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  1. #1
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!

    Thumbs up Bob Compton, Engine 6511

    Bob Compton was a member of the IACOJ and the Firehouse Forums and posted under the name Eng6511. He passed away in May of 2004 after a valiant battle with cancer. Bob had an American Lafrance engine that was his pride and joy.

    hfd66truck got this letter the other day from Bob's daughter, he forwarded it to our board of trustees, and I felt that it deserved to be posted here...

    I am Bob Comptonís daughter, Kimberley and I would like to thank you for remembering my Dad with the Compton award. I remember Art Goodrich or one of the other Crusties mentioning renaming the award in my Dadís memory but I donít remember what the award was for. Please extend my congratulations on behalf of the Compton family to Jeff Vanderpool. Also, please extend get well wishes and a speedy recovery to Art.

    I thought you and the other Crusties might like to know what has happened since Dad died in May. The first few weeks were really rough but all the good wishes and memories from folks all over, we muddled through. Most of Dadís family didnít know about his association with IACOJ. They learned of it when I read Artís wonderful letter at his funeral. Some had heard of the famous firetruck he bought in New Jersey and drove to North Carolina. He spent a few years restoring it and of course nothing but the best of original equipment was good enough for his truck.

    I took a few trips to North Carolina from the Albany, NY area to get his estate squared away. I was really worried about what to do with his firetruck. I couldnít offer it to any VFDs because the jump seats were not fully enclosed according to new laws. (Please remember that I am an EMT with the local volunteer ambulance corps and we donít do fires. That is fine with the local VFD. They donít start IVs or hold barf bags for patients). I am not really up on firetruck codes or laws but I was made to understand that Dadís firetruck could not be place in service.

    One of the trips I took to North Carolina was to set up an estate sale for most of Dadís stuff. The day before the sale we learned that a newly repainted, used firetruck belonging to Unaka VFD was coming home from its paint job when the brake line caught fire. The truck was going up hill at the time when it started rolling down the hill and crashed into a tree. No one was hurt but the truck was fully involved and it and all equipment on the truck was completely destroyed. Through another local VFD, I contacted Unaka and asked them if they could use Dadís firetruck. The chief came and inspected it, checked some laws, and determined that Dadís firetruck had proper restraints for use in North Carolina. Unfortunately, Unaka could not use the truck because it was too big for their building and the cabover design on mountain roads might cause their drivers problems. Also, Dadís truck was a pumper and in their neck of the woods, a tanker was needed more. The chief was disappointed too because most of the equipment on Dadís truck was better than the stuff they had. The least we could do for Unaka and the other local VFDs was to provide them with all the equipment Dad had lying around the firehouse that didnít go with the truck.

    We were really disappointed that Dadís truck couldnít be used but apparently word got out that there was a perfectly good firetruck in excellent condition available to a VFD that could use it. Just a few weeks later, guys from Culberson VFD called and asked if they could see the truck. They had only 1 and with 2 firetrucks, the residents of their fire district could get a real break on their insurance. They gave it a thorough check up and last I heard it is in service. They really appreciated such a heavy duty pumper (Dad replaced and/or refurbished the pumps) as they make good use of portable ponds.

    So Robert Comptonís legacy lives on. Interestingly enough, the people who bought the house and firehouse in North Carolina learned of it through their brother who is involved with the Culberson VFD. Years from now folks will ask them why their garage is called a firehouse and the story of my Dad and his love of firetrucks and his dedication to fire service personnel will be told again.

    What more could a Crusty old Jake ask for.


    Kimberley Westcott
    Robert Comptonís
    Darling Daughter #3

    Brothers and sisters...this is what it's all about...paying it forward...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Nov 2002


    Thats Awesome, and Chief Dunklee of the Culberson VFD is a good friend of the Clinton VFD and others here in P.G. They have had a Pumper from Kentland and a Pumper from Arnold Maryland donated to them in the 90's. We also donated alot of equipment to them over the years and the Chief tries to make our banquet every year.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  3. #3
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Division 24


    Thanks for posting this Ron. What a great legacy for a man who obviously not only loved the fire service, but did what he could to make it better.

  4. #4
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!


    Class act family all the way! Thanks for sharing the letter with us.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Honorary Flatlander


  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Jun 2000
    911 N. Sycamore St. Yep, that's really our address.


    How cool is that?

    Thanks, Ron!
    Omnis Cedo Domus


  6. #6
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Mar 1999
    St Paul, MN


    Tales of a legacy left by a great man.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter1219's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Concord, Havana, FL USA


    Wow. What a great family Bob had. I'm glad that someone was able to put his truck into service.

    Thanks for sharing the letter, Ron!
    TO/EMT CVFD (1219)
    Proud Member of IACOJ
    9-11-01 Never Forget FDNY 343

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Nov 2001


    What an awesome letter Capt. Gonzo. Thanks for posting it.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    May 2000



  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....

    Thumbs up Wow..........................

    Not often that I'm at a loss for words, but I am now. Thanks to the Compton Family, and Thanks to Gonz for Posting Kimberley's Letter.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.


  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!


    Somehow, naming an award after Bob doesn't seem like enough.
    But the Compton family knew in the days after Bob's death how very much he meant to us. And it was then that they realized how important the fire service had been in Bob's life.
    Bob would appreciate more than anyone that his beloved Engine 6511 went to a very worthy cause.
    For those who never saw a picture of it, it is my avatar and will be forever.
    Great letter from a wonderful family.
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  12. #12
    Forum Member TCFire's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
    Lockport, New York

    Thumbs up

    Absolutely awesome!!

  13. #13
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW


    Thanks Gonzo!

    This blabbermouth is speechless....and I'm wiping away tears of joy.

    Sigh...he lives on.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    New Jersey

    Thumbs up

    Thanks, Cap. That made my day.

    I.A.C.O.J. Firefighter/EMT-B

    "I'm gonna drill a hole in your skull and pump out all the stupidity"
    Gunny Ermey

    "Never underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

    Humpty Dumpty was pushed

    Polishing the Chrome on all the IACOJ "apparati"

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.

    Thumbs up

    WOW TOOOO KUUULLL. Thanks for sharing, and best wishes to Culberson VFD on their acquisition of Engine 6511. May it serve them long and well.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Feb 2003


    Great post Gonzo!!!

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