•  The next Association meeting will be held on November 9, 2020 at FS17. The meeting will start at 6:30pm.

    It has been 9 months since we had a meeting and we have new members to vote in, as well looking at our future with regards to the Covid-19 restrictions. The meeting will follow current social distancing requirements and the use of masks is required. No food or beverages will be served, so it is BYOB/snacks. The Volunteer Association has asked that we clean up after the meeting which includes disinfection areas we used. They will provide the supplies, we supply the manpower.  Look forward to seeing you there.

    All Association luncheons scheduled for 2020 have been cancelled. The Association's hope is to resume luncheons in 2021. Stay safe and healthy everyone.

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      2020 MDA Fill the Boot

      With the pandemic, the Fairfax County campaign has moved to October and is going virtual.

      Annual Coat Drive

      The Association's Annual Coat Drive will take place on October 29, 2020 @ 8:30am. The event will be held at FS11.

      2020 Memorial Service & Reception

      On September 20th of this year, the Retirement Association was to hold its 14th Annual Memorial Service and Reception...

      Victim Compensation Fund

      If you were at the Pentagon or WTC on 9-11 or after and have not filed a victim compensation claim, read the following: On July 29, 2019, the President signed into law The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

      Original Badge Numbers

      Steve Hartman has compiled a list of the original badge numbers. Please look at the list to see if your name is on it with your original or reissues badge number. If you don't see your name and you can supply your info, or if you know for sure of someone else's badge number, please send it to Steve at treasurer@fcfrra.org
      Download: Original Badge Numbers.pdf

      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 info@fcfrra.org 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

      This film is from the early 50?s. Thanks goes to Ken Neumann credit for sharing this with us.


      (Credit to Jim O’Neale for the history & Ken Sanders collection for the photos.)

      The Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department bought a new American LaFrance 1000 gallon per minute pumper in 1961.  The new pumper was powered by a Boeing turbine engine, 502.10m, 330 HP @ 60 degrees F.


      The motor was coupled to a Spicer 5 speed transmission, which went through a 2800 to 1 reduction gear.  The Turbo idled at 19,500 rpm and red lined at 39,500 rpm.  The tachometer said Rx-1000 not Rx-100.  Exhaust came out of the top of the engine compartment through a stack at a temperature of 1300 degrees during normal operation.  The starter motor turned at 8000 rpm to start the engine.   To drive it, you put it in 5th gear and let out the clutch while stopped, then pushed on the accelerator pedal.  No shifting was necessary.  It also pumped in 5th gear. 

      The fuel control governor was a chronic problem and had to be replaced every year or two at a cost of $3500.  It was so expensive because the mechanic had to be flown in from the Boeing plant in Seattle to repair it. Fairfax County funded the replacement of a few of the problem governors. However, around 1966 the County told the volunteers that they would fund one more governor repair OR they would pay to repower it with a 820 cubic inch 6 cylinder Continental gasoline engine. 

      In 1966 the decision made was to convert it to gasoline.  The turbine engine was boxed up, sold and shipped to a race car builder in Washington State. 

      Around 1978 I removed the bell from the turbo while I was station commander of Company 9. At that time the pumper was being transferred to reserve status at Company 15. 

      The bell was gifted to me by the volunteers.  After having it for almost 20 years, I gave the bell to Ken Jones, Deputy Chief Administration, to include in the proposed Fire Department Museum.  It is now the ceremonial bell used at funerals and other special events.

      Jim O’Neale

      Interested in Association Membership?.

      If you are a retired member of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications, or City of Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department simply click here for membership information, application, and payroll deduction forms. Once completed send them to Association at the address indicated on the forms via U.S. mail. Questions? We have answers, just complete the contact us form and we will back in touch with you.

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