Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Successful Rescue Today!

Most of you know I am a softie for animals and today I was brought to tears by the crews of CFD and the SAFD as they responded to a house fire on Piper Avenue in the Air Harbor Subdivision.  First in companies were met with fire and heavy smoke conditions is a single family structure.  They were informed that two of the resident’s dogs were still inside. Following a quick knockdown, they initiated a search and found both of the animals. They brought them outside breathing but in bad shape. Using their pet masks, they worked to successfully revive both of the pups.  The dogs were then transported to a local veterinarian hospital where they are expected to fully recover.   Nice work for all involved!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

NIST Report to be Released This Week

The long-awaited report on the Sofa Super Store Fire by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be released this Thursday morning in a special meeting with members of the Charleston 9 families. Following the meeting with the families, the report will be presented to the members of the department before be given to the news media in a press conference.  This is the last of the reports on the SSS fire following the Routley Panel, OSHA and the NIOSH reports released in the last two years.      

CFD Officer Candidate School Set For November 2nd

The next Officer Candidate School for the CFD will begin on Monday, November 2. The two week class will be attended by 21 Engineers from the department and will include sessions ranging from shift dynamics, report writing, haz mat operations, crew resource management, incident management, strategy and tactics, building construction, basic computers and health and wellness, including a session on behavioral health presented by our Team. We are excited to be a part of this program and we're looking forward to participating.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Congratulations to Debbie Winn!

Congratulations to Debbie Winn, wife of CFD Battalion Chief John Winn, on her promotion to Captain/Shift Supervisor for Charleston County EMS. She was pinned yesterday by Chief Winn in a promotional ceremony here in Charleston.

With Deepest Sympathy......................

We are saddened to tell you of the passing of Ms. Thelma Drayton, mother of Charleston 9 member James Earl Drayton.  Ms. Thelma was a sweet lady who many of us came to know during the days after the loss of the Charleston 9.  Our most sincere sympathy goes out to her entire family. Condolences may be sent to the family at W.M. SMITH-MCNEAL FUNERAL HOME, INC., 2 Radcliffe Street, Charleston, SC will announce funeral services later this week. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heroes Salute Heroes

During the upcoming holiday season, we want to show our appreciation for our active duty, reserve and retired military personnel. Our theme will be "Heroes Salute Heroes" as we reach out to recognize those that keep us safe and have given of themselves to keep our country free. We encourage you to join us in extending thanks to each of them for their service.   

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Hope, Determination and Power"

Two years ago, we decided to rebuild our Camaro drag car as a tribute to the Charleston 9. I personally put a great deal of thought into whether it would be appropriate to build a tribute race car. I conferred with many friends and sought the advice of my teammates before proceeding. We believed that this car would be a way we could not only tell the story of our brothers, but we hoped it would be a way to engage other folks in our counseling program. When we unveiled the completed project to the Charleston 9 families, and to the crews of the companies that lost members, I continued to be unsure as to whether it would be accepted in the spirit that it was intended. At the unveiling ceremony, we received much support and heard comments such as, “this is the first event where we have not been looking at monuments or markers” or “I don’t know much about race cars, but this car seems to represent hope, determination and power”. Since that time, we have displayed the old hot rod at many events in many different locations. I continued to be moved by the people, young and old, firefighters and citizens, who look at this car in awe and walk up to place their hands over the names of the fallen. As time goes on, some people who view the car and its graphics have not heard of the Charleston 9 and that, in itself, is one of the reasons we will “Never Forget”. The sacrifices made by these men have changed the way business is done in the Fire Service, everywhere. We are light years ahead in firefighter safety and health now but there is still much work to be done. While I’m sure we would all do anything to reverse the events of June 18, 2007, we can do much to see that these men did not die in vain and that their memory lives on. This weekend, a young fellow came up to us at the dragstrip in Union County and asked, “Who’s the firefighter here?” I explained to him my position with our Team and counseling unit and he said, “I knew there had to be a firefighter involved in this, because no one else would put this much time into a car about the 9.” He went on to tell me that he had left the Fire Service due to the stresses of the job and that he appreciated what we were doing. He then shook my hand and gave me a hug. A hug from a man I had never met, a brother firefighter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Miracles Do Happen!

