's footsteps. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  May you and your families have a safe and comfortable day!  Special thanks to all of our firefighters who are on duty today keeping our community safe.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What a Day!

Today, we proudly rededicated Engine 11 to service in the Charleston Fire Department.  While it may not respond to fires any longer, we expect it to fill a great need within our Team for public education and outreach programs as a symbol of our dedication to the future of our CFD family.  Thanks to all who came out today to support us and special thanks to Chief Frank Finley for concluding our ceremony by making a department-wide radio transmission that "Old Engine 11 is back in service". 

Pine Ridge Fire Department's 2nd Annual Open House & Barbeque

Yesterday, we were honored to participate in Pine Ridge Fire Department's 2nd Annual Open House and Barbeque.  We were pleased to display the "Never Forget" Camaro to a large crowd in attendance.  There were also jump castles for the kids, demonstrations by the Berkeley County Sheriff Department's canine unit and great barbeque prepared by the PRFD crew. We appreciated the opportunity to participate in this great event. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Engine 11 is in the House!

Today was a big day for us as we completed the "Raising Engine 11" project and moved the truck into its' new home at Station 16. We hope all of you can join us at our office on Sunday, November 15, at 2:00 p.m., to rededicate Engine 11.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CFD's First "EMS" Unit?

This photograph was found recently by some folks cleaning out an attic here in Charleston. It was apparently taken in the early 1950's. The man on the far left is Chief Olsen. Anybody recognize any of the others? Click on the photograph to enlarge it.

A Man and His Truck(s)!

I’m reminded in some way regularly that it is life’s simple pleasures that really define our day. I have written here before about my friends and “breakfast buddies” at Ms. Eva’s in Summerville. As the youngster in the group (I can’t claim this very often), I always enjoy sharing a good story with the guys. This week, I took a photograph of Engine 11 in with me to show off our work and realized how much people appreciate the fire department and what you all do for our communities. It seemed that everyone at the table had a fire truck story to tell. Some were about their childhood excitement at seeing a fire engine roaring down the street, another about a fire truck that belonged to the State Ports back in the 30’s and never seemed to run when they needed it. I have written here before about Mr. Henry, ninety years of age and still driving. Well, today, Mr. Henry came into the restaurant and told me he had something he wanted to show me in his car. Mr. Henry, you see, is a collector of many things, mostly knives of all shapes and sizes but, today, he wanted to show me two of his most prized collectibles, two tin fire engines complete with great detail. It is true, we can’t ever have enough toys!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Car & Motorcycle Enthusiasts Take Note!

I received an e-mail inquiry today from a member of the Houston Fire Department. The HFD has a car club, "HFD Street Machines", made up of over 400 members of the HFD. Recently, they lost one of their members, Kendall Currie, in a motorcycle accident and they are having a "Cruise-In for Kendall" on October 31. It looks as if they will have t-shirts avaliable for those of you that are interested in donating to their cause.

Visit their website at for more information.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Engine 11 to Roll on November 15th!

The rededication ceremony for Engine 11 has been set for Sunday, November 15, 2009, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Charleston Firefighter Support Team offices located at 2090 Executive Hall Road in Charleston.

The "Raising Engine 11" project has been a year long journey that has involved many individuals, businesses and organizations that came together to show their support for all of our firefighters. No public money was used in this restoration.

We hope that this fire engine will stand as an enduring example of the community support for our firefighters and our Team's commitment to "Memories of the Past - Visions for the Future".

Please make plans to join us for this very special ceremony in honor of all of our firefighters, "Past, Present and Future".

Local 61 Donates Four RIT Packs!

Chief Tom Carr and Local 61 President Bill Haigler show the new equipment to the news media.

Charleston Firefighter Local 61 came through again today in a news conference held at the Coming Street Fire Station. Chief Tom Carr was on hand to accept four additional RIT packs for use on CFD apparatus. Today's equipment will be assigned to Engines 111, 116, 119 and Battalion 105. This makes six RIT packs donated so far this year through the Local. Congratulations to the membership and to all of those folks who donated funds to purchase this equipment.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's About the Children!!

We believe that some of our most rewarding work has been done with our CFD children. As we looked back over our photos of the last two and one half years, we believe that "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Three Times a Charm!

For all of you that have been keeping up with the progress on the "Raising Engine 11" project, you know that CFD retiree Dan Schulken has been adding his personal touch to the striping and lettering this week. As we talked today, Dan told me that this is the third time he has lettered Engine 11 since it was put in service in 1960! Quite a tribute to Dan and his skill. We are fortunate to have him involved in this project.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Charleston Fire Department Truckies!

