Friday, July 31, 2009

CFD Retirees, Mark Your Calendars!

Our next "Hooked Up" meeting for our retiree program will be on Thursday, September 10, 2009, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Charleston Visitors' Center at the corner of Meeting Street and John Street. The Visitors' Center is a great venue and we want to thank Mark Ruppel, our Fire Department Public Information Officer, for arranging it for us.

Chief John Tippett, our new Deputy Chief of Operations of the Department, will be our speaker. We also have much news to share with you and look forward to seeing all of you there. Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Momma Needs a New Pair of Shoooes!!

We are making great progress on "Raising Engine 11". It reminds me of the lyrics from a song of years ago by the Pointer Sisters, "I'm so excited and I just can't hide it".

Today, Williams Tire Company on Dorchester Road in North Charleston rose to the challenge of mounting new tires on Engine 11. Due to the danger in mounting tires on the old split ring wheels, it was difficult to find someone to do the job. We are very appreciative of Paul Johnson, the technician at Williams Tire, who came all the way out to Summerville and to Jimmy Finnegan and the other folks at Williams for arranging it. Many thanks also go out to Louis Mulkey's parents, Mike and Ann, and many of his family members and friends who donated the money to buy the tires.

We hope that you are excited as well as this old truck will truly be a great tribute to all of our firefighters. We hope to have it in service and completed by Fire Prevention week. Stay tuned for more updates.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The CFD Wives' Club

The CFD Wives’ Club was organized after the loss of the Charleston 9 when many of your wives were seated together at the Memorial Service. They realized that by not knowing each other, it was difficult to provide the mutual support that they needed at the time. A small group of wives set out to organize an effort to provide a forum where they could come together with a mission of supporting the physical, moral and spiritual health of their husbands and of each other.

I can tell you that in the last two years, they have worked diligently in pursuit of that mission and have accomplished a great deal. Whether it’s a ball game, yard sale, CFD 9 Remembrance picnic, Family Day at the Fire Museum, movie, bake sale, or a special function such as a CFD 9 Family reception or recruit graduation, they have been there time after time after time with willing and open hearts in support of not only their guys, but the entire Charleston Fire Department family.

As with any other group, they have had their detractors and sometimes, their disagreements, but it has not kept them from working for all of us. I urge all of you guys to encourage your wives to join, and to support them when they do. Many of you may believe that it is not appropriate for your wives to be involved in your workplace, but I have seen very positive results from these women. In the past two years, most of you have had great difficulty with the loss of the Charleston 9. As you have continued to come to work facing much adversity and much more change, your wives have been at home worried and concerned about you daily. The Wives’ Club has given them a place of support and comfort for each other and a place where they can make important contributions to all of you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Chariots of Fire" Now Available!

During the SC Firefighters' Fire-Rescue Conference in Myrtle Beach this month, many of you asked us for a copy of the "Chariots of Fire" mural that appears on the rear wing of the "Never Forget" Camaro.

The mural depicts five generations of Charleston fire engines, featuring a 1882 steamer fire engine and Engine 6, now running out of the Cannon Street fire house. The mural emphasizes our Team's theme, "Memories of the Past, Visions of the Future", which is intended to honor the Charleston 9 and all of our retired firefighters who dedicated their lives to serving the citizens of our community and to recognize the contributions of our current firefighters who are the future of our department.

Prints of the mural are now available, 9" by 25", printed on high quality paper and suitable for framing, by contacting Gerald Mishoe at or by calling (843) 609-8300. The cost of the print, including shipping, is $ 25.00. All proceeds from the sale of these prints will go to the "Raising Engine 11" project.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pink Ribbon Tour Returning to Charleston!

