Hey Eddie and others.............this blog is not just fire department stories although it would be okay if it became one. As you can see it has other things as well. comment on todays post or just email your ideas if you want. email@example.com........see you all.
Fire department stories:
I had a couple of thoughts about fire department stories and since I am having fewer and fewer ’thoughts’ I decided I better write them down.
First, we all know that we can sometimes be the world’s worse (all public safety) at ’dark humor’ . What I mean is that we laugh about something serious, probably because we’d rather do that then cry about it, or get depressed, or whatever. I’ve spent the past 18 plus years psychoanalyzing myself and others as a counselor but that isn’t my intent here. (unless someone else wants to do a little of that.) My intent is not to hurt or belittle anyone so , hopefully, no one will take offense. Also, it seems most of what I remember as funny pokes fun at all of us, myself included. I think there are enough stories to go around but it’s just like family; we can pole fun at each other but don’t like it when others do the same.
All that said, I also don’t mean to focus on ’screw ups’ in a way that some people believe make the fire service look bad. Goodness, I’ve never seen a bunch that spends more time going over and over its mistakes and trying to avoid them in the future