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Northern Virginia Sun, Volume 26, Number 248, 24 July 1963
’W. W. Smith Dies, Franconia Fireman
Woodrow W. Smith, fireman engineer No. 2 and longtime member of the Franconia Volunteer Fire Department, died of a heart attack Monday night. Born July 10, 1912, Mr. Smith grew up in Franconia. He attended schools in Franconia and Alexandria. Before helping to start the fire department in 1935, he worked for Holmes Bakery and the State Highway Department.
“Woodie", as he was called by his fellow firefighters and the neighborhood youngsters who used to take his tours, devoted all his time to work around the fire department.
Franconia firemen said he participated in just about every activity of the department, and said they felt he should have received a medal for all the work he did.
Mr. Smith, who was the department’s No. 1 paid man, was one of the county's original group of 15 volunteer firemen to be paid by the county.
Mr. Smith was a member of the Virginia State Firemen's Association and the Fairfax County Paid Firemen's Association. He was also a member of Olive Presbyterian Church. In 1960, Mr. Smith was awarded an honorary membership in the Franconia Volunteer Fire Department in recognition of 25 years’ service.
Franconia firemen said Mr. Smith was always interested in old trucks and worked on them all the time. He was especially interested in a 1936 International fire truck kept at the department. Mr. Smith died in Fairfax Hospital after an ambulance rushed him there from his home where he suffered the heart attack. He is survived by his widow, Evelyn, 63, and a daughter, Mary Evelyn, 19, at home. Services will be held Thursday at 10:30 am. at Demaines Funeral Home, 520 S. Washington St., Alexandria. Burial will be in Ivy Hill Cemetery.
(Thanks goes to Larry Jenkins for sharing with the Association)
Acre & Spalding Interview
This is an article from the Gazette in May 1985.
The Master Stream
Below is an early copy of the Master Stream News. This was the "Monitor of Fire Protection News and Opinion" published by the Fairfax County Paid Fireman's Association. Thanks to Charlie Wood for sharing with the Association.
Radio Roll Call
This is a recording made by Ken Neumann back in 1975. It contains the 1800 hour nightly Tone Test back when each station had to reply via base station radio, as well as various dispatches. Ken would go on to say "Here is a sound track of evening roll call of all stations plus a few calls that I recorded in the early seventies. I had to laugh at a patient report given to Fairfax Hospital over the main channel! Would love to know who that was". If anyone recognises any of the voices, please email your answers to email@example.com and the information will be added to this post. Again, thanks to Ken Neumann for sharing this piece of history.
Click below to listen
From Kathy Bomar: Dispatcher - Bobby Sims
From Carl Maurice: Co 11 - Ron Mastin
From Tom Wealand: Co 13 - Alton Wood
From Steve St. Clair: Co 19 - Wayne "Howdy Doody" Green
Early Radio Traffic
This is a recording of Fairfax Fire Control on January 7, 1954 taken directly from the vinyl recording disc it was originally made on. Towards the end of the recording you will hear the voices of all 15 paid men who were employed at the time as they acknowledge an announcement regarding their requirement to begin filling out a timesheet to get paid. Thanks goes to Clyde Clark who donated the recording disc, Ed Dornack who donated his time and expertise in cleaning up and enhancing the recording for us and Clyde and Steve St. Clair for identifying the voices as listed below.
From Clyde Clark:
Having listened to the above referenced tape I am of the following opinions as to voices heard:
I believe the primary dispatcher was Arthur Smith. This opinion is in part due to the sound of the voice and the fact that he often repeated radio transmissions (as heard on this tape). A second dispatcher is heard at 24:10 in the tape and I am not familiar with this voice. Reviewing the EOC time sheet which you forwarded I do not believe the unidentified voices belong to any of those persons listed on the time sheet as each had a distinctive voice sound and quality.
At the time this tape was made (Jan. 1954) there were many itinerant dispatchers who came and went at the fire board - some in for a day and others for longer periods of time. Possibly this era is best considered as a "try out" period.
At 00:20 the voice of Tommy Gaines (Jr. Gaines) is heard on a piece from Co. 8.
At 00:40 the voice is that of Dutch Simpson from Co. 10.
At 03:30 the voice is that of Bob Hunter from Co. 2.
At 09:45 the voice is that of C.B. Newman (Bernie Newman) from Co. 9.
At 19:00 the voices of all 15 career personnel can be heard and for those that did not identify themselves the voices sound like the primary paid man at each station, i.e. Co 4 voice is not identified but certainly sounds like Oscar Costello.
From Steve St. Clair:
I listened to the tape one time and started jotting names down. The following is a list of names I came up with:
Co. 1 was Sam Redmond
Co. 2 was definitely Bob Hunter
Co. 3 was definitely Stuart Fox
Co. 8 was definitely Vince Guidi
Co. 9 was definitely Charlie Newman
Co. 11 was definitely Joe Dove
Co. 14 was definitely Marshall Curtis
Co. 15 was definitely Porter Hutchison
Co. 16 was Calvin Millen (Thanks Keith Pearson)
Co. 17 was definitely Harry Riggles
"96" was definitely Bill Sheads working as the Forest Warden.
I believe Maynard Wells was talking with Bernie Newman about the first brush fire Co. 9 was handling on Route 235 in reference to more assistance.
One of the dispatchers toward the end sounded like Horace Williams.
The names I was definite about were all voices I could identify from knowing them as a kid and later working with them.
Click below to listen
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