Captain Wines and I recently headed to Nashville for the Country Music Awards and to witness Country Music Star Craig Morgan introduce a National Awarness Campaign to get smoke alarms installed in homes without working alarms. The name of the campaign is "Be a Safety Hero" and it is championed by Kidde.
In Mt. Juliet, TN, they are starting from scratch in creating a fire department that serves one of the fastest growing areas in Tennessee. Not only has the area been home to my parents for about 15 years, the local government created a fire department just months ago.
The area has been served by WEMA for many years, and previously they had a volunteer fire department. Now, they get to start over.
They began by hiring Erron Kinney as their Fire Chief. Kinney is a former tight-end for the Tennessee Titans.
After being hired, Kinney began structuring the department. We didn't get to meet Chief Kinney, but you could tell be each of the firefighters we spoke with that he is doing something right! All of them are very supportive and proud of the direction Kinney is taking them.
Here is where it gets neat.
What would you do if you got to build a department from scratch? What apparatus would you purchase? What turnout gear would you get? What tools, nozzles, and hose would you get? How would you do it?
Here are some interesting tidbits we picked up on at in Mt. Juliet…
It is named the FDMJ (similar to FDNY).
They have a green strobe in the front of the apparatus, similar to Chicago.
They have roto-rays.
They bought 4 pieces of apparatus, 2 engines, 1 100' platform, 1 105' stick. One of the engines has been delivered since we were there, the other is on the way.
The only part I cringed about was the Globe gear….I am a Honeywell Morning Pride kinda guy!
The department is comprised of 1 Chief, 1 Asst. Chief, 1 Captain, and 9-12 firefighters (can't remember exactly). They also have 20+ volunteers who were solicited from some of the paid departments around to supplement the career staff.
Their crew was more than welcoming in having us stop by. We appreciate being shown around and are enthusiastic at your PRIDE in your department.