It’s Officially Vacation Time….Or is It?

e6vacaAs of 20:00hrs tonight, I began enjoying my 15 day break from the firehouse. While I haven’t had much time to write much recently, I have been keeping the Facebook Page up to date. Even though I am away from the firehouse, this doesn’t necessarily mean that I get to enjoy all 15 days on the beach in Florida or camping in the woods. As much as I would like to, there are a lot of things going on throughout the next two weeks that will be events that I don’t want to miss!

If I could only go back to this day...I wouldn't have taken it for granted.

If I could only go back to this day…I wouldn’t have taken it for granted.

This weekend, the Technical Rescue Team at KFD will be participating in a Trench Rescue Technician course. While this course will be a refresher for the entire team, it will be the first Trench course that I have taken since becoming a member of the team in August of 2013. Read “Help Along the Way” to learn about the influences that helped me make it to where I am today. I’m really looking forward to learning the techniques that our Tech Rescue Team has adapted VS the other trench classes that I have taken. Two of our Captain’s from KFD, Sean Broyles and Jim Carter, will be the lead instructors for the course. They own/operate Tech-ResQ Training Specialists and play a vital role in training and being a part of the team. This is how I get to spend my vacation…refreshing skills 5 + feet underground!

Once the Trench Class is wrapped up, before we know it….the date that we never forget and remember will be here.


Was I in the fire service? No.

Did I even know that I would become a member of the fire service? Hell no.

I didn’t realize the impact that it would have on my life as I sat in 9th grade English Class and listened to the reports on the radio, due to the fact our school cut off the TV networks.

I do know that once I became a member of the fire service, it would not take me long to realize the impact that it would have on my life. It impacted all of our lives. I’m sure I was at a different state of my life, as I was only a teenager, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t impacted the way that I see things. It affected all of us…It affected all of us as AMERICANS. Since I was not in the fire service when the attacks occurred, I have tried my best to honor our brothers and sisters who perished on that day…by climbing.

Sgt. Gollehon and myself 9/11/14.

Sgt. Gollehon and myself 9/11/14.

While I plan on being in Charlotte the weekend of 9/11, on Thursday, September 11th, 2014, I hope to be able to attend a very special ceremony that I was able to attend last year. The Marion Volunteer Fire Department, just a few miles from my hometown, dedicated a piece of steel from the World Trade Center last year on 9/11. I was fortunate enough to attend the ceremony as they unveiled the display in front of their fire station. During the last 365 days, the community has joined with the town of Marion and the Marion Fire Department in helping them fund the 2nd phase of the project.

A press release from Ken Heath states:

For additional information, contact Ken Heath (276) 759-1102 kheath@marionva.orgMARION TO DEDICATE TWIN BEAMS “IN HONOR AND REMEMBRANCE” AS PART OF 9-11 MEMORIAL(Marion, VA) Officials announced today that private funds have been raised to purchase and install two lights designed to “illuminate the night as lights of freedom” as part of the community’s 9-11 memorial at the Marion Fire Hall.The project is an extension of the four-ton World Trade Center steel, placed and dedicated last year, as a permanent memorial to those who perished on 9-11-01, including 343 firefighters.

“This is an addition we’re so proud to have,” said Billy Hamm, Marion Fire Chief. “It came about as a suggestion from the community last year. Our department has led our annual memorial commemoration on Patriot’s Day since 2002, and we were honored last year to dedicate the World Trade Center Steel Memorial. At that program, the suggestion was made to look into twin lights that would shine skyward to help bring attention to the memorial at night.”

Donations from across the country flowed in to the department for the lighting project. A couple recently relocated to Wythe County attended the 2013 ceremony and led the campaign. Other donations came from as far away as Colorado Springs, Colorado. A former Marion native, now living in South Carolina, donated in memory of a US Navy shipmate that was killed in the 9-11 attack. And locals pitched in to take the project over the top, including a generous donation from Marion VFW Post 4667.

The lights are designed to replicate the twin beams that illuminate Ground Zero in New York City on the 9-11 anniversary. Marion Deputy Fire Chief Jerry Breen, who also is the town’s electrician, is leading the team to install the lights for the ceremony.

Dubbed “Lights of Freedom”, the twin beams will direct heavenward from either side of the WTC steel.

The Marion Patriot’s Day Program is set for Thursday, September 11th, at 7:30pm at the Marion Fire Department. Special guest speaker this year is Scott Koebel with Woodmen of the World. His presentation will include a very special display of American flags, including the only one that has flown over all three sites of the 9-11 attacks.

In case of inclimate weather, the program will be moved indoors at the Fire Hall.
All fire departments, rescue squads, law enforcement agencies, and retired/active military personnel are invited. Departments bringing apparatus are asked to call event coordinator Ken Heath at (276) 378-5026 to reserve parking space. Main Street will be blocked from Sheffey to Poston for the event.

For additional information, contact Ken Heath at (276) 378-5026 or email See More

charlotte911If all goes according to planned, I will be attending the service in Marion, VA, on my way to The Queen City for the Charlotte 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and Training Day! While this will be my 3rd consecutive year attending the Charlotte Firefighters 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, this will be the Inaugural Training Day (Link) for all of those who plan on attending. I will most likely be arriving late Thursday evening and staying through Saturday evening. If you are attending the climb or in the area, send me a message on the Facebook Page! I’d love to meet up!
I published an article as an Event Spotlight about the Inaugural Training Day HERE!
We shall see you there!