Brummets Creek Fire October 2000 Mitchell County, NC
In October of 2000, the Brummets Creek Community of Mitchell County North Carolina was host to a wildfire of thousands of acres that threatened homes and Roan Mountain, the state park and jewel of Mitchell County.
Mitchell County also became home to fire fighters from all over the United States.
Not one home was lost and the "Roan" was saved.
Most of these pictures are from the "staging area".
This was where all vehicles and personel checked in, received orders, received food, often rested, and waited until they were called to a "hot spot".
Close to the fires, the "troops" "hurry up and wait", just like in the military.
Most of the time, the waiting is the hard part.
This is also the farm and home of Jerry and Kim Griffith.
There were many people and businesses who chipped in food and labor.
The "command center" was in another location while the "staging area" and the Griffin farm became a city.
Fire-fighters lived in this temporary "tent city" day in and day out.
The fire-fighting Sioux Indians were fast, methodical, machine-like, and continuous.
In the end, only small sheds or structures were lost, no homes.
You can see my mountain bike propped against the fire truck above.
Nope, that's not standard fire-fighting equipment.
The farm of Jerry and Kim Griffith became a buzzing little town.
The Fireman Is His Brother's Keeper!
Let’s hold our brothers up,
For we’re soon to see the “reaper”.
Make no mistake my brother,
We are our brother’s keeper.
These cold and complex times,
Just need simple words and rhymes.
Let’s do just what we can,
To lift our fellow man.
As our people just get sicker,
Don’t just buy a bumper sticker.
Don’t start your political rant,
Let’s just do for those who can’t.
If you’re a leader - lead.
Do your fellow man a civil deed.
It’s really a simple creed.
Don’t pretend. Sow a righteous seed.
If you wear a suit to work,
It’s really work, you shirk.
And what does it matter,
If you’re making fat cats fatter?
Out here at the fire there are no,
Tommy Hillfrigger clothes.
And if we saw that freak out here,
Many a man would hold his nose.
But Tommy will get carte blanche.
At any formal “do”.
But get it right,
He’ll want no part of you.
Don’t just wear a suit,
It should be of the finest thread.
Make that suit the best,
To turn every bimbo’s head.
Buy everyone a drink,
Give all the girls a wink,
Buy some wine,
And hold that “party-line”.
Be a big star,
Drive a big car,
Smoke that big cigar,
But be ashamed of what you are.
You can’t pay that ultimate price,
While wearing an expensive suit.
I think it’s time the righteous man,
Gave the suit the boot.
It’s time to deny,
That old lie that won’t fly,
About how folks are working hard,
While they’re wearing a lovely tie.
They tell everyone they can,
How they’ve worked for what they’ve got.
Tell them, would you please,
To sail to Hades in their yacht.
It’s those who really labor,
On whom you can depend.
It’s those who really work,
Who fight and defend.
So you’re a scholar. Well give me a holler,
Have I got a hot suit for you!
You’ll also get some fire-proof boots,
And a real cool helmet too.
You can spend week-ends,
And some of your weeks,
With fire-fighting friends,
Learning life saving techniques.
You’ll just be another extra,
You won’t be a star.
No, there isn’t any money,
But you’ll learn CPR.
You’ll carry a hose,
And extend the ladder,
And the lives you can’t save,
Will just make you sadder.
You’ll rake some leaves,
Chop some wood.
Dig a fire-line.
And really do some good.
You’ll crawl on your knees,
Through a house full of smoke.
Then drive to car wrecks
On your own gas till you’re broke.
You won’t supper at the Waldorf,
Or dine at the Ritz.
And when you’re on “location”,
You might have eggs and grits.
You can’t fight a fire,
If you’re just a phat cat,
You can’t fight a fire,
In a cowboy’s hat.
This life isn’t for Barbie,
And we can’t use “Ken”.
And if we depended on Ken and Barbie,
How would we begin?
These are real men.
This isn’t for boys.
