Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2nd Annual Charleston Bed Race to Benefit Camp Happy Days!

On April 10th, 2011, Camp Happy Days will host the 2nd Annual Charleston Bed Race.This event, while fun for participants and spectators alike, has a serious side. It benefits Camp Happy Days, the year round program for South Carolina’s children with cancer, whose mission is to give children diagnosed with cancer and their families hope and support by providing programs, special events, emotional support and access to crisis resources.

So, jump under the sheets and roll down to Mary Murray Boulevard in Hampton Park on April 10th. At approximately 3:00 p,m., the 2nd Charleston Bed Race will commence on the backside of the park. A grand parade of the racing beds before the judges and spectators will take place before the heats begin. The beds will be judged on the fastest bed, slowest bed, best decorated, most outrageously decorated, the “What were you thinking?” bed, and the People’s Choice Award.

The heats will involve two beds at a time racing a distance of approximately two city blocks, with a challenge to be determined halfway through the course. These heats will continue until they are down to two beds. The fun continues until they have a bed race champion team who will reign for the year. Libations (a.k.a. Beer) and food will be served. The Women Firefighters of the Lowcountry "Sirens" will be fielding a Team so come on out and cheer them on!!

Click on the headline caption above to follow the link for registration information!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Life Springs Forward!

As we were working at the SSS site today, we heard a faint sound near the flagpole and discovered a Momma bird sitting on a nest of four eggs.  She was none too happy about our being there.  We stopped work to decide what we needed to do to protect  her and the eggs.  First, we put stakes around her nest to keep the construction equipment working on the property from disturbing her.   We made several phone calls seeking advice on how to take care of her and the folks at the Birds of Prey Aviary near Awendaw agreed to come out and assist in moving her and her babies to a safe location.  As we watched her protecting her nest, I couldn’t help but think of how the SSS site has affected all of us in the last four years. It is normally a solemn and sad location where memories of our lost heroes linger.  But today, however, this little bird showed us all that life does spring forward as she sought safe refuge there to have her offspring. In a way, it was her tribute to the 9 and I believe they would be pleased.  

Improvements Begin at SSS Site

Today we assisted the folks from the City of Charleston’s Parks Department in preparing to start the improvements to the SSS site. We began by removing the original flagpole and nine markers in preparation for hauling in fill dirt and top soil to grade and level the site. New sod will be added along with new shrubbery and benches. The finishing touches will include a walkway into the center of the property along with new markers for each of the nine and a 25 foot illuminated flagpole. This project is the first phase of improvements as we continue to move towards a permanent memorial on the site in the future. It should take about a month to complete this initial project.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Please Help Us With Our Patch Display!

After moving into our new offices recently, we have been wanting to start a patch display. We would be honored to display patches from your fire department. Please send them to the Charleston Firefighter Support Team, 2090 Executive Hall Road, Suite 115, Charleston, SC 29407. We will proudly include them in our collection! Special thanks to CFD Capt. George Gardiner for getting us started.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CFD Receives Scholarship for Tactics & Strategies Training!

True North is pleased to announce the award of the next True North Firefighter Training Scholarship. After careful review of the many applications submitted by departments from across the USA, the scholarship was awarded to the City of Charleston Fire Department.

The True North Training scholarship will provide $6,000 for training to teach tactics and strategies for engaging commercial "Big Box" fires. True North has partnered with On Scene Training Associates to provide the training. To make sure Charleston firefighters get the greatest benefit from the training, Aaron Heller with On Scene Training spent two days in Charleston with the CFD training officer and other fire department personnel learning about the department's current training curriculum, the tools & equipment they use, and the community they protect.

The training program will be held on April 26 - April 28, 2011 and will involve a day of interactive classroom education and two days of hand-on skills training. “This course will be a great addition to the Charleston Fire Department's training curriculum and will assist them in bringing a unique and innovative program to all of the CFD firefighters. It is always a thrill to know that we have the opportunity to bring realistic hands-on training to a department who has endured so much,” says Aaron Heller from On Scene Training. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

CFST Members to Train with Myrtle Beach Fire Department Peers!

On Friday, April 1, members of our Team will travel to Myrtle Beach to train with the MBFD Peer Team.  We are excited about this trip as it will give us an opportunity to exchange ideas and information on our programs and to learn from their experiences and expertise. 

Team to Present at Fire-Rescue Conference in Myrtle Beach!

Members of our Team will present two programs during the upcoming Annual South Carolina State Firefighters' Fire-Rescue Conference in Myrtle Beach in June. The first program will be on Thursday, June 9, and will be a Behavioral Health Workshop that will provide participants with an understanding of the potential impact of cumulative stress and the potentially traumatic events to which first responders are frequently exposed. This workshop is specifically tailored to provide participants with techniques to assess issues and build on their existing coping strategies.

The second program, scheduled for Friday, June 10, will a program development session that will address issues facing departments in their attempt to form and/or maintain a Peer Team and establish and maintain access to counseling for their members. The goal of this session is to combine a presentation from the Charleston Firefighter Support Team with a discussion among participants that highlights the successes and challenges they have experienced. In addition, training and support issues will also be addressed.

We invite all of you who are planning to be in Myrtle Beach to join us for these informative programs.

Four New Members Join Our Team!

We are pleased to announce the addition of four new members to the Charleston Firefighter Support Team. CFD members Jack Detournillon, Demeail Seabrook, Matt Thomson and Jimmy Regan recently completed their initial training and have joined our Team as Peer Counselors. 