The Pink Ribbon Tour ia a nationwide effort by firefighters, police officers and community leaders to support those who are battling breast cancer and to continue to educate others about the disease. The group's pink fire trucks will be in Charleston on October 10, 2009. Visit their website by clicking on the heading above to read about this worthwhile program. Stay tuned to our website for further information on time and place to visit them in Charleston.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Passing of a Friend

Tonight, I learned of the passing of George J. Meitzler, Jr. "G.J.", as he was known to his friends, was the grandfather of Kim Benke of our Charleston Fire Department family. He was a long-time member of the Charleston County Rescue Squad and that's where I first met him and became his friend. In February, 1976, I had just been hired as an Assistant Chief of the North Charleston District Fire Department. At the age of 26, I was, quite frankly, nervous about my new job responsibilities. The rescue squad shared space with us in our Headquarters on Dorchester Road near Interstate 26. On my first day, I recognized G.J. there. He was the first familiar face I saw as I had known him through our responses with the rescue squad when I worked at St. Andrews Fire Department. I guess he sensed my nervousness as he told me that things would work out and he would help me in any way that he could. Little did I know that I would lean on him many times over the years to come. The last time we spent time together was in June of last year when he attended a picnic for the Charleston 9 families at Mepkin Abbey. He and I rode down to the river in my golf cart and talked about the good ole days. Our friendship was always one of mutual respect and I feel honored to have had him in my life.

Our sincere condolences go out to Ms. Marie, Kim, JoAnn, Ricky, Taylor, Hunter, and the entire Meitzler family.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Second Annual All-American Fire Muster Scheduled for August 29th!

The North Charleston American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center is holding their second annual All American Fire Muster on August 29th. This year's event will be larger than last year's with four different hand pumpers being used for the competition. Click on the title above to access registration information.

Brad Baity Patriotism Scholarship

The Brad Baity Patriotism Scholarship recognizes a senior high school student from the Mooresville Graded School District for his/her accomplishments as a model citizen of Mooresville and of this country. The scholarship is in memory of Brad, a son of Mooresville, a 1988 graduate of Mooresville High School, and a genuine patriot. As a child, Brad was a Boy Scout and later a police cadet, a U.S. Marine and firefighter. He was very active in his church and community and was a consummate family man. He lost his life in the Sofa Super Store fire on June 18, 2007, along with eight other brave Charleston firefighters. Brad touched the lives of many, many people. Those who knew him best admired his unwavering devotion to God, family, country and community. He was the epitome of a true Patriot, someone driven by values and who gave unselfishly to help others and his country. The Brad Baity Patriotism Scholarship is intended for those young adults who exemplify the same qualities.

Many of you were close friends with Brad and he surely exemplified the qualities of the candidates for this scholarship. If you would like to make a contribution to this fund in memory of Brad, you can do so by sending your donations made payable to the "Mooresville Excellence in Education Foundation" (M.E.E.F.) c/o Chris Baker, 958 Muirsfield Drive, Mooresville, N.C. 28115.

Additionally, Brad's friends and family will hold the second annual scholarship picnic fundraiser at the Quarry Park in Mooresville on Thursday, August 13, 2009, beginning at 5:00 p.m. We were honored to attend last year and expect to be there again on August 13. We hope some of you can attend this very worthwhile event in memory of Brad.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remembering Our Fallen Firefighters

This week we are honored to be participating in the South Carolina State Firefighters' Association's Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach. The Team has a booth in the exhibit hall displaying the "Never Forget" Camaro as we honor the Charleston 9. It is heartwarming to speak to all who are concerned about our department and to hear them express their respect and gratitude for the sacrifices of our fallen heroes.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Never Forget" Camaro T-Shirts Now Available!

Team Misfire Racing is now offering t-shirts of their "Never Forget" Camaro to support the completion of the "Raising Engine 11" project. Engine 11 is a 1961 Mack from the Charleston Fire Department that was retired in 1991 and sat in storage until last year when it was acquired by the Charleston Firefighter Support Team. It is being restored in honor of all members, past and present, of the Charleston Fire Department. It will be used by the Support Team in their community outreach programs as a tribute to the contributions our firefighters make to the community on a daily basis. Anyone interested in a t-shirt can contact Gerald Mishoe by e-mail at or by phone at (843) 609-8300.