I arrived at the FD just after dark the night before, as I was expected. Upon which I received a very warm welcome, and made to feel very comfortable at the Fire House. I was able to use the amenities; including doing some much needed laundry. During the night an alarm call came in, and I was asked to ride in the truck. It turned out to be non-emergency. The experience did bring me closer to understanding the commitment, and lifestyle that these people dedicate themselves to everyday.
That next morning I was scheduled for a public ceremony at City Hall. A fourth section of the banner was planned to be initiated at this event. It arrived via express mail from home in Ft Lauderdale right on time at the FD.
|Rudolph E. McCollum Jr, Mayor|
William Johnson, Deputy City Manager
Teresa Gooch, Acting Police Chief
Jack K. McElfish, Fire Chief
Michelle Quander-Collins, Public Affairs Director
Tesha Wilkons, Media Relations
Arrangements were made to have City Officials and Department Chiefs sign the banner during a public and media presentation at 10am. The FD parked their trucks out front, and welcomed people to come inside.
During the ceremony, I received a special brass plaque and cuff links from the City of Richmond. And of course, many posters were gratuitously given in exchange. After the introduction presentation, the mayor was the first initiate signing the new 4th section of banner. By the end of the day, it was nearly completely covered with warm regards and sentiments.
Willie Redd, Photojournalist
Bob Brown, Photographer
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WRVA/VRN 1140 AM News Radio
Craig Butterworth, Reporter
Read Letter from City of Richmond (PDF)
Read Letter from Roanoke Police Chief (PDF)