BROTHERHOOD RIDE visits The Randolph District FD, Cumberland County, Va.

BFD151

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
59
It was a busy couple of days for the quite rural fire station located near Farmville, Va. On Friday afternoon Sept. 3, 2021 the RDFD was requested to assist the Cumberland FD with multiple junk cars burning on the scrap pile at Taylor's Scrap Metals in Cumberland. That is a real mess for fire hose dragged through the mud, grease and oil of a junk yard fire. As soon as we were back in quarters work began on washing all the equipment used as well as the trucks and the apparatus floor as the Brotherhood Ride would be arriving the next day. The Brotherhood Ride is made up of first responders who ride bicycles to honor those who have died in the line of duty. This being close to September 11, 2021 - the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the ride started in Naples, Fl. and ends in New York City. About 40 bicycle riders and 20 support staff came to our fire station on Saturday Sept. 4, 2021. It was a great honor to have them stay overnight in our fire station. Meeting many of the firefighters and police officers proved that we all are a brotherhood. Most of the bicyclists were from Florida, but several were from New York, Connecticut and Ma. I met FDNY Battalion Chief Danny Sheridan 3rd Battalion and we talked about the FDNY. He knew everyone I mentioned. My days of being an FDNY buff go back to 1971. I also worked for the New York Fire Patrol 1973 - 75 and I was also an Aux. Firefighter during that era with Engine 83 / Ladder 29. So we talked about "Da bums on the Hill" as well as 60 / 17, 73 / 42, 94 / 48, 82 / 31, as well as other South Bronx Companies. I also met retired FF. Rob Lohr of the Brevard, Fl. Fire Rescue who worked at Station 22 in Mims, Fl. during the brush fires of 1998. I went to Florida for those fires and I was assigned to Station 22 in Mims, Fl. Wow we were both there and somewhere I still have some photos of those fires. Another interesting guy was Javier Fernandez of Lakeland, Fl. It was great to met the organizer, Jeff Morse of the Naples FD who can be reached at 239 633 7098 jeff@brotherhoodride.com They presented our fire chief Paul Adkins a beautiful framed print to hang in our station. We cooked them a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, watermelon, apples, biscuits so they had plenty of fuel to make their next stop in Charlottesville, Va. PLEASE GO TO MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT - WILLIAM BERNHARD and the RANDOLPH DISTRICT FD site for many more photos that this site will not let me upload as they are too large.
 

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nfd2004

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Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
6,283
To my long time buff buddy and Brother Firefighter, Willy B (not to be confused with Willy D), what a great story.

I thank you for telling us about it.

Now let’s go back to where it all began for you and I. Both our fathers were on the job working together in Bridgeport, Ct. As kids we would play with our fire trucks and our dream was to become firefighters. Firemen as they were called in those days, just like our fathers were.

As we grew up we chased the fires in Bridgeport.
But things really changed for us when we got to chase the fires in NYC as the FDNY War Years were just beginning.

It was a time that we got to watch, ride with and learn from the Busiest and Best Firefighters in the World. They treated us so great. What a time it was for young guys like us who were into it.

Yes, I remember the days when you worked for the NYC Fire Patrol as well as when you were an Auxiliary Firefighter with the very busy Engine 83 and Ladder 29 in the South Bronx.

We also became volunteer firefighters in Fairfield, Ct together where the late Captain Joe Elias was way ahead of his time. The late Dave Russell was captain and eventually became Chief of Dept. Chief Russell also got to see his son become an FDNY member working in the very busy Engine 62/Ladder 32 where he was known as “Rambo”. A few of us got to meet him a couple of years ago where he was Chief at one of NYCs International Airports.

While volunteer firefighters in Fairfield, we were joined by a popular guy on this site who I call “Johnny D”, actually “johnd248”. It was great hearing the stories of his Auxiliary Firefighter days with Engine 248, another very busy FDNY company.

Willy, “BFD151”, you later became a career firefighter in Fairfield too. But when the opportunity came for you to get on the Bridgeport Fire Dept, that’s what you did. Just as that city was beginning to see it’s own set of Busy Bridgeport Fire Dept War Years. In fact, I remember when my brother George and you worked together on the very busy Truck 5. At times many parts of Bridgeport looked similar to burned out areas of NYC

These days you and I are very fortunate to have some good friends who worked during those very busy FDNY War Years. We were only there to watch and observe what we know today as the Best Firefighters the world has ever seen.

I know for both you and I, it is an honor to be good friends with those we followed and watched do what they did best. That of putting out thousands of fires in vacants as well as occupied building fires. Not counting the huge outside rubbish fires, the burning ADVs, as well as the car accidents and water rescues.

Sadly we also know that many gave their lives on 9/11 and many others have since passed away as we see here in “Another War Years member passes”.

Willy, “BFD151”, I hope that you will add to this story. Others here may want to join in too.
 

BFD151

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
59
Thanks Willy D for that great summary of our fire careers. I hope others will go to the Randolph District FD Facebook site as well as my Facebook site - William Bernhard for many more photos of the Brotherhood Ride that visited our fire station in Cumberland County on Sept. 4, 2021. The photo is The presentation of the gift from the Brotherhood Ride given to Randolph District FD Chief Paul Adkins (left) and Cumberland Fire and EMS Chief Tom Perry (also Lt. on Chesterfield County FD and EMS). Two great guys I serve under.
 

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