The above photograph is of CFD truck company members taken in front of the John Street firehouse in the 1930s. An amazing sense of pride flows from this image!

Got Water?

A Lost Treasure!

During the Engine 11 project, we have worked to restore it, as much as possible, to its' original condition. We repainted the top red as it was when it was first put in service. We have acquired the bell for it and will reinstall it soon. We are excited today because we found a lost treasure and one we weren't sure was still out there.

It has long been a tradition in the fire department to have a dedication plate mounted on the truck stating the year it was put in service, the name of the Mayor, Fire Chief, City Council members or, as in Charleston, the members of the Board of Firemasters along with the year the truck was put in service. Engine 11 was placed in service in December, 1960 when J. Palmer Gaillard was Mayor and Fred C. Shokes was the Fire Chief. The dedication plate has now come back to its' original home and will be placed on Engine 11 this week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Final Stretch to Completion!

I'm not sure we knew what were getting into when we decided to begin the "Raising Engine 11" project. After over a year of work, we will soon be on the road. At last count, we had spent enough on new nuts and bolts to make a car payment. The final details of wiring, refurbishment of the spotlights, siren light, and beacon have been interesting but today we put life back in the old truck when we fired up the lights. Danny Schulken will finish his striping and lettering this coming week and we'll be ready to roll. Many people have been a part of this project and have supported it from the beginning. We are excited about finishing up and celebrating with all of you. We plan to have a rededication ceremony to unveil the finished truck and further illustrate our theme of "Memories of the Past, Visions for the Future".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Very, Very Close Now!

We have been able to make great progress on Engine 11 and the completion is in sight. We need to install some chrome, rewire the lights and paint the wheels. Also, Dan Schulken will be starting his work shortly to get it lettered and striped. Take a look at the before and after photos here to really appreciate our progress.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Raising Engine 11" Update

Work continues on Engine 11 as we draw close to the completion of the project. We are now in the final stages of installing the hand rails, assembling the pump panel and preparing it for lettering and striping it with gold leaf.

Daniel Schulken, a CFD retiree known for his artistic work on many engines, trucks and cars of the Charleston Fire Dept. during his career, inspected Engine 11 last week in preparation for beginning his work. We are honored to have Dan become a part of this project. We have also started gathering much of the small equipment such as extinguishers, appliances and fittings that will adorn the running boards of the truck and we have been busy in the powdercoating shop refinishing much of it.

We are especially excited today as we received our new axes from the Liberty Art Works in Missouri with the Charleston 9 logo embossed in chrome. My wife, Marci-Jo and I are pleased to donate these two axes, one in memory of my Dad, Julian G. Mishoe, and the other in memory of Marci's Dad, Frank D.Bloodworth, both who had distinquished careers as Fire Chiefs.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Charleston 9 Camaro Competes At Darlington!

On Saturday, September 12, the "Never Forget" Camaro and the MisFire Racing crew traveled to Darlington Dragway to compete in the Ironman Classic race. Transmission problems cut our day short but not before we made several runs. It is an honor for us to continue to display this car as a tribute to the Charleston 9 and to tell their story in their memory.

CFD Retirees Begin Christmas Toy Drive!

The quarterly meeting of the Charleston Firefighter Retirees' "Hooked Up" program was held on Thursday, September 10, at the Visitors' Center in downtown Charleston. Seventy-two people attended to enjoy a good meal and hear Chief John Tippett report on the progress of the department.

The retirees in attendance have begun a toy drive for "Debi's Kids" for the upcoming Christmas season. These retirees worked for many years selling candy and fruit cakes at Christmas to help under-privileged children and decided to help out once again. Debi Chard from Channel 5 will attend the December meeting to accept all of the toys and monetary contributions from the group. Debi has asked that the retirees attend a live remote at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on December 11 to turn in all of the toys collected. Anyone who would like to participate in this drive can donate a new unwrapped toy or write a check made payable to "Debi's Kids" Please call Gerald Mishoe at (843) 609-8300 and we will make arrangements to pick up your donation.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Memories of the Past - Visions for the Future"

An unusual view of the wheel of an old steamer fire engine overlaid on the flames of the door of the "Never Forget" Camaro.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

All American Fire Muster Held Today!

The All American Fire Muster was held today at the American LaFrance Fire Museum in North Charleston. Six teams competed in the hand pumper and bucket brigade events with teams from the Charleston Air Force Base Fire Department taking top honors in both categories. Congratulations to all teams for a great show!

Also, special thanks to John Poston and Art Wittner who were on hand representing the Charleston Firefighter Support Team as peer counselors while we showed the “Never Forget” Camaro in honor of the Charleston 9.