Tuesday, December 29, 2009


What a year! Kind of an emotional roller coaster for the Melrose Misfits and our Department as a whole. A-shift has worked their last day of 2009 so I guess C-shift will try a "best of" or "highlight" post next day (Thursday) to kind of sum up the year. Yep, not only did the C-shift Misfits get to work Christmas Eve, we also have the honor of pulling New Year's Eve as well. Oh well, someone has to do it and we'll do our best to get a worthy post up. I mentioned an emotional roller coaster and by now, you should all know that we laid to rest one of our most respected members yesterday...Retired Battalion Chief Billy Obenchain. Rhett and Mikey Overacker have some great photo coverage of the funeral here and here. I must admit that once again I was humbled by the turn out (local news coverage here). The "Sea of Blue" behind the hearse would make any brother swell with pride. As with Brother Chris Brown's funeral, members from all around the Valley attended the service while our brothers and sisters from Roanoke County and Salem helped to fill our rigs and stations. I did not get nor compile the list of those brothers and sisters this time, but without naming each of you, please accept our sincere appreciation and THANKS! Our Honor Guard....WOW! What an awesome display of respect for a fallen brother! Just look at some of those pictures linked above. What's not so obvious was the weather and well... it sucked. Freezing cold with high wind. FREEZING COLD! Those guys never swayed at either service (Church or graveside). At the Church, somehow or another our very own Lt. Bugg and Lt. Songer (Station #10-C) had the honor of being posted by our fallen Chief's casket during the service (as they did at Capt. Brown's service). Another solid 45+ minutes on "guard" without a flinch. To each of our Honor Guard members, at both of the viewings, during the Church Service and at the Graveside Ceremony, WELL DONE LADS! You made us all proud. The stories have been told at every station today. Everything from the wooden spoon beatings to kitchen table wash downs and spiced up cigars. It was even said that he's most likely somewhere in heaven conducting a hose line drill, teaching strategy and tactics or testing a new nozzle. Fitting I'd say. Gone but never forgotten, REST IN PEACE CHIEF BILLY.
Ok, like so many other times this year, and like Billy would have expected, we got back on the trucks today. Another cold and windy day and busy on top of that. It seems as though the day has been all about vehicle accidents and car fires. On the North side, we had one rolling under a car port. A quick response and knock down by "Smoke and More, Running 4" (with our crippled War Wagon on their tail) kept it from extending into the structure. Responding companies were E4, E9, E5, L13, M4, B2 and RS1. Working fire was signaled due to the volume of fire and it's location of being under the carport, but additional companies were turned around. A good job by all members on scene. Lt. George Perdue of Lucky Ladder 13 was able to overcome the obstacle of Officers strewn in the front yard to force entry and conduct a search with negative results. Companies were up and back in service quickly with only minor injuries to an ankle and some Captain pride :-) Here are some pics

Yea, our ole War Wagon blew a radiator hose while en route but still managed to make it in, and YES....this time WE laid the line (lol).
Think I'll wrap it up here for tonight. I'll close with saying thanks for all the thoughts and prayers sent to the Obenchain family and our Department. I'd ask that you continue to keep the Obenchains and Brown families on your mind and near your heart as they continue to deal with these losses. I'd also mention a brother from the opposite side of the Country (and his Department as well) who seems to be struggling through a loss of their own. Follow Captain Schmoe's blog here ANYTHING you need Capt. we're a phone call or key stroke away.
Captain Wines


Capt. Schmoe said...

Thanks Capt. Wines, your support is appreciated. Trying times indeed.

Anonymous said...

From a brother of L1132 I would like to personally thank Capt. Wines for what he did last cycle for C-shift northside. Capt. was riding BC2 and several people and companies got to spend time with Chief's family the day before and after his death. Capt., we are grateful for the constant updates on his condition and letting us have some time with chief before his death. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

You are welcome brother. It was my honor! Captain Wines