Weekend Round-Up

My shift worked off on Friday morning, and I knew I had a full weekend ahead of me. With the weather forecast looking perfect, we decided to pull the camper to a local state park for the weekend. With all the “techo” news that I stay up on, apparently I had missed the memo about the new online reservations for the camp sites. When I pulled in Friday morning, I found that there were two spots in the entire place open.

Luckily, a brother firefighter from Carter’s Valley VFD was camping across from the spot. He was very quick to lend a hand to help me get backed into the spot since I’m still a rookie at driving with the camper.

Chief’s Award Presentations

The Employee Recognition Committee has been working hard digging through the old reports as far back as 1989 to issue Chief’s Awards to those individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. While I take great PRIDE in being able to complete the research and put in time to prepare the Letter of Commendation and memo’s for the recipients…I only hope that they take HONOR in the award. You can read more about the awards here.

Deputy Chief Chase receiving the Chief’s Award at the ceremony.

The awards are being given out in a small ceremony on shift by the Chief and Assistant Chief. I was hoping that we would be able to start doing an annual awards ceremony that is a little more official, but there was concern that the recipients may not want the recognition. I understand that many of them do not want to make a big deal out of getting a save, but I think it should be. Many of them play it off as, “it’s just part of the job,” which it is…but it deserves recognition. Since this is the last group of awards that was from the old reports, we may look at hosting an awards ceremony in the future for the Chief’s Award recipients. Congratulations to all of the C-shifters who received the Letter’s of Commendation and the Chief’s Award challenge coins. You truly have made a difference, and we thank you for that!

Larry “Stick” Bledsoe’s Retirement Party

Larry Bledsoe came on the job in 1985. Without a doubt, he has witnessed many changes in our department and the fire service during his years on the job. On Friday, Bledsoe was greeted by friends, family, and coworkers at Central Fire Station for a retirement party. There was a great turnout for the party, and the on-shift trucks had to cycle in to be sure that everyone was able to visit with him before he called it a day. The Chief of Department presented Bledsoe with a presentation axe that features the department patch, a frame with his various badges and name plates, and a watch from the City. Our IAFF Local 2270 also presented Bledsoe with various gift cards for him to use during his time off.

While I mainly got to see “Stick” in the mornings at shift change, he is one of the most respected men that the department. I have always witnessed him doing anything that needed to be done without being asked. He knew the job inside and out. I can’t say that I ever heard a negative comment about him, and those of us in the fire service know how rare that is.

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It was an emotional day for “Stick”, and a day came too soon. I would like to wish Bledsoe the best with his retirement, and I hope that he stops by the visit. After 28 years on the job, you deserve a break!

I enjoyed the rest of the weekend with family and friends relaxing in the heat of the day, and kicked back by the campfire at night. Our shift is back on duty on Tuesday, and I will check back in during the first of the week.

Stay safe.