Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Thought for the Day"

"They are so busy avoiding failure that they can't plan for success!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Never Forget" Camaro Takes "Best In Show"!

This past Saturday, we entered the "Never Forget" Camaro in the SDRA's 25th Annual Car Show in North Charleston. Sixty-eight cars participated for trophies in multiple divisions and there were many beautiful, well-engineered cars on display. We were honored to have our car judged "Best in Show". What a tribute to our firefighters and to the men and women who worked so diligently to prepare this car!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Never Forget" Camaro Unveiled for Charleston 9 Families

This afternoon, in a reception for the Charleston 9 families, we unveiled the "Never Forget" Camaro, a drag racing car built to commemorate the Charleston 9. We were honored to have the crews from Engines 15, 16, 19 and Ladder 5 join the families for the viewing of this very special project.

The Charleston Firefighter Support Team, in cooperation with MisFire Racing of Summerville, South Carolina, humbly displayed this car in memory of the Charleston 9, who gave their lives in the line of duty on June 18, 2007, in what will now be forever known as the Sofa Super Store Fire.  It is hoped that this project will serve to raise public awareness of the dangers of firefighting and to the sacrifices made by our firefighters in the performance of their duties.

This car is a 1990 Chevrolet Camaro, originally built by Gateway Race Cars in Fenton, Missouri in 1990. It was campaigned on the National Hot Rod Association’s National Circuit as a Pro Stock car for several years before finding its’ way to south Florida where it was raced on the local circuits there.  It was powered by a 700 cubic inch engine in those days with a best quarter mile speed of 206 miles per hour. In November, 2006, it was acquired by MisFire Racing and brought to South Carolina. 

In April, 2007, it was heavily damaged in a crash at Lowcountry Dragstrip in Berkeley County, South Carolina.  It required nearly two years and much effort to restore it to a race ready condition.  The car is currently powered by a Doug Livingston 468 cubic inch big block Chevrolet engine and runs the eighth mile in about 5.50 seconds.

Many thanks to Chet Couch and crew, at Hipster Race Car Fabrication in Summerville, South Carolina, for their time and expertise in the body and paint work seen here and to Patricia and Jack Carolan, of Signs ASAP, in Summerville for their contribution of the reproduction prints of the "Chariots of Fire" mural given to each family in attendance today.   Also our sincere appreciation goes to Stacy Lundy of Stacy’s Designs, of North Charleston, South Carolina for the hand-painted flames and other graphics, to include the mural and the twenty-three carat gold leaf C9 emblem, that add a very special touch to this lasting tribute and to Suzette Dunlap and Nikki Cockcroft, of the CFD Wives' Club, for providing the refreshments for today's reception.

"Memories of the Past, Visions for the Future"

The New Year brought a renewed spirit to our Team and our new theme, “Memories of the Past, Visions for the Future”.  The mural pictured above, “Chariots of Fire”, by Stacy Lundy, illustrates five generations of fire engines beginning with an 1880’s era steamer fire engine. The others are a 1923 open cab, a 1951 Ford, Engine 11, a 1961 Mack, being restored by our Team now, and Engine 6 from Cannon Street.

We are forever committed to the memories of the Charleston 9 and equally dedicated to continuing to take care of their families and all of our firefighters and their families in the future.   In addition, we acknowledge the seventy or so firefighters that have joined our ranks since June 18, 2007.   We know that in order to reach to out to those folks who were not here in June, 2007, we need to be able to tell the story of the Charleston 9.   Their story is also important to the citizens of community, our state and this nation, so that the sacrifices of the nine will never be forgotten as we promote a safer firefighting environment for generations of firefighters to come. 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What a Great Day!

Today, Charleston Firefighters Local 61 held their barbeque fundraiser to help Chief Poston and his daughter, Jen, with her mounting medical bills. It appeared to be an amazing success! I'm not sure how many dinners were sold but there was a huge turnout of firefighters and the general public to support this worthwhile cause. It continues to be heartwarming to see the support that can be mustered for one of our own. Active duty firefighters, retired firefighters, our police officers, EMS and County Rescue personnel all turned out along with many, many citizens of the community. Other Tri-county departments sent personnel and trucks to help out and Chief Carr was there to fulfill his commitment, after the "Families Helping Families" campaign, to cook for Engine 13. It was truly an honor for our Team to be able to participate.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Hooked Up" Meeting a Success!

