My Military, Firefighting & Locksmithing"Careers"
I entered the U.S. Air Force in 1977. I did my basic training at Lackland AFB, in San Antonio, Texas, from September until November of that year. I was transferred to Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois, where I spent the winter months and trained as a Fire Fighter. Once my fire fighting training was complete I was stationed in Florida, at Homestead AFB and shipped all around on TDY's (temporary duty assignments), to work on structural and crash crews. More about Homestead AFB and the 31st TAC can be found below.
Shortly after my reenlistment, while my crew was reporting to a "smoke in the cockpit" call, I got hurt. I ended up having two back surgeries, which got me walking again, but left me with constant pain in my left leg and a left side drop foot. I received an Honorable Discharge with medical condition.
I was originally rated as a 20% Disabled Vet. About two years later it went to 40%. Two or three years after that it was increased to 60% where it stayed until January of 2003, when I was finally given a 100% combined rating disability based on individual unemployability.
During the years after my discharge I would join local fire departments, in whatever town I lived in, if it had one, including Dobson, NC and Round Rock VFD in Round Rock, Texas, where I rose to the rank of Captain, filling in for the Chief and Assistant Chief on a regular basis, as one was always MIA due to his own back disability and the other lived so far outside the response area that he couldn't make it to 3/4 of the alarms. I also continued my fire sciences education and schooling, enabling me to become the Training Officer for Thrall VFD and an annual Guest Instructor for Texas A&M University's Extension Services Fire Training School since 2006.
Soon after leaving the RRVFD I was asked to be the Chief of a local volunteer corporate responder organization. This department did fire company responses, like medical and EMT work, for the local Roller Derby, adult co-ed soccer teams and Pop Warner youth football. I also continue to keep up my EMT certificate, although I am no longer a military, field or para medic. I also continue to renew my CPR Instructor certs.
Along with fighting fires and teaching, I mastered the art of locksmithing and ran a very successful Lock & Key business for a number of years, employing as many as five workers at times. I've since sold the business, gone on disability and given away most of my equipment. Although, I still keep a key cutting machine and a Curtis Clippers for old times' sake. I've also gone back to school throughout the years, for various degrees and certificates, including a BSW in Social Work and Masters in Religion, a HazMat Tech certificate, and I am an AHA CPR & !st Aid Instructor through Austin/Travis EMS. I was "ordained" as a Rabbi by the UL, so I can perform marriages and conduct funerals and the like and I'm usually spending my free time back in school, padding my resumes with things I will probably never use. Just recently I was enrolled in a sign language interpreter class and more recently, a horsemanship apprentice class.
The History of the Maltese Cross that Fire Fighters Wear
The insignia of the fire service is the Cross Pattee-Nowy, otherwise known as the Maltese Cross.
The armored, mounted warriors, The Knights of St. John, revolutionized warfare. For more than six centuries the medieval Knights dominated the battlefields. At first, the church attempted to tame them, but later enlisted them to help with the first crusade of 1095. The Knights received status that became the envy of kings, princes and princesses. They were the first firefighters and the first paramedics - at least the first organized group.
The need for an identifiable emblem for the Knights had become crucial. Because of the extensive armor which covered their bodies and faces, the Knights were unable to distinguish friend from foe in battle.
Many of the Knights became firefighters out of necessity, as well. Their enemies had resorted to throwing glass bombs containing naphtha and flaming oil into their numbers. Many of them were called on to rescue their fellow Knights and extinguish the fires.
The Knights of St. John eventually moved to the Island of Malta, The island for which the Maltese Cross was named. The cross represents the fire service ideals of saving lives and extinguishing fires. But it also represents the unselfish public service dedication to man and environment and the inherent qualities that fire departments and public safety personnel around the world hold such as: charity, loyalty, chivalry, honesty, integrity, honor, pride, dedication, selflessness, discipline, protection, ethics and dignity.
|CPR n First Aid
Israel- 9/11- JWV
Child Safety- Boo- Terri
|As an "Expert" in a National Reptile Magazine|
"I'm Just Sayin..."
|The Anti-Tribute Page
Jerks abusing the placard
|13 Aug 2012