Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NEW Charleston Firefighter Support Website on the Horizon!

We are excited to share with you that we are in the process of building a brand new website to be up and running very soon! We will be posting the new site on our Facebook page and by our e-mail contacts in the coming days so stay tuned for a much more interactive place to share our news and events!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ruby Tuesday "Give Back" Event This Friday!

A reminder to all of our friends and supporters that the Ruby Tuesday's Restaurant on Savannah Highway will be having their "Give Back" promotion this Friday, August 31, from 11:00 a.m until 11:00 p.m., to benefit the "Big John" project. Ruby's will give back 20% of their food sales to our project all day long! You must have the "Give Back" flyer to present to your server with your check and you can cut, paste, and print it here. The restaurant will also have flyers on hand for those who are unable to print one. The "Big John" truck will be on display all day long. Please come out and share your message on the truck for a friend or family member who has been touched by cancer.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Help for the Horses!

Today, we participated in the Steel Pony Car Show at the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island to benefit the LEARN Horse Rescue organization. There was a ton of great cars, trucks, and motorcycles, good food and great music. "Big John" and "Bullet" both took home trophies and all in attendance raised a bunch of money for LEARN. All in all, a fantastic day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Getting to the Finishing Touches!

Today we picked up "Big John" from our friends at Bendt Brothers Upholstery West of the Ashley where they have created a real work of art with canvas. The selection of colors, the embroidery work, and the workmanship in the design and stit
ching really make this hose bed cover a great addition to the theme of the truck. Special thanks to Mr. Jim Hayes and his crew for their commitment to the project and for the donation of this cover. We are proud to show off their work for all to see. Jim said it best today when he spoke of Chief Winn as his friend and his feeling that this truck was truly a community effort. He is so right as this project could not have come together without every one of our friends who have helped us make it a reality.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Big John Event This Saturday!

Get ready for the weekend and the "Big John" event where we will get together to remember the life and legend of Chief John Winn. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Elks Lodge on Sam Rittenberg Blvd. with music by "Plane Jane"
, BBQ by Frank Marvin and cash bars provided by the Elks. The "Big John" Fire Truck will be there as we continue to move forward with Chief Winn's mission and dream of taking better care of our own.

We will be there, rain or shine, with plenty of covered outside area and ceiling fans along with an inside air-conditioned banquet room.
We will also be taking pre-orders for our new "Big John" t-shirts to be printed next week. We hope to see all of you there!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Big John" Gets a New Pair of "Shoes"!

We have been blessed during the “Big John” story to have many folks who supported the cause by contributing their time, money, and support and today we wrote another chapter to the story. The Salisbury, North Carolina Fire Department recently donated two new much needed tires for the front end of the truck. We took a road trip to Salisbury today to pick them up and were able to spend a few hours visiting with our friends. Chief Winn held our Salisbury brothers and sisters very close after he traveled with our Team to train with the SFD as they formed their Peer Team there last year. We extend a heartfelt thanks to all of them for their contribution as we now will be able to have their spirit roll down the road with us with “Big John”!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Just to Be Like Dad!

As I looked through our old posts this morning, I came across the following that was originally posted in August, 2009.  I realized that the thoughts expressed in it are really timeless:  
CFD Firefighter Kevin Pool & his son, Keaton
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,


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Steel Pony Charity Ride and Car Show Coming Soon!

On Sunday, August 26, the Steel Pony Charity Ride and Car Show will be held at the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island with proceeds benefiting the LEARN Horse Rescue organization.  The ride will begin for riders at the Lowcountry Harley Davidson in North Charleston with registration at 11:00 a.m and kickstands up at 12:30 p.m.  The ride will conclude at the Charleston Tea Plantation with a great car and bike show beginning at 2:00 p.m. 

Visit or for more details and come out and join us for a great afternoon of music and food!  We will have several of our Team's trucks there for the kids and adults to enjoy!

Ruby Tuesday's "Give Back" Program to Benefit the "Big John" Project!

The Ruby Tuesday Restaurant on Savannah Highway near I-526 will host a benefit for the "Big John"  project on three different dates in August and September.  On August 31, September 6, and September 13, they will donate 20% of their food sales to the "Big John" Firefighter Health Awareness Campaign.  In order for us to receive the donations, patrons will be required to present the above flyer to their server. We will be on-site with the "Big John" fire truck and invite all of our friends to bring your family and come out to support Ruby Tuesday's and the "Big John" campaign. You can right-click on the flyer and print it or we will have flyers with us at the event.   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

CFD Retirees Mark Your Calendars!