Tonight, while enjoying the band at a local restaurant, the saxophone player spoke  of the 33 miners rescued today from being trapped 2000 feet underground for sixty-nine days. The entire crowd erupted into applause and cheers for the rescuers who risked their lives to bring these men back home safely to their families. If we believe that there is a power greater than us and miracles do happen, then today's events in Chile are a testament that God puts us on this Earth and provides us to with knowledge, courage, determination and hope that we can be part of those miracles. The response tonight, by  a small crowd of folks from Moncks Corner to the news of success thousands of miles away, made me thankful to be a member of this community and this great country.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Amazing Week!

This has been an amazing week for our Team.  We have been able to participate in  many outstanding Fire Prevention Week activities and we have made many new friends. Today, we completed it by attending the wedding of Jen Poston, daughter of CFD Battalion Chief and our Team Peer Counselor John Poston. As the wedding ceremony was beginning this afternoon in a beautiful setting at the Wide Awake Plantation, I was maneuvering around to get a photo of Chief Poston and Jen as he walked her down the aisle.  As I looked at them through the viewfinder of my camera phone, I was taken back several years ago when Jen was battling a serious illness and we had gathered together at Station 13 to serve barbecue to raise funds to help offset her medical bills.  While we all had a good time that day, her health and her future were certainly on our minds.  Today, it became apparent to me what we mean when we speak or write of the CFD family.  We do function as a family, sometimes arguing and experiencing frustrations, but we also share in each other’s accomplishments and good times.  We appreciate your allowing us to be a part of the everyday life of the CFD as we move into the future.  We have a saying on our Team that our hope is that we make people feel better about themselves.  Thank you for returning that favor.

North Charleston Fire Prevention Show

We completed our Fire Prevention Week activities today with a great show in North Charleston.  Thanks to the members of the NCFD for their hospitality. 

Cane Bay Fire Safety & Health Fair

We traveled to Berkeley County yesterday to participate with our Whitesville Fire Department brothers and the State Fire Marshal's office in the Del Webb Cane Bay Fire Safety & Health Fair. They had a great turnout of visitors and vendors capped off with a live burn demonstration of residential fire sprinklers. Thanks to Chief Tim Stephenson and his folks and all of the others who made this another successful day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Another Great Show at James Island!

 Last night we participated in the James Island Fire Department's Fire Prevention and Safety Show at the Lowe's on Folly Road. It had been well planned and advertised and they were rewarded with a big turnout of participants and spectators.  Special thanks to Chief Seabolt, Fire Prevention Coordinator Jim Yetman and all the members of the JIFD for the great job and the invitation to participate. We're already looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

What a Night!

We traveled to Summerville this evening to participate in the SFD Annual Fire Prevention Parade and Show.  There was a large number of departments represented along with some beautiful apparatus. Special thanks to Women Firefighters of the Lowcountry members Candice Acord, Karen Johnson and Marie McCulley for making us feel at home and to Laura Kelley for handling the driving duties and entertaining the children and adults alike. Our old Chief's car, "Big Red", was a hit with the kids as they "drove" it and wound up the siren.

Thanks to all of the firefighters in attendance for carrying on the great traditions of the Fire Service and presenting themselves in a most professional manner. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to share in this experience with you all.   

Sunday, October 3, 2010

National Fire Safety Week is Here!

This coming week is National Fire Safety Week and we have a full schedule of events. Monday night, beginning at 6:00 p.m., we will be at the Lowe's on Main Street in Summerville with our SFD brothers' and sisters' event; Wednesday night, beginning at 6:00 p.m., we will join the Ashley River FD for their observance at the Food Lion on Dorchester Rd. near Ashley Phosphate Road; Thursday, we travel to the James Island Lowe's on Folly Rd. for the JIFD show beginning at 5:00 p.m.; Friday, we will be at the Del Webb Cane Bay Community on Hwy. 176 near Carnes Crossroads with our Berkeley County Firefighters from 11:00 a.m until 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday, we finish up the week at the Lowe's near Northwoods Mall for the NCFD show, also starting at 11:00 a.m. Come on out and join us for some fun!

Firefighters Wear Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness!

This weekend, Charleston firefighters and our Team members wore pink t-shirts in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The CFD effort was organized by CFD Firefighter T.J. Brennan whose mother, Mary, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Many other area departments joined in to show their support as well. Nice work, T.J.! Read the full story from Saturday's Post & Courier.