They join  CFD members Robert Baldwin, George Gardiner, Bill Haigler, Johnny Hackett, Bryan Kleskie, Frank Marker, Pete Salvo, John Poston and John Winn, Sr. as active members of the Peer Team component the Charleston Firefighter Support Team.   All of these peers are available to our firefighters and their families for assistance upon request.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Battle of the Roosters?

Come out on Sunday, March 27, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., to watch Awendaw firefighters take on the best the Funky Little Chicken has to offer in what may be the first ever fried chicken cook-off held in Charleston.  There will be live music, good food, cold drinks and all the proceeds go to the Carolina Children's Charity. We will be there with some of our Team vehicles and we would like to see all of you.  

CFD Retirees "Hooked Up" Meeting Held Tonight

Our Team finished up a busy day by hosting the CFD Retirees' "Hooked Up" meeting tonight at the Charleston Baptist Church. A & M Brown's Bar-B-Que of Moncks Corner provided a delicious meal enjoyed by all. Battalion Chief Randy Carter of the CFD Training Division presented an interesting and informative program on the Training Division and the Recruit Training Program and brought the retirees up-to-date on the department's progress. All attendees were invited to the next recruit graduation being held on April 15 and the CFD Picnic on June 5. The program was concluded with a drawing and each of the retirees won a door prize provided by local merchants.  

Mike Brown Working His Magic!

Guests Enjoying the Meal

Chief Carter Presenting His Program
Special thanks to Mike Brown of A & M Brown's, Chief Randy Carter, Ted and Nancy Jones, and the folks at Charleston Baptist Church for making this a successful night.

CFD Battalion Chief Phil Hawkins Retires

After a great morning at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, I was honored to have lunch with CFD Battalion Chief Phillip Hawkins and friends as we marked “Big Daddy’s” retirement from the department.  Much can be said for Phil and I just wanted to take a minute to share my personal feelings about this good man. He and I met many years ago when we were both very young and quite ambitious about our fire service careers. We've faced much together over the years, the heartbreak of losing loved ones and many of our friends, and happier times such as raising our children and the birth of our grandchildren. We have fought many, many  fires, both literally and figuratively, celebrated promotions and accomplishments, made a bunch of mistakes, and enjoyed our triumphs. But most importantly, through all of these years, we have remained friends and brothers.  I have never been more proud to call someone my brother and I can only hope that all of you experience true brotherhood or sisterhood during your lives.  It is not something that just happens;  it must be developed and earned.  You must pay it forward in order to reap its’ benefits and it cannot be traded or sold. To my brother, Phil, I wish you the very best in your retirement and will continue to look forward to our weekly meetings. Take care of yourself and enjoy your new grandson. We have reached a new time in our lives and I expect we will do well.


St. Patrick's Day in Charleston!

We participated in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade today in downtown Charleston. The weather was wonderful and the crowd was excited as Engine 11 and "Big Red'  drove by. Charlie, the Riverdog mascot, rode Engine 11 and was a big hit with the crowd. What a great time of year to be in Charleston! Special thanks to CFD Retiree Winston Lesesne for handling the wheel on Engine 11.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Marching to a Different Drummer!

This morning our roving photographer caught up with the CFD recruits as they marched from the Training Center down to Station 9 for RIT training. Stay safe out there brothers as we await your graduation and joining the ranks of Charleston Bravest!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CFD Hockey Team to take on Boston FD Team!!

On Saturday, March 12th (C-Shift), the CFD Hockey Team will take on the Boston Fire Department's Hockey Team at the Carolina Ice Palace, located at 7665 Northwoods Blvd., in North Charleston (next to Northwoods Mall), the puck drops at 6:00 p.m. The CFD is coming off of a thrilling last minute win over FDNY's "A-Squad" and is looking to ride the momentum from that game into this upcoming match with Boston's Bravest. It should prove to be another exciting game, so come out and support our brothers as they look to take down our brothers from "Beantown".
Prior to the game, there will also be an All-You-Can-Eat Pre-Game Party at O'Malley's Bar & Grille at 549 King Street, in Downtown, Charleston from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Tickets to the party are available for $15 and Local 61 has made arrangements for buses to provide FREE transportation from O'Malley's to the hockey game and back.

Please contact Local 61 President T.J. Brennan for ticket sales and more information at

Proceeds raised from the event will go to the Charleston Firefighter Benevolence Fund, with a portion of the proceeds also going to help fund the CFD Hockey Team. For information on tickets to the game, please contact Dave Fleming, at Tickets to the game will also be available at the Carolina Ice Palace on game day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The "Never Forget" Camaro and "Spitfire" Win Today!

The "Never Forget" Camaro and "Spitfire", our Team motorcycle,  both took top trophies today in the Southern Drag Racing Association's "Camp Happy Days" Car Show in North Charleston.  Our hot rod won "Best Paint for a Pro Drag Car" and "Spitfire" won 1st Place in the Motorcycle Cruiser Class. Special thanks go out to all of our friends, Earl, Sarah, Phil, Brian, Shannon and Justin from the St. Andrews Fire Department, Laura from the Awendaw Fire District, Paulette from the St. Paul's Fire Department, Jason, Leigh, and all the family members for their help in making this a special day!

Hats Off to Our NCFD and CCEMS Brothers and Sisters!

North Charleston firefighters and CCEMS personnel responded to the White Oak Manor today to find fire and heavy smoke conditions.  Our hats are off to them for their heroic actions in evacuating all 171 residents without any serious injuries.  Great job to all of them!!