The next meeting of the Charleston Fire Department Retirees' "Hooked Up" program will be held on Thursday, September 13, 2012, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Charleston Baptist Church on San Miguel Avenue off of Savage Road, West of the Ashley. Dinner will be served. 

Our new Chief, Karen Brack, will be our guest speaker. Please come to help us welcome Chief Brack to the CFD family. 

We hope to see all of our retirees there!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The "Big John" Benefit Coming August 18th!

The "Big John" Project Benefit is set for Saturday, August 18, beginning at 4:00 p.m., at the Elks Lodge on Sam Rittenberg here in Charleston.  Local phenoms, "Plane Jane" will be rocking the house and BBQ, prepared by the legendary Frank Marvin, will be served. Top that off with a cash bar hosted by the Elks Lodge and it should be a great time for all.    

The "Big John" Project is a Firefighter Health Awareness Campaign started by our beloved Chief John Winn before his passing in May. It was his wish that we continue to promote a campaign to insure that our firefighters get the necessary health screenings to detect life-threatening diseases while they could still be treated successfully. Your support we help in our efforts to carry on his dream. We will have the project's flagship, the "Big John" Mack fire truck, there for all to see. It is an amazing tribute to this great man and we hope you all will come out to join us! 

Tickets can be purchased through PayPal here on this page. 

Welcome to Our New Chief!

We would like to take the opportunity to welcome Chief Karen Brack and her family to our CFD family. Chief Brack officially becomes our new Chief of the Department next Monday. We are excited about her joining us as we move the Charleston Fire Department forward! She brings a great wealth of experience, knowledge and training to us and we are looking forward to the days ahead.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Memorial Service Set for Lt. Mark Steinert

The Memorial Service for our Friend and Brother, Mark "Steiny Man" Steinert will be held on Monday, July 30, 2012, beginning at 2:00 pm., at the Henry Chapel of the First Baptist Church, 3000 South John Young Parkway, Orlando, Florida.

"Fighting for Air" Climb Coming Up!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Passing of a Brother...................

It is with great sadness that we share with you that our friend and brother, Lt. Mark Steinert,of the Orlando, Florida Department, passed away at MUSC Medical Center at 12:30 a.m. this morning. "Steiny Taz", as he was known to all who knew him, came to Charleston some months ago to receive treatment for advanced cancer. Many of us in the CFD and the fire service community became friends with him as he and his family became part of ours. He was a fierce fighter who always looked adversity square in the eye and remained a true mentor to many of us throughout his battle. We extend our thoughts, prayers and love to his entire family.  He will certainly be missed by us all. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Please Support Our Firefighters in the Fight for Air Climb!

Okay folks, we're a little biased here but we would really appreciate your supporting the "Charleston Firefighters Team" in the Fight for Air Climb for the American Lung Association being held on Saturday, July 28, at the North Charleston Coliseum. Please follow this link to donate to the Team. We really want to keep the "John Winn Memorial Trophy" at home this year. We do wish all teams entered the best of luck and thank all of them for raising money for this great cause!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012 @ 4:00 P.M. til





Support the Carolina Brotherhood Ride!

We are pleased to support one our own. Firefighter Matt Thomson, as he joins others to ride for Capt. Jeff Bowen, who lost his life in the line of duty last July in Charlotte, North Carolina. Please join us in our support and follow the link to make a donation on behalf of Matt's commitment and Capt. Bowen's family.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Taking Care of Each Other...................

When my friend John Winn was diagnosed with cancer, he wanted all of us to learn from his illness. Therefore, the “Big John” project became a reality to help educate our firefighters of the need to get the necessary preventative care to find life-threatening problems before they get out of hand.   He also encouraged me, as an individual, to set an example for others by getting a regular physical.

I must confess to you all that I kept putting it off, thinking I was bullet proof, until two weeks ago when I decided to follow-up on John’s request.  I went to my doctor for a physical exam that included a chest x-ray.  Last week, my doctor called and told me I needed to have a CT scan done as the x-ray had shown spots on one of my lungs.  Yesterday, I had the scan done and, after twenty-four agonizing hours, they called me to say that the scan results came back showing no problems.  Needless to say I am very relieved but more importantly, I now have a baseline exam for future reference.  The bottom line is that I would not have gone for this exam had it not been for John’s encouragement.  Thanks, my friend, for you continue to have my back.

We will remain committed to continue to promote the “Big John Firefighter Health Awareness Project” with great enthusiasm, to do our part to see that all of our firefighters have access to the proper level of preventative care.     I encourage each of you to take care of yourselves by getting an annual physical to create that reference point or baseline that will be so important to your future.  

