“THE HEIGHTS” MAKES A STRONG SHOWING IN FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE: 2ND BUSIEST LADDER TRUCK AND 2ND BUSIEST FIREHOUSE IN THE NATION
The 30th year of the National Run Survey from Firehouse Magazine highlights many categories within the fire service including busiest Engine, Ladder, Rescue Squad and more. Departments from around the country submit their run totals to be ranked among their peers across the US and Canada. Only the top unit in each class from each department is included in the results listing published in the August issue of Firehouse Magazine. The District of Columbia made a strong showing again this year and the members of “The Heights” are proud to announce their inclusion in the fabled “list”. For the year 2010, Truck Company 17 was the 2nd busiest ladder company in the Nation, responding to assist the citizens of the “East End” 4,496 times last year. “The Heights” complement of Engine 30, Truck 17, Ambulance 30 and Medic 30 again took honors as the 2nd busiest station in the Nation with the 4 units recording a total of 18,531 responses. The Battalion Chief responsible for the East End crews, BFC 2, recorded a 19th ranked 2,062 runs in 2010. The Officers and Members of “The Heights” are extremely proud of the recognition from Firehouse Magazine for their long nights and proven dedication to the citizens of DC and thank them for the honor.
Here is an interview that demonstrates the pure love of the job that helps bring the true spirit of the fire department back to light for me as it should for everyone else. You didnt hear any “we shouldn’t have been in theres'”, any bullshit about “victim survivability profiling” and you sure as shit didn’t hear any Monday morning quarterbacking about whether or not we should search vacant homes. To me it simply says, “It is what it is and we’d do it again”. These 2 men exemplify what it means to me to be a fireman and I’m proud to work in a department full of them. Watch and learn.
“I’m no hero, but I served in a company of them” – Major Dick Winters, Easy Company.
Well this 24 hour tour had its share of excitement, from a special showing of Hangover 2 with the fellas, a police chase that ended too soon, Ambulance 30 getting passed by a PG police chase on the way to the hospital and rounding it all out with a first due fire. It’s apparent that the old adage about summer time in the Second Battalion may hold true for yet another year in a row. I am just going to keep holding on to that tiller wheel and see where it takes me.
Here are just the 2 stories reposted from Engine 30s website. I have more helmet cam footage from this fire as well but I doubt time will allow that to make it to your screen anytime soon. So for now, enjoy the pics.
In case you missed it here is the latest episode of Fire Engineering Talk Radio featuring myself and the rest of the Traditions Training crew as we tackle the topic of “Aggressive Searches). Its always a fun time getting to chat with the brothers. Just ignore the porn star voice at the beginning and the rest should be semi-entertaining.
The following is a repost from http://www.30Engine.com for the fire we had last tour. A bunch of interesting talking points came out of this fire so I will try to post some stuff up in the next week or so. My helmet cam footage as the Tillerman is pretty dark so I doubt I will have anything video related.
Story from 30 Engine:
Just after 2100 hrs units with the second and third battalion were alerted for the report of a building fire at 5105 F St. SE. Engine 30 arrived on the scene and reported a 3 story garden style apartment building with smoke showing from the roof area. Truck 17 arrived just behind them and were greeted by several residents stating that there were people trapped on the upper floors. As the Engine crew advanced the 200ft 1 1/2″ preconnected handline into the building Truck 17s crew worked to ladder the building and vent the structure. Interior crews located a room off in an apartment on the second floor (although labeled 102) and made quick work of it. Rescue Squad 3 removed one patient with smoke inhalation from a top floor apartment (labeled 204). Although a second alarm was requested it was quickly returned as the incident was deemed under control. Truck 17 with the help of Engine 30 and Engine 8 (RIT) threw 175′ of ground ladders to the building with Truck 16 and Engine 27 laddering the rear with additional ladders. Great job by all crews involved especially Battalion Fire Chief #2 Del Balzo who celebrated his retirement just that very afternoon with the fellas of East End.
An exercise in rhetoric inspired by the writings of Matt “Maine” Hall. His recent facebook descriptions of late night ramblings from the ghetto of our home in Landover has inspired me to try my hand. Here is a late night rambling from a memorial weekend spent in the back of Truck 17.
Our chariot comes to a stop just shy of the entrance to the apartment complex, the heroes of “The Heights” answer the never ending call for service, this time its the ever elusive activated CO detector. I watch as my crew makes their way up the hill towards the mountain of brick and mortar known as Benning Park Apartments. Heavy eyelids give way to an unrelenting stare as i catch myself gazing longingly through the dust covered window of my tillermans perch. The iridescent hue of a lone streetlight joins with the familiar reds and blues of a passing police cruiser, together they bring identity to the darken street sign. 4900 G st. SE. My temporary inhabitancy now has a name.
The air is cool and crisp as it recoils from the recently passed storm. The night is alive with activity, people pass but seldom wave, families and felons share the sidewalk together as they stroll into the emptiness of the East End night. My thoughts drift away from this place much the same as the dreams of the areas youth, away to a place far removed from the brutal realities of “The Heights”. Thoughts of a future with manageable hours, of nights with adequate sleep, of holidays at home with family and friends. The recurring thud of a car stereo gains strength as it closes on my position, the roar of exhaust from a passing donked-out caprice jerks me back to my observatory high atop 17 truck.
My attention shifts to a conveniently placed pair of “Air Jordans” dangling from the electric line above my head, swaying gingerly in the evening breeze, beckoning to this spot those in search of a quick high to lift them from this place. My band of brothers makes their way back down the hill from the building entrance, laughing and jostling, bonded together by the experiences and the tragedies they’ve shared, forged into friends at trail by fire. They know how quickly the song can change, how that next call for service might find them staring the red devil and his fiery minions square in the face, daring my brothers to enter in protection of these same families and felons that call East End their home. This fire forcing them to rise up to their best when DC citizens are at their worst. These men, these firemen, know that only the bond of brotherhood will bring them through the flames and back alive.
I chuckle to myself as a new thought creeps into mind. These moments i will miss, this ghetto i will miss, these brothers I will miss…
So in what has become an extremely successful tradition over the years, the GWU Chi Omega Firefighter Challege has raised tens of thousands of dollars in the name of the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation. The weekend long event features prepaired skits, a field day and much more. Normally the videos are filmed at some preppy station up in Northwest DC, but this year the brave young lads made a trip East of the River to visit the fellas of 30 Engine and 17 Truck. Here is the result…..