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 www.hfdstreetmachines.com 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".