Take care of yourselves and be safe out there.

We Need Your Help!

The American Lung Association’s  “Fight for Air” Climb is being held at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday, July 28, 2012. We are asking all firefighters to join this very worthwhile event to support the ALA and their efforts. Fire department teams from other cities will be coming to Charleston to compete in this very worthwhile event. 

Charleston Fire Department Battalion Chief John Winn will be honored this year as the first place trophy for the top fundraising fire department team will now be called the “John Winn Memorial Trophy”, given in his honor by the Charleston Firefighter Support Team. Chief Winn passed away just last month after battling lung cancer and was an avid supporter of the ALA.  This award will be a traveling trophy, presented to the first place team to keep until the next year’s competition.  It is a full-size firefighter helmet mounted on a specially designed walnut base that will stand as a lasting tribute to Chief Winn.   

Please contact Gerald Mishoe at (843) 609-8300 if you have any questions or visit the event’s website for more information and to enter. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The "Ride for Clay" a Big Success!

Hats off to the Red Knights Motorcycle Club and all the friends and family who came out today to support little Clay Dixon and his family as Clay continues his battle against an inoperable brain tumor. Clay continues to set an example for all of us to follow as he keeps a positive attitude and bright outlook.  

Today was especially memorable for us as J.J. Winn took up his Dad's duties of driving Clay and his brother Jacob in the ride to Wadmalaw Island for a great party and finale to the day. Chief Winn always enjoyed driving Clay and J.J. did it in special fashion today with his Dad's "Big John" truck.  

Congratulations to Brian and Erin!

Congratulations to St. Andrews Firefighter Brian Kimmel and his bride, Erin, as they were married this afternoon in a beautiful setting at the Island House on John's Island.  We were happy to provide Engine 8 for a backdrop for some of their wedding photos.  Thank you for allowing us to be a small part of your special day! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Fight for Air" Climb Set for July 28th!

The American Lung Association’s  “Fight for Air” Climb is being held at the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday, July 28, 2012. We are inviting any and all firefighters to join us for this very worthwhile event to support the ALA and their efforts. Fire department teams from other cities will be coming to Charleston to compete in this very worthwhile event. 

Charleston Fire Department Battalion Chief John Winn will be honored this year as the first place trophy for the top fundraising fire department team will now be called the “John Winn Memorial Trophy”, given in his honor by the Charleston Firefighter Support Team. Chief Winn passed away in May after battling lung cancer and was an avid supporter of the ALA.  In addition to being a longtime member of the CFD, he was a founding member of our Team. This award will be a traveling trophy presented to the first place team to keep until the next year’s competition.  It will be a full-size firefighter helmet mounted on a specially designed walnut base that will stand as a lasting tribute to Chief Winn.   

Please contact Gerald Mishoe at (843) 609-8300 if you have any questions or visit the event’s website at for more information and to enter. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

3rd Annual "Ride for Clay" Coming Up!

Friends, it is time for the "3rd Annual Ride for Clay". On Saturday, June 30, we will come together for the third year to help our little buddy Clay Dixon, suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. This year will be special for our Team as we ride with Clay and remember our friend and teammate, Chief John Winn.  You see, in 2010, Chief Winn drove Clay in the first ride on our Engine 11 and made it a special day for Clay and for all of us. Now, this enemy we call cancer has taken our friend but, in his honor, his son, Capt. John Winn, Jr. of the Charleston Fire Department, will step in for his Dad and ride Clay on his Dad's truck, "Big John".  It is an event you don't want to miss. Come out and join us for this special day that will end out on Wadmalaw Island with a great party. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Forever in Our Hearts"

On Monday, many will gather at the Charleston 9 Memorial Site for the Fifth Anniversary Memorial Service to remember these brave firefighters and to pay our respects to their memories. 

The Charleston Fire Department has gained many new members since 2007 and many others have retired, left the department or passed away. Regardless of where we were then, or where we are now, we hope that all of you will take time on Monday to remember the 9 and their sacrifices. Some will take time to be with their families and others will be on duty. Whether it’s out on your boat, going to a movie, traveling with your family, resting at home, or attending the Memorial, it is important to take care of yourselves for that is what our nine brothers would want us to do.

