Tuesday, March 31, 2009

High Angle Rescue Level IV Graduate Class

NCDOI High Angle Rescue Level IV Special School
The Level IV Group Photo
The Graduated Class
The Graduated Class with Stone Mountain
Packaging the Patient
Rigging for the Carry out to the trail.
Carry Out
The Victim gets a free ride!
" Bird Dog" Marcus Perkins
now owns a new ANSI Vest made of Flagging Tape.

The Spring High Angle Rescue School Level IV class culminated in a Search for a missing person who had been sighted at the edge of a steeply sloping outcrop of rock in the high country of Stone Mountain State Park in Allegheny County on Sunday. The search team of twenty students assembled in the meadow at the base of the rock and gathered the necessary team equipment to effect the rescue. Led by sucessive Hasty Teams, clues were looked for while traveling on azimuth headings which were of varying lengths. After finding 12 significant clues and searching for several hours, the victim was located at the edge of a steep slope on Wolf Rock well above the meadow by the rescuers. Suffering from a Tib-Fib fracture and Hypothermia, the patient was stabilized, loaded on a SKED stretcher, and a Low Angle Rescue extraction was performed to remove the patient to the trail. The team then completed his rescue by walking him out to the waiting Wilkes County Rescue Squad Ambulance.

Once the written test was administered and graded, the Level IV Students participated in a short Graduation Ceremony and were invited to participate in the GRADUATE MOUNTAIN RESCUE CLASS which will be held April 24-26, 2009 at Pilot Mountain State Park. The Instructors were Richard Caudle, and Terry Foxx. The students were from all over the state of NC representing Fire Departments, Rescue Squads, and EMS, Paid, Combination, and Volunteer. OSFM Staff were also students.
This class completed the four class sequence of the NCDOI OSFM Special School - High Angle Rescue. The NC High Angle Rescue School is a progressive school. The curriculum offers a wide range of "hands-on tasks" and skills with an examination given at the end of each level. The skills that are taught in this school are not limited to a wilderness environment, but can easily be adapted to urban high level rescue situations. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of all four levels.

The Level I Class covers ROPES AND RIGGING, Use and Care of Rope, Hardware, PPE, Climbing and Rappelling Techniques and Commands, Belaying Techniques, and Vertical Lowers.
Level I and Level IV Classes are offered at Stone Mountain State Park

Lashing a Stokes Basket, Anchors/Mechanical Advantage Systems and Braking Systems, Rescue Knot Lowers and Low Slope Evacuation, Horizontal and Vertical Lowers with Attendant and Raises, Distance Rappelling.
Level II and Level III Classes are offered at Pilot Mountain State Park

Rappelling and Ascending, Self-rescue, Victim Pick-off, Rescue techniques for Crossing a Horizontal Span.
Level II and Level III Classes are offered at Pilot Mountain State Park

The Level IV Class covers GENERAL SEARCH
Search Methodology, Self survival, Map orientation, Compass use, Tracking, Patient Packaging, Rescue.
Level I and Level IV Classes are offered at Stone Mountain State Park

The class was attended by Captain David Barlow

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"REMEMBERING" By Juliana Marie Valenzuela Shinn

Check out this amazing reflection on the events of the Salisbury Millworks Fire by Juliana Marie Valenzuela Shinn. This can be found on her Facebook Page - Titled
“Remembering”By Juliana Marie Valenzuela Shinn

Morning chores.
Truck check-off.
Heather calls to me.
Fear in her voice.
"Who was that?"
Someone called a May Day.
I wasn't scanning, I did not hear.
Portable on FG channel.
Other portable on Fire Dispatch.
Base on EMS Dispatch and scan.
Holding hands.
Ears straining.
An open mic.
Slow, steady breathing.
Attempts to raise.
No response.
Then a voice.
Yelling. "Get us out of here, we're burning up! Get us out!"
A call for RIT.
A call for EMS.
Unit enroute to the hospital.
Emergency traffic.
A second ambulance calling.
Have performed a cric.
CPR in progress.
Knowledge that one is lost.
A name?
No one knows.
Coyt's voice.
"A very somber response to Rowan Regional carrying one.
A second lost.
Our tones sound.
Out into the rain.
Teardrops diluted by raindrops.
One hand on the wheel.
One hand holding my partners.
A phone call.
A name.
Another call.
Two dead.
One badly injured.
We transport.
The scent.
The taste.
Smoke permiates the air.
A haze.
Red eyes.
Empty tissue boxes.
A closed door.
Two stand guard.
A brother is never left alone.
A closed door.
Two stand guard.
A brother is never left alone.
Do I want to see the cric?
We walk in together.
Hands clasped.Silent.
The door closes again.
Two stand guard.
A brother is never left alone.
Chief enroute to make notification.
In his eyes.
In his heart.
We stand in a circle.
The phone rings.
In a daze.
Auto pilot.
A heaviness.
An ache.

This is how I remember March 7th, 2008. Small flashes. The following week is harder to recall. Countless hours at the Fire Department. A baby named Victor. Four bottles of tire wet. Black bunting over red lights. So much food. No appetite. The procession taking Justin and Vic to Charlotte. A hero returns to his house. Injured. Alive. Applause. Prayer. The procession bringing them home again. This one much longer, the interstate closed. Crowded square. Flags flying and a firetruck, rescue truck, ambulance, patrol car on every overpass. The funeral. Apparatus farther than the eye can see. Trucks from Los Angeles, Alaska almost every state in the Union. School children with signs line the route. Flowers from Greece. Two geese flying. A lone piper. Amazing grace. The trip to New York. Apparatus on almost every overpass between Salisbury,NC and NY, NY. Spending my day at Millers Ferry FD to run medical calls. Watching them place equipment on their trucks. Hose where a casket lay days before. Remove the black bunting from the lights. Check back in service. Back to business as usual. Business will never be usual. A year later. Arm bands have faded from continual wear. Tattoos in honor. Apparatus and buildings dedicated. Say "The fire" and everyone knows which fire you are referring to. Like JFK or 9-11, where were you? What was your assignment? Your memory of the day? Always remember. Never forget. John 15:13.

