Saturday, January 30, 2010

Intruder Encounters a "Little" Trouble!

I have written here several times about my friends I share breakfast with at Ms. Eva's on Main Street in Summerville.  "Mr. Henry" is one of the guys that always has a good story to tell.  Mr. Henry is in his early nineties and having lost his wife last year, he lives by himself in Summerville.  It seems that one day, week before last, Mr. Henry heard a noise on his front porch early one morning and, as he went to the door to check out the noise, an intruder kicked in the door with the obvious intent of robbing him.  In addition to collecting old tin fire trucks, Mr. Henry apparently collects guns and the young fellow didn't count on Mr. Henry and his 32 caliber pistol.  As Mr. Henry blazed away, the would-be burglar turned tail and ran for high ground leaving Mr. Henry with his pride, his broken down door, and his door frame full of bullet holes.  You know how the song goes, "Don't tug on Superman's cape", don't spit into the wind, don't take the mask off the ole Lone Ranger and don't mess around with Jim" or Henry either!!.

Can You Identify Any of These Folks?

This is a photo of several retired Charleston firefighters receiving years of service pins from Charleston Mayor J. Palmer Gaillard, circa 1960's.   Can you identify any of them?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Amazing Grace" by Il Divo

Amazing Grace is a song that we have all heard many times and while it sometimes brings sadness to mind it hopefully more often times bring joy to our hearts.  The singing group Il Divo recorded this version at the Coliseum in Rome and is one of the most touching and beautiful renditions that I have heard. I hope you will enjoy it.

Click on the caption above to watch the video.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Passing of a Friend......

Captain Cellars George Seabrook, CFD Retired, passed away this week here in Charleston.  His funeral service was held on Thursday, January 28, at the Edisto Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island.  Our most sincere condolences go out to Captain Seabrook's family including his sixteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Captain Seabrook served much of his career in the truck house on Coming Street as the Captain of Truck 4.  I remember my days as a young firefighter when I would visit the truck house.  Captain Seabrook always treated me with great respect and he, along with the others in the truck companies led by example and taught me the importance of pride in your work.   It was lessons I would remember many times during my career.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Successful Rescue in Florence County!

The South Lynches Fire Department in Florence County responded to an incident this morning at the Santee-Cooper Substation on Beulah Rd. behind Nanya Plastics in Lake City, SC. Three Santee-Cooper employees were installing a new large transformer when the first man entered the transformer from the top not knowing it contained nitrogen. He passed out and his co-worker entered to assist him and also passed out. The supervisor then was overcome from the nitrogen and fell into the transformer.

South Lynches Fire Department responded with one engine, rescue and tower-ladder along with Florence County and Williamsburg County EMS. Lake City Fire Department was requested and sent their tower-ladder.

SLFD Lts. Danny Gaskins and David Cantey entered the transformer and successfully removed all three unconscious victims. Two victims were airlifted to the hospital and the third was transported by ground ambulance.  All are in satisfactory condition at this time.  Hats off to all who participated in this life-saving operation!

Note:  Danny Gaskins is an Engineer on Engine 115 in the Charleston Fire Department as well as a Lieutenant in the South Lynches Fire Department.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remembering Chief Wayne Gibson

Several of us traveled to Denmark today for Chief Wayne Gibson’s funeral. Chief Gibson succumbed to burns suffered this past weekend in a propane explosion while he was offloading propane at an industrial site in Summerville.  Even though he was working on his regular job as a truck driver, his firefighter training enabled him to shut off the valves supplying the propane and prevented many other injuries or death to others in the area. Chief Gibson is a hero in every sense of the word and while it was certainly a sad day, it was heartwarming to witness the large turnout of firefighters who came to pay their respects to him and his family. While it is always difficult to understand the tragedies we face far too often, standing together to honor a fellow firefighter is a true measure of our commitment to our community and to each other. I am proud to be a member of this great fraternity of men and women of the South Carolina Fire Service.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mark Your Calendars for the Coming Months!

Many events are planned for the coming months that may be of interest to you. Please mark your calendars.

16th Annual Old Fort Fire Department
Carolina Children's Charity Golf Tournament
Legend Oaks Plantation on Thursday, February 25th, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

3rd Annual Charleston 9 Remembrance Family Picnic
Brittlebank Park on Sunday, June 6th, 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

2nd Annual Charleston 9 5K " Run for the Nine"
Marion Square on Sunday, June 20th, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Team Car Featured on Marion, Virginia Fire Department Website!

As you have read here recently, our Team has recently acquired an old Fire Chief's car that once belonged to the Marion, Virginia Fire Dept. "Big Red" will be used in our public outreach programs of the Team. Visit the MFD website by clicking on the above caption. Thanks to our friends in the MFD for the mention!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Something to Think About........

As we begin the New Year, think about what you may want to accomplish in the coming months. Whether it’s to get in better shape, improve your financial status, get a promotion at work, be a better husband, wife, father or mother or simply improving your attitude and outlook, begin by assessing where you are now. In looking at those goals myself, I am reminded of lessons learned from my former Chief at North Charleston District Fire Department, Billy Hendricks. Chief Hendricks is a quiet, non-assuming man who always looks for the best in people. He taught us many things, far removed from our regular firefighting duties. He taught us to work hard and to be proud of our accomplishments, to face adversity with an open mind, and to always remain humble, for we only get our turn at this for a short time. I would like to share some of the following things I learned from him with you now:

It is not necessarily important what you bring to the table, but instead, what you leave behind.

We cannot always control the events or happenings in our lives, but we can control how we react to them. Never lose sight of that thought!

If you are troubled about something, put it aside until the next day, if possible, as a good night’s sleep will normally improve your outlook.

If I might add a few of my own thoughts, please consider the following:

Regardless of your rank or number of years on the job, reach out to others around you and share your experience and training. Each of you has something to offer.

Our department has a great number of new folks that are working to find their places in the organization. Be a mentor and offer them your support and constructive criticism. Remember, we were all new at this once in our lives. Think about your personal experiences then and who affected your life in a positive way.

We all believe, or believed, in our careers, that we did it better than anyone else, but in reality, you guys and girls are doing it much better, and much safer than we did, and the ones who come after you will hopefully be safer and more prepared because of your contributions.

And lastly, take ownership in your future and your department as you continue to move ahead!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Team Now on Facebook!

FaceBook has become a popular medium to network with friends and family and we have started a FaceBook page for our Team to keep in touch with our firefighters, their families and our friends.  Please visit our page by typing in Charleston Firefighter Support Team in the FaceBook search box and join us as a fan.