Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fire Station #9

Last Friday night, December 12, the firefighters at Station 9 with Roanoke City Fire-EMS got together for a Christmas meal.

My husband is the one in the hat without a mustache.

I was told this get-together likely was a first for any station, because of course one of the three shifts always has to be on duty.

However, an off-duty crew from another station (I think it was Station 5 but I'm not 100 percent certain) stepped in to sub for the on-duty shift at Station 9 for a few hours so that the crews could all be together this one time.

Station 9, as I understand it, is slated for an early grave when Roanoke City builds a new station on that end of the city in the upcoming months. Things will not be the same for these guys, who are now working out of one of the older stations in the city.

My husband is a captain at Station 9 on B shift. The shifts work 24-hour days every other day with a four-day break. That means my husband goes in at 6:30 a.m. on Monday and comes home on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., then he goes back to work on Wednesday morning and Friday morning and then he is off for four days (then he works Wednesday Friday Sunday, so his days are never the same. It can get confusing.).

I am very proud of my husband for reaching this pinnacle of his career. He has worked hard to reach this goal, which he stated to me before we married. "I want to make captain," he said when he took the job as a rookie firefighter.

He has been a firefighter for 25 years. It is a noble profession and I have been honored to watch the brotherhood of men who have served with my husband.

Over the years I have sent them many containers of fudge and cookies and cakes. Firemen have big appetites.

I cannot imagine what it takes to go into a burning building, to run a call on a vehicle accident when people have been torn in two, or how it feels to try to save someone who has had a heart attack. My husband, who is also an EMT, knows how all of that feels. I imagine sometimes it must be like a large lump weighing heavily on his heart.

Emergency services workers have a hard job. It's not one I could do. I salute them all for their efforts.


  1. I have an enormous respect for those who serve their communities in this way. I had only lived out here for five months, and Ben was 2 weeks old when my house was struck by lightening. As it stormed outside, smoke quickly filled up the inside. I was a brand new mom, and I was terrified. I lost my power, so I couldn't get the car out of the garage. I grabbed Ben, sprinted through the field and reached my neighbors house. The fire dept. was here in less than 2 minutes. I'll never forget that crew as long as I live. The lightening fried my fire alarm system as well as my dryer. Those men dragged that thing outside for me, and waited with me until Shannon came home from work.
    Those men have hearts of gold!

  2. Oh yes! A big thumbs up. My little guys says he wants to be either a rock star, a baseball star, or a firefighter, All three are the top dogs in his mind. Shannon

  3. These men are real heroes. My thanks to them for their selfless courage.

  4. I am so grateful for people like your husband who so often work holidays so we can all rest easy, knowing they will be there if we need them. My thanks to them all.

  5. A salute from me, too! My dad is a retired firefighter. He was always the cook when on duty. He has some very funny stories about station life. Some pretty sad stories about the job.

  6. Congrats to your husband and a big pat on the back to all the firefighters.

    My husband was a volunteer firefighter back when he was in the Marine Corps. His grandfather, also a Marine, was a retired chief at his fire station in San Diego. I have a great deal of respect for those who serve and protect :)

  7. And I can't imagine being a wife of someone who goes into burning buildings. I admire you both.

    About Hans Brinker. It had a big effect on me because after his father got better he gave away his chance to win the skates to someone else and I really wanted him to compete and win. I wanted a happier ending when I read it as a child. I had forgotten the details until I googled it and refreshed my memory. I only knew that a story about Holland and skates was formative in my childhood.

  8. You have to be someone special to do the work of a firefighter. To me, they are heroes who sacrifice a lot to do their jobs, as do the families they leave behind each time they go to work. I can think of very few people who risk what firefighters, police and our military do everyday. God bless them all.

  9. By the way, my husband grew up in a house that's in sight of Station #7 in Roanoke. Before his family got a television, he used to go down there to watch T.V.!


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