Regardless of where you are, just take a moment to remember them as their legacies live on through all of us as they will be “Forever in Our Hearts”.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Charleston 9 Fifth Anniversary Memorial Service To Be Held on Monday, June 18th

All firefighters, their families and the general public are invited to join us for the Fifth Anniversary Charleston 9 Memorial service being held on Monday, June 18, at the Charleston 9 Memorial Park (SSS site) on Savannah Highway. Please be there by 6:30 p.m. in order to start the service at 7:00 p.m. 

All firefighters are invited to join CFD personnel to march into the site in formation. Any firefighter who wishes to participate to march in should wear their Class A uniform.

Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 Fire-Rescue Conference a Huge Success!

Wow, what an amazing week at the Fire Rescue Conference! Everything from the Emerald Pipe and Drums, great speakers, including baseball great, Bobby Richardson, informative classes, listening to Mr. Jack Slagle reminisce about the old days, loads of nice fire trucks including "Big John", great food with great friends, vendors with lots of equipment and tons of cool shirts, Broadway at the Beach, a memorable Memorial Service , a fun-filled golf tournament, the first joint conference of the Firefighters and Fire Chiefs Associations and the roll out of the Association's "Reaching Out" program. This crowd was "swinging for the fence" and knocked it out of the park!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stop By and Visit

Chief Winn and Capt. Winn 
We are honored to tell you that CFD Capt. J.J. Winn will join us in Myrtle Beach tomorrow to be at the Conference with his Dad's "Big John" truck. Stop by and visit with J.J. as he shares stories about his Dad and his mission.

Spending Time Together.................

As I roamed the halls of the Convention Center this morning, seeing old friends again and meeting new folks, I realized how special it is to be a part of the South Carolina Fire Service.  Whether reminiscing with an old fire dog like me, or listening to our young firefighters and their enthusiasm, it is just a special place to be.  Each year we get together to train, meet, party, and even dance to celebrate this great business we call the Fire Service and this year will be no different. 

I must tell you that this morning was a little melancholy though as I thought of my good friend John, who was here at the Conference with us last year.  Also, we hurt this morning for our entire fire department family as we remember our friend, Ross Reeves, who has tragically left us at such an early age.  The best way I think we can honor them is to work hard to keep improving ourselves at this Conference, as I’m sure they would tell to carry on.  

If you are Conference bound, please travel safely and we’ll see you here. If not, we’ll look forward to seeing you all again soon. 


Sad News Today..............................

Our hearts go out to our Brothers and Sisters of the Summerville and Cattle Creek Fire Departments today in the loss of Ross Reeves. Ross was a paid member of the SFD and a volunteer Chief at Cattle Creek. He was killed in an automobile accident this morning in Dorchester County. I became friends with Ross very recently when we assisted his family with arrangements for his grandfather's funeral, a long time Chief of the Cattle Creek Fire Department. Ross loved the fire department and was proud to have followed his grandfather at Cattle Creek. Funeral arrangements will be posted when they become available. Rest in peace, my friend. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

On Saturday, June 16, Charleston Firefighters Local 61 will be hosting the "Kilts & Kegs" event at the Charleston Beer Works on King Street in downtown Charleston.  Come out and relax with us and enjoy the music, food, and fellowship! Our hot rod and the "Big John" Mack will be parked on King Street and I promise you they will be something to see! Plus, our own Robbie Barrineau will be playing the pipes and that, in itself, will be worth the trip! All proceeds from this event will go to support the Charleston 9 Memorial Fund.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Charleston 9 Fifth Anniversary T-Shirts Are In!

The new Charleston 9 Fifth Anniversary T-Shirts are now available for shipment or pick-up. Order here on this website through PayPal to get your now!  Proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go to support the "Big John" project. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Loss of a Good Man.................

Today, we lost a good friend and a good man. Chief John Winn passed away this afternoon after a short but hard fought battle with Mesothelioma.  In addition to being a beloved friend and Chief, he was one of us. He volunteered early in our program to be trained as a Peer Counselor to help the men and women of the Fire Department receive the counseling they needed to help them during difficult times.  In addition, he worked hard to embrace all of the changes in the Charleston Fire Department in the last five years.  He once told me that it was hard to accept some of the changes but he knew that overall they were important to the safety and well-being to all of his firefighters.   He always led by example and many young men and women excelled in the Fire Service because of him.  When others doubted the effects of a counseling program, John encouraged firefighters to seek help. He was personally responsible for getting scores of our firefighters into the counseling program and was a valued member of our Team.
Personally, he was a trusted friend always willing and ready to help anyone.  Whether it was by phone or during a late night visit to Station 11, he would take the time to hear me out and offer his good solid advice.  If he disagreed with you, you would know it but you always knew where he stood and that you could count on him regardless.    

