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.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Mailing Address for Team Offices

The mailing address for the Charleston Firefighter Support Team has changed. We are located in the very same place as always but our suite number has changed from Suite 170 to Suite 180. Please make a note of our new mailing address:

Charleston Firefighter Support Team
2090 Executive Hall Road, Suite 180
Charleston, South Carolina 29407

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just To Be Like Dad!

Kevin and Keaton Pool

Today, as I watched our new recruits graduate and become members of the department, I reflected on when I first received my badge as a firefighter. It was January, 1967 and I was as excited as I had ever been in my life. I was fortunate to have grown up as a fire department kid with a Dad that had always been a dedicated member of the Fire Service and a hero to me. I was much like most boys, who want to be like their fathers and my entry into the fire department was my first chance to live that dream. As I looked around the auditorium today, I saw many men who have also lived that dream and followed their dads into the proudest and most honorable profession known to man. Many of us have been further blessed to have had our own sons or daughters follow us into the fire department and that, my friends, may be the ultimate accomplishment of our careers.

Another thought that came to mind today was the camaraderie of the new recruits and again I was reminded of the old friendships that were represented in the crowd today. Many of us there began our careers together and even though some of us worked in different departments, we are all close friends who have always shared the love of the job. I thank all of those people, and they know who they are, for all that they have done for me over the years. I can only hope that our new recruits will have long and safe careers filled with exciting times, good friends and loving families, just as we all shared today.

Stay safe, my friends,


New Recruits Join Department!!

Twenty-eight recruits completed their training this week and joined the Charleston Fire Department in graduation ceremonies held today at the Gaillard Auditorium. The recruits received their badges as a large group of family members and fellow firefighters from the department cheered them on. This class was the largest ever for a CFD recruit class that lasted 16 grueling weeks in the hottest time of year for Charleston. They all earned their Firefighter 1 and 2, Basic Emergency Medical Technician and Hazardous Materials certifications.

Our congratulations go out to Casey Blume, William Bristow, Duey Carstensen, John Cooper, Joseph Curtis, Willie Day, Nicholas Daymut, Matthew Fogliano, Demetrius Frye, Michael Gorby, Brian Green, Grahl Haney, Steven Harvill, Edward Mascaro, Jonathan Massie, David Miller, Brad Mizzell, Timothy Nagle, Troy Nave, Vincent Norcia, Robert Norman, Kevin Pool, Japheth Sprankles, Richard Summers, Ryan Taylor, Jordan Vacchiano, Kyle Weiss and David Willhoit for a job well done. Welcome to the CFD family!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brad's Scholarship Fundraiser a Success!

We participated in the second annual Brad Baity Patriotism Scholarship Fundraiser in Brad's hometown of Mooresville, N.C. this past Thursday. Mooresville, better known as "Race City, USA", is the home of over forty NASCAR race teams and is a tough place to show a race car as they are a part of everyday life in the community. The "Never Forget" Camaro was, nevertheless, well-received and we were deeply honored to show it and to tell the story of the Charleston 9.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bacon, Eggs and Flat Screen TVs.......

This morning, I stopped by Ms. Eva’s Restaurant on Main Street in Summerville to meet some friends for breakfast. For the ones of you who have not experienced Ms. Eva’s, it is well worth the trip. The food there reminds me of my Momma’s cooking and the fellowship is a great way to start the day. Ms. Eva’s has been in operation for over sixty years and Ms. Eva stills comes in each day to sit in her rocking chair in the kitchen peeling potatoes or snapping beans. Whether it’s an early morning breakfast or the taste of fried chicken and fresh vegetables at lunch, it’s an experience you all should enjoy at least once.

A lot of folks gather at Ms. Eva’s to share the food and the fellowship that come with regular visits. Certain tables are occupied by the same people every day and I considered it a privilege to get to join the likes of Mr. Henry, Ralph, Marshall and Mr. Allen at their table. Stories of days gone by are frequently told and I am always interested to hear of the days when Mr. Henry worked for the Conservation Corp or Mr. Allen boxed at County Hall. Marshall also has many tales of when he worked at the Navy Yard in Charleston. These men are the best example of hard-working men who have given much to their community and more to their families over the years.

Today, however, Mr. Henry got the prize for the best story. First, it’s important for you to know that Mr. Henry claims to be ninety years of age. He is normally there every morning of the week. Today, he told us that his son thought that Mr. Henry needed a new television even though he was satisfied that his old one was working fine. Nevertheless, his son brought him a new 42 inch flat screen and set about to get Mr. Henry tuned in. Mr. Henry said that the remote control was very confusing and had over fifty buttons. He asked his son to program it for just one button so he could get Channel 5. His son complied and, for several days, all was well. Then, he apparently pressed the wrong button and a scantily clad young woman appeared on the screen. He wasn’t sure what had happened so he called his son on the phone and asked him if he could come over and program the remote for just two buttons. Needless to say, Mr. Henry is enjoying his new television.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Brad Baity Scholarship Fundraiser

The second annual Brad Baity Patriotism Scholarship Fundraiser Picnic will be held in Mooresville, North Carolina this Thursday evening, August 13, 2009, beginning at 5:00 p.m., at the Carrigan Farms Quarry Park in Mooresville. Brad grew up in Mooresville and graduated from Mooresville High School. His parents, brother, and his sister continue to reside in the Mooresville community.

This scholarship is awarded to a deserving senior at Mooresville High School each year in honor of Brad. The Quarry Park is a beautiful location and an appropriate place to honor Brad's memory. We hope you can join us to celebrate Brad's life and to contribute to this very worthwhile cause.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New CFD Peers Join Our Team!

The Charleston Firefighter Support Team is pleased to announce the addition of an internal Peer Support Team comprised of members of the department who have attended special training to be peer counselors in the department. They are available to members of the department and their families who feel comfortable in reaching out to them in time of need. The peers will work closely with the full-time clinicians and peer counselors currently assigned to the Charleston Firefighter Support Team. They will make station visits, be available by phone, and will participate in all of the outreach programs now offered by the Support Team. In time of need, they will also be called upon to respond to other departments who may experience a serious injury or line-of-duty death of another firefighter. They are following in the footsteps of our friends and brothers from the FDNY who have contributed so much to our program as peers during the last two years.

Our peers represent all positions in the rank structure of the department and have given much time and effort to become a member of our Team. We will post a call list in each station at the beginning of each month with the names and phone numbers of the peers on the call list for that given month. Department personnel are urged to contact anyone on the list that they choose if needed.

The current Peer Team members are Robbie Baldwin, George Gardiner, Johnny Hackett, Bill Haigler, Ryan Hall, Abby Horrex, Joe Johnston, Bryan Kleskie, Frank Marker, John Poston, Johnny Rogers, Pete Salvo, Jason Williamson, John Winn, Sr. and Art Wittner.

We appreciate the efforts made by these individuals in becoming a part of our Team and look forward to working with them.

It is important to remember that members can continue to contact the Charleston Firefighter Support Team office at our twenty-four hour, seven days a week help line at (843) 609-7013 if they would like to speak to the on-call clinician for assistance or to make an appointment.