Reprinted with Permission from Julie Shinn

Friday, March 6, 2009


The City of Salisbury and Salisbury Fire Department announce that a Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at the Salisbury-Rowan Fire Fighters’ Memorial, located adjacent to Chestnut Hill Cemetery, 1400 S. Main Street. The community is cordially invited to attend the early morning service which marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic loss of Firefighters Victor Isler and Justin Monroe. Local fire, rescue, emergency, and law enforcement personnel will pay homage to their fallen brothers during the 8:45 am service; service attendees are respectfully requested to gather at the memorial by 8:30 am. A designated area will be provided for wheelchair accessibility at the service.
The service will commence with a welcome message by Salisbury Fire Chief Robert “Bob” Parnell, followed in prayer by Captain Doug Stevens. At precisely 9:06 am, a moment of silence will be observed in respectful tribute to Firefighter Isler and Firefighter Monroe, who paid the ultimate sacrifice through their relentless dedication and commitment to service. Bagpiper Bobby Hunter will offer a piper’s selection, followed by comments from Mayor Susan Kluttz. Following remarks, the Mayor will declare the lowering of the American Flag to half staff. At this time, Captain Mike Spry and Engineer Bobby Burleyson, serving as Honor Guards, will advance and lower the flag, where it will remain at half mast for the remainder of the day.
The ceremony will continue with the reading of the Fireman’s Prayer by Salisbury Fire Marshal Terry Smith. Salisbury Battalion Chief David Morris, Miller’s Ferry Fire Chief Bobby Fox, and Spencer Fire Chief Jay Baker will perform the “Ringing of the Bell” service. The fire bell will chime five times, in three distinct sets, signifying the “last return home”. The “Placement of the Wreaths” will follow with Captain Rick Fleming escorting the Monroe family and Captain Tim Hurlocker escorting the Isler family. The service will conclude with a bagpiper’s rendition of Amazing Grace, closing remarks by Chief Parnell, and the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer by all in attendance.
Mayor Susan Kluttz offers, “On behalf of the Salisbury City Council, I would like to share that Firefighter Victor Isler and Firefighter Justin Monroe are truly heroes. The memory of their sincere dedication, love, and devotion for the City of Salisbury will remain in our hearts forever. As a community, we are eternally saddened by their loss and we uplift their memory each and every day. Thank you to the multitude of citizens, fire departments, emergency service providers, businesses, and government entities that came to our rescue and embraced us during our darkest of hours. Your loyalty, prayers, and support continue to sustain us and provide us with hope for tomorrow.”
Chief Bob Parnell echoes those sentiments with heartfelt emotion. “The events on the morning of March 7, 2008 have forever changed our lives. Our dear brothers, Firefighter Victor Isler and Firefighter Justin Monroe, paid the ultimate sacrifice through their faithful service and loyalty. Their relentless valor offers a mere glimpse to the magnificent men that they truly were. Their memories will remain in our hearts always. All of our firefighters and rescuers throughout Salisbury and Rowan Country are truly heroes. Each one has suffered and continues to deal with this loss in his or her, own way. To each and every individual who has assisted us during our time of need and to those who continue to support us through your kind acts, thoughts, and prayers, we are vastly appreciative and humbled. Your love and compassion are the very strength that allows us to continue each day in the service that our fallen brothers loved so well.”
A private luncheon service will be conducted at 11:30 am at Fire Station #1. The closed service will include the Isler and Monroe Families, Salisbury Firefighters and their families, and local dignitaries. Formalities will include the presentation of the highly-esteemed Order of the Long Leaf Pine and of an American flag to both the families of Victor Isler and Justin Monroe. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the highest civilian honor to be granted in North Carolina and is among the most prestigious awards presented on behalf of the Governor of North Carolina. In addition, oil portraits by local artist Annette Hall will be unveiled. The portraits will individually feature Isler and Monroe and remain on-site at Salisbury Fire Station #1. Engraved bronze plaques, featuring the names, likeness, and service of the three City of Salisbury Firefighters, who have perished in the line-of-duty, will be unveiled during the ceremony. The memorial plaques will remain permanently located in the front foyer of Station #1. A plaque memorializing Joe Jenkins, a Salisbury firefighter who perished in the line of duty in 1971, will accompany those of his fallen brothers Victor Isler and Justin Monroe.
Citizens are advised that during the Memorial service, a portion of South Main Street will be blocked to traffic beginning at approximately 8 am. The street is scheduled to reopen by approximately 10 am.
The Miller’s Ferry Fire Station, 2650 Long Ferry Road, will host an afternoon dedication service at 2:30 pm. The public ceremony will offer the dedication of a newly-installed, informational sign, located at the front of the fire station. The free-standing (6’x 10’) brick sign offers digital display and will be dedicated in loving memory of Justin E. Monroe. Miller’s Ferry Fire Chief Bobby Fox shares that the project has been funded through donations from throughout the community.
David Barlow