I was able to spend a good deal of time with him in the last three months as we worked on his “Big John” fire truck.  Even though he was not always able to be there, we would look over the photos of the progress and enjoy them together.   He wanted this truck to be used as a way to educate others about getting the necessary testing to find life-threatening illnesses and we pledged to him that we would carry out his wishes.   So, with a renewed commitment, we will complete this truck and begin the mission of taking John’s hopes and wishes to others.

To Debbie, J.J. and John’s entire family, we offer our most sincere sympathy.  

Rest in peace, Brother, until we meet again.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Turning the Corner............................

Many of you have been following our restoration of the "Big John" truck and today we made some significant progress as we mounted the light bars, air horns, and much of the trim.  As soon as the wrap shop finishes the cab, we will install the remaining hand rails and other trim. We are set to apply the lettering and stripes on Saturday and then on to the final touch-up. Stay tuned as we get ready to roll this truck out! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Kilts and Kegs" Event Coming Up!

The Jacksonville Fire Rescue Pipes & Drums has agreed to play at the "Inaugural Kilts & Kegs For The Charleston Nine". The event will be held on Saturday, June 16, beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Charleston Beer Works on King Street in downtown Charleston! Special thanks to the Charleston Beer Works for sponsoring this event and to Charleston Local 61 for all the hard work in putting this together.  We are excited about being a part of this with our fire trucks and hot rod! Come out and join us for a good time!

Don't miss out on this great event! Click on the link below for more info and to get your tickets today!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Firefighter Injured in Motorcycle Accident

Firefighter Darin Kingery of the North Charleston Fire Department was involved in a motorcycle accident this weekend in Georgetown while returning from Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. Firefighter Kingery was airlifted to Grand Strand Hospital where he is ICU and listed in critical condition. Please keep Firefighter Kingery and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Exciting New Program to be Debuted Next Month!

Today, six members of our Charleston Firefighter Support Team traveled to Columbia and joined others from around the State to receive training on becoming instructors for an exciting new Behavioral Health program to be offered to all of our firefighters by the South Carolina State Firefighters Association and the South Carolina Fire Academy.  We are all very excited as this program will be debuted at our Fire-Rescue Conference in Myrtle Beach next month.   It will be the initial component of a multi-faceted effort to bring appropriate behavioral health care and training to our firefighters all over South Carolina.  All of the folks that received the training today will be a part of the initial team to begin delivering this program. 

Thanks to Frank Marker, Robbie Baldwin, Bill Haigler, Gerald Mishoe and Johnny Hackett for their commitment to making this program a reality.  Special thanks to Christopher Wells, our Peer Team clinician, for the development and delivery of today’s program.  Stay tuned for more information as this program continues to unfold.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Iron Warriors to Ride for the Children!

The Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club is sponsoring the First Annual "Christmas in July" Benefit Ride to support the Callen Lacey Center for Children in Moncks Corner. The event will be held on July 28, 2012 with  registration at 9:00 a.m. and kickstands up at 11:00 a.m.  Further information is available by contacting the Iron Warriors at  

You may also read about the work of the Callen Lacey Center by clicking on the following link:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Congratulations to Our Graduates!

Well, another year has passed and many of our fire department families are celebrating graduations.  Whether it is a preschooler, elementary, middle, high school, or college, our graduates have worked hard to reach their goals. Congratulations to all of our students and their families as they enjoy their success! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bike Rodeo & Safety Fair to Be Held with Firefighter Combat Challenge!

Bring the kids and their bikes for a doubleheader, Saturday, May 19, as the 5th Annual Bike Rodeo & Safety Fair will be held in conjunction with the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge at the North Charleston American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center at the Tanger Outlets. Lots of fun for children and adults alike!

Firefighter Challenge This Weekend!

The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge is returning to town this Friday and Saturday, May 18 & 19, 2012. Activities will begin on Friday, May 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the parking area across from the North Charleston American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center.

Billed as "the toughest two minutes in sports" that challenge, tests, and promotes firefighter fitness. Its five events - the tower climb, hose hoist, forcible entry, hose advance and victim rescue are meant to chronologically simulate an actual rescue situation and illustrate the connection between fitness and performance. 

Visit the website at for more information.

Monday, May 14, 2012

North Charleston FD Getting New Rescue!

Our friends of the North Charleston Fire Department will soon place their new Pierce Rescue 207 into service. This is one serious rescue truck. Look for it to be roaming the streets of North Chucktown soon!