The CFD Retirees'"Hooked Up" program's quarterly meeting was held last night with sixty-eight in attendance. Special thanks to Chief Kleskie, Chief Roberts, Capt. Wittner, and his crew, for displaying and demonstrating all of the new safety equipment in the department for those attending. This program was started to keep the retirees in touch with the department and its' progress and to show our appreciation for their service to the City. It was great to see the interaction between the retirees and current members of the department.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Barbeque Fundraiser at Charleston Fire Station 13!

On Saturday, March 14, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Charleston Firefighters Local 61 will have a barbeque dinner at Station 13 on Folly Road to raise money to help out with medical bills for Jen Poston, daughter of Battalion Chief John Poston. Please come out and support this very worthwhile cause.

Cost is $ 10.00 per plate and plates can be picked up for carryout. We hope to you see you there!

RIT Packs Donated to Department

Today, in a ceremony at Fire Department Headquarters, Chief Tom Carr accepted two new RIT packs for Engines 6 and Engine 15, given by Michael and Ann Mulkey, Louis Mulkey's parents and P.O. and Pat Mead, Louis' aunt and uncle. The Mulkeys and the Meads worked with Charleston Firefighters Local 61 to make this happen. Pictured in the photo above are Pat Mead, Michael Mulkey, Ann Mulkey, Chief Carr and Joe Johnston of Local 61.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Firefighters and Families, Mark Your Calendars!

The CFD Wives' Club will host the second annual CFD9 Commemorative Picnic on Sunday, June 14, 2009, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., at Brittlebank Park in Charleston. There will be many activities for the children and food for all. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for a great afternoon!

Reminder to Retirees!

The next meeting of the CFD Retirees' "Hooked Up " program will be this Thursday night, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Charleston Baptist Church off of Savage Road in West Ashley. We are looking forward to seeing all of our retirees there.

Team Welcomes Sarah Braswell!

We are happy to welcome our newest member, Sarah Braswell, to our Team as a Clinician. We are excited about the coming year and having Sarah join us.

Sarah writes:

"As the newest member of the Team, I can think of no other career that would be as exciting & fulfilling as supporting people with building the life they want to live. My approach to counseling includes a wellness perspective that considers an individual’s emotional, physical, social, spiritual, vocational, and cognitive (learning new things & thinking clearly) well being.

I’ve worked in the field for over six years and earned a B.A. in Psychology at The University of North Carolina at Asheville and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage.

I love living West Ashley and if I’m not out running with my dog “China,” you’ll probably find me teaching cardio kickboxing or women’s self defense. I am also a passionate student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I feel fortunate to be a part of this team and look forward to serving you and your families."

Red Duct Tape

This weekend I was shopping in a local store and came across a display of duct tape. There in the bin were stacks of RED duct tape. Now, for you fellow duct tape enthusiasts, this was the jackpot for an old firefighter and a self-proclaimed duct tape connoisseur! Now, before you think I’m being a little eccentric, (I am), this was just another day in my world of enjoying the small things. Whether it is the sight of a little puppy, a drag racing car with the back tires boiling smoke, the smile of a kid as we speed down the street with him at the wheel of our golf cart, or just the feel of a cool breeze blowing through the pine trees, I learned long ago that it is these things that really define us and our ability to enjoy our lives. It did not come naturally to me, but was honed from a life of many good things and sad disappointments and a desire to help my children learn to love their time on this earth. So, take a little time today to look for those little things in your life. I believe it will be worth the search and, by the way, if you see me in a crowd, I’ll be the one with the red duct tape stuck to my briefcase.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

To Our Salisbury Friends.......

Today, our brothers and sisters in the Salisbury, North Carolina Fire Department will observe the first anniversary of the loss of two of their own, Vic Isler and Justin Monroe, with a memorial service at the Firefighter Memorial in Salisbury. Our thoughts will certainly be with them today.