They are not pretend.
And they play with big toys.
This is for real men,
With real dedication.
It’s hard work and long hours,
That defend the nation.
They miss their homes,
Their kids, and their wives.
They write blank checks,
And pay their lives.
But when they’re visited,
by that old Grim-reaper,
They’ll already be known,
as their brother’s keeper.
by Micky Dee
In 2007 most fire departments required 32 hours of training just to be a member of the local volunteer departments.
There are hours in the day to get to and from work.
There are hours of work for volunteers at their regular jobs.
Most people don't realize that volunteers are not paid to be firemen.
Most people have no idea how many nights and week-ends are interrupted just for training.
Most people have no idea how often the volunteer, volunteers.
Very often the volunteer pays for gas, food, or lodging.
Very often the volunteer pays for some equipment.
Volunteers leave their warm beds to help their Brother Man!
Above is a training session held on Saturday and Sunday for Confined Space Training.
There can be rappelling off cliffs, buildings, and fire towers.
There might be a class on ropes and tying knot.
There are ladder classes.
Brush fire classes.
There is traffic incident training.
And - the training goes on and on, including bombs, poisons, and anti-terrorist training.
It just never ends.
Emergency medical training is extra and very time consuming.
Hug a fireman and rescue worker when you can!
The above class was held on "Forced entry.
This is teaching firemen the best ways to enter buildings.
One object of the class is to prevent excessive damage while entering.
There is always CPR training.
There are always "fund raisers" like spaghetti dinners or in the case above at Bradshaw Fire Department, a ramp dinner.
A "Ramp" is like a wild strong garlic that grows in the western North Carolina Mountains and tastes great with everything and especially eggs.
The Bradshaw Fire Department is on the Toe River near Pigeon Roost and Relief.
Bradshaw is the closest department to water rescues on the Toe River and on the Nolichucky rapids but because the department is small it doesn't recieve the funding it needs for the water rescue.
Fire departments are always in need of equipment and funding.
My former fire department is the Bakersville Fire and Rescue.
I invented the "Roan Moan" bike ride.
The Bakersville Fire and Rescue uses the Roan Moan for its major fund raiser.
It's one of the finest bike rides I've ever done.
Roan's climb is 7 miles of steep heavenly climbing.
The Roan Moan offers a:
Century (100 miles)
Metric Century (62 miles)
Quarter Century (27 miles).
All three rides give riders a chance to climb one of the prettiest mountains!
Above are just a few of the riders who have enjoyed the "Roan"!
Bicycle Descending Roan Mountain North Carolina
I have suggested that we abandon the suit.
I'd say many of the people above fighting the fires are suit wearers occasionally.
My ultimate stance is not to disrupt tradition.
It is not to attack those with their own just creed even while wearing suits.
But I ask please, when could I trust the guy above?
Isn't the image above false?
These are Hilfrigger clothes. Hundreds of dollars are paid for clothing made in Bangladesh and parts unknown while textiles are dead here in America?
Ladies are marrying the suit. Why fall in love with a man with no money when a girl can just as easily fall in love with a suit and money?
When will suits better the common man?
When will suits ban together to respect the common laborer?
I guess the real bottom line for Micky Dee is I just don't think the suit will benefit the poor.
How do the poor buy suits?
I am poor.
I place myself beside the poor.
I place myself beside the uneducated manual laborers.
Folks can label me for my lack of labels but this is all I can be, regardless.
More by this Author
Some of this was written years ago. Some of it was written more than eight years ago, actually. So much has changed, like my address. I no longer own a bike shop or an inn or a home. My address has changed. Some of my...
Pancho Villa was a Mexican revolutionary leader who advocated for the poor and wanted agrarian reform. Though he may have been a killer, a bandit, and a revolutionary leader, many remember him as a folk hero. Pancho...
America, Our Forefathers, and Our Constitution The work of many minds, the US Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise. Our forefathers would roll over in their graves...