Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Promotes Eight Officers

Chief Rick Burch (right) leads the eight promotees in the officers oath. (L-R) Rucker, Griffith, Irvin, Altice, Craighead, Mayhew, Newman and Wheeler.

Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department held a Promotion Ceremony on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 to promote eight personnel to officer ranks. The promotions will fill officer vacancies created by departures and a retirement. Members of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, Roanoke County Administration, Chief Richard E. Burch, Jr., department personnel, and family members were in attendance to witness and participate in the official pinning of one Battalion Chief, three Captains and four Lieutenants. The officers then recited the department’s officer oath.

Travis Griffith has been promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. Griffith was initially hired by the Department in January of 2002 as a Firefighter/EMT. In 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and then within two years promoted to Captain. Griffith has served at the North County, Hollins, Clearbrook, and Masons Cove stations. He lives in the western Roanoke County with his wife, Ellen and their two daughters, Carly who is ten-years-old and Claire, who is seven-years old. Battalion Chief Travis Griffith will now serve as the Department’s three shift supervisors.

Don Altice has been promoted to the rank of Captain. Altice was originally hired in 1998 as a part-time Paramedic/Firefighter and a year later was offered a full-time position. Previously, he was a volunteer for nearly eight years with the Vinton First Aid Crew and the Vinton Volunteer Fire Company. Altice has served at the Vinton, Mount Pleasant, Clearbrook and Fort Lewis stations. He lives in Vinton with his wife Denise and their two daughters, Grace who is eight-years-old,and Natalie, who is five-years-old. Captain Don Altice will now serve as one of the Department’s three EMS shift supervisors.

Danny Irvin has been promoted to the rank of Captain. Irvin was originally hired by the Department in 1993 as a Paramedic/Firefighter. In 2004, he was chosen to serve as a Field Training Officer and was then promoted to Lieutenant in 2007. Irvin has served at the Cave Spring, Hollins, Clearbrook, Fort Lewis and Back Creek stations. He lives in Bedford County with his wife, Danielle and their four-year-old daughter, Emma. Captain Danny Irvin will now be assigned to the Cave Spring Fire Station.

Charles Rucker, IV has been promoted to the rank of Captain. Rucker was hired in 2001 as a Paramedic/Firefighter. In 2004, he was selected to serve as a Field Training Officer and then in 2007 was promoted to Lieutenant. He has served at the Hollins, Clearbrook and Fort Lewis stations. Rucker lives in Roanoke City with his wife, Danyel and three-year-old son Charles; and they are expecting a baby inJanuary. Captain Charles Rucker, IV has now been assigned to the Fort Lewis Fire & Rescue Station.

Tim Craighead was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Craighead came to the Department in 2005 without any prior experience with fire or rescue. Previously, he worked in building construction with his father and brother. He served at the Clearbrook and Mount Pleasant

stations before being selected as a training officer for the Roanoke Valley Regional Fire & EMS Training Center where he coordinated training for the Department including that of the two recent career recruit schools. Craighead says his most memorable call thus far was the very first structure fire he was dispatched to where he fought fire under the supervision of Captain Troy Gray and Lieutenant Smith. He lives in Callaway with his wife of 19 years, Rissa, daughter, Danielle who is 16-years-old, and son, Cory who is 17-years-old. Lieutenant Tim Craighead will now be assigned to the Cave Spring Fire Station.

Payton Mayhew has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Mayhew was hired in 2003 as a Firefighter/EMT. He has served at the Hollins, Mount Pleasant and Clearbrook stations. Mayhew says his most rewarding call happened during a Dogwood Festival when he was able to resuscitate a patient after he coded in the back of the ambulance and today the man is alive and well. Lieutenant Payton Mayhew lives in Franklin County with his wife, Charity and three-year-old daughter Sydney.

Jeremy Newman has been promoted to the Lieutenant rank. He was hired as a Firefighter/EMT in 2005. He has served at the Hollins, Fort Lewis and Masons Cove stations. Newman says that his role as a Paramedic/Firefighter is very rewarding, but says the Green Ridge Mountain Fire has been his most memorable call. Newman was one of the hundreds of firefighters who battled the blaze that charred over 4000 acres. He also was part of the effort that protected and saved 64 structures that were valued at over 16.5 million dollars. Newman lives in Roanoke with his wife, Kristin and 19-month-old son, Camden.Lieutenant Jeremy Newman has been assigned to the Hollins station.

Chad Wheeler was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Wheeler was hired by the department in 2001 as a Paramedic/Firefighter. He previously volunteered with the Giles County and Narrows Volunteer Fire Departments. In 2005, he was selected to serve as one of the Department’s Field Training Officers and then in 2010 he was assigned to the Roanoke Valley Regional Fire & EMS Training Center as a Training Officer. Wheeler lives in Montgomery County with his wife, Rachel, and sons, Tyler who is 17-years-old and Matthew, who is 7- years-old. Lieutenant Chad Wheeler will now be assigned to the Hollins station.