Our thoughts and prayers are with the community of West, Texas following an explosion at a fertilizer plant there. It has been reported that twelve of fourteen deaths were first responders fighting a fire at the plant prior to the explosion. Investigations are continuing at this time.
Memorial Fund Information - In light of the tragic event in West, Texas on Wednesday and in cooperation with local support efforts, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has established a national fund to accept monetary donations to assist the survivors and coworkers of the fire and EMS personnel who died in the line of duty. Checks can be mailed to: NFFF c/o West, Texas Fire and EMS Fallen Hero Fund P.O. Drawer 498 Emmitsburg, MD 21727. Donations also can be made by credit card at www.regonline.com/westtx. All donated funds will be used to assist the survivors and coworkers to rebuild their lives and support the programs and services they will need. As a result of the blast, the station along with the apparatus, equipment and turn-out gear were destroyed or badly damaged. If you would like to donate these items, please send a message with your contact information to www.firehero.org/contact and the Foundation will share this with the West, Texas department.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bryan, Texas Fire Department, the Fire Service and families in the loss of two of their own, Lt. Eric Wallace and Lt. Gregory Pickard. Our prayers are also with Ricky Mantey Jr. and Mitchel Moran as they recover from injuries sustained in the same fire.
The Traveling Trophy
This years tourney was held on May 04, 2013, which is also International Firefighters Day (IFFD). Participating teams were Oak Hill Fire Department, Pflugerville TCESD#2, Travis County Fire and Rescue, and Buda Fire Department. "Congratulations" to the winning team, Pflugerville TCESD#2!!
"Thank you" to the Oak Hill Fire Department for hosting this annual event. "Thank you" to all the teams, family and friends for coming out and supporting the Cohnway Johnson Scholarship Fund for the Oak Hill Fire Academy. We had so much fun spending the day with "Brothers & Sisters"!
Our hosts - Oak Hill Fire Department
Can't even believe it, the photographer didn't take a team photo! Subsequently, the photographer/reporter was fired!!
PFLUGERVILLE TCESD#2 takes home the traveling trophy
Buda Fire Department Travis County Fire and Rescue with (l-r) Chloe and Herbie, the dalmations Herbie and Chloe serve their community too because they live full time at the station. Lucky dogs! This year, for the first time, a raffle was held, awarding to the lucky winner a Brinkmann gas grill. Our first raffle winner was Roger Moreno with Travis County Fire and Rescue. It's still unknown to this reporter whether the pit went home or to the station. "Congratulations Roger!"
Travis County Fire and Rescue with (l-r) Chloe and Herbie, the dalmations
Herbie and Chloe serve their community too because they live full time at the station. Lucky dogs!
This year, for the first time, a raffle was held, awarding to the lucky winner a Brinkmann gas grill. Our first raffle winner was Roger Moreno with Travis County Fire and Rescue. It's still unknown to this reporter whether the pit went home or to the station. "Congratulations Roger!"
We want to say "Thank You" to The Home Depot and our heartfelt "Thanks" especially to Jessica Williams with The Home Depot in College Station, Texas for their generous donation of a Brinkmann BBQ pit.
"Thank You" to Texas Chaw of Caldwell, Texas for making their "delicious" sausage for sausage wraps each year.
Pictured left to right are Captain Raymond Seyfried of Buda and Captain Rusty Bergman of Oak Hill
(Please view all pictures from the tournament in Photo Gallery)
For more information regarding International Firefighters Day (IFFD), please visit http://www.firefightersday.org/
(Also visit Home3 on this website)
On October 07, the Oak Hill Fire Academy hosted their 10th annual graduation ceremony at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Oak Hill, Texas. A total of 27 cadets received their State Firefighter Certificates. "Congratulations Class 10 and we wish each of you great success in the Fire Service".
Also, this was the 3rd year to award three scholarships through the Cohnway Johnson Scholarship Fund. We are very proud to announce there were 14 essays submitted for scholarships this year; the largest so far.
Cadet Class 10 of 2012
Recipients of this years scholarships are (l-r) John Miller, Danny Nguyen and John Edmiston
To view Class 10's training pictures while in the academy, please visit the "Links" page.
Photo was taken in Oct. 2012 by Tom and Lisa Slagle, our escorts in 2010. Tom and Lisa serve as escorts to survivor families each year . Lisa and Tom are both with the Houston FD.
Meeting Lisa and Tom for the first time at the NFFF campus prior to the evening candlelight ceremony. In the foreground is Janice DeShazer, sister of Damion Hobbs. FF Hobbs and Captain James Harlow lost their lives in the line of duty on Easter Sunday, 2009 in Houston.
We are so happy to see Tom, Lisa, Janice and her family each year at the annual Houston Firefighter's Memorial.
On Wednesday, July 25, Mike and I were two of hundreds of spectators visiting the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Brayton Fire Training facility in College Station, Texas. One evening each year, TEEX opens their gates to the public for a firefighting demonstration in conjunction with its Annual Municipal Fire Training School (83rd this year).
Particularly we were there to see our dear friend and LPG Emergency Management Instructor Brandon (B.J.) Chomout. B.J. and Cohnway worked together with the Yoakum Fire Department and became close friends. Through B.J., we also had the opportunity to meet many of the firefighters in the class. Everyone made us feel right at home.
Thank you to B.J. for getting us wristbands, which allowed us to get an upclose and personal view of all the exciting and realistic firefighting scenarios. We had a great time.
In 1929, the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas selected Texas A&M for a permanent fire school, with the first annual school a year later attracting 196 firefighters from 76 Texas cities and towns for two days of drills and ground practice. The success of the first school prompted the Texas Legislature to officially recognize the A&M fire school as an “imperative public necessity” in 1931. Today, the Brayton Fire Training Field is the world's largest and most comprehensive institute for emergency response training.
To learn more about their training programs and courses in over 130 specialty areas, please visit their website: http://www.teex.org/ESTI/index.html
Mike and B.J.
Burning Liquid Propane Gas
Assault on LPG
Elevated storage vessel on loading dock scenario
Applying foam on storage tanks
Chemical Complex ( we stood here awhile, the mist from the water and breeze that day was cool and refreshing)
The Gentle Heroes
Within the realm of mankind there are those that exceed the expectations of the human soul,
For they are the epitome of good will, and the extended hand of God,
They come when called no questions asked,
giving of themselves and their time.
Neither for money nor fame, but only to serve their fellow man,
They believe themselves neither as heroes nor as gods,
But as simply doing their job.
Their answer to the call of need is, "How can I help?"
Their answer to danger is, "It needs to be done."
Their answer to their death is, "Please take care of my family."
For there is no greater sacrifice then to give your life for another,
Yet they do so without thought.
Willing to leave behind their families for a stranger,
Offering to give their life for someone not known,
And once gone, their gentle souls committed to the ages
Never again to be replaced.
Let us never forget these perished men and women,
Take one moment to honor their passing,
For ours is the greatest loss of all. They lived to serve us,
And in death they are the gentle heroes we have loved and lost.
Let their memory shine forever, a monument to humanity.
This song was written in memory of Jonathan Croom and Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy of the Buffalo, NY Fire Department LODD August 24, 2009 I met Jonathan's Mom, Angie, at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Survivor Conference in May, 2010 in San Antonio. (please take a moment to listen)
This song was written in memory of Jonathan Croom and Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy of the Buffalo, NY Fire Department LODD August 24, 2009
I met Jonathan's Mom, Angie, at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Survivor Conference in May, 2010 in San Antonio.
(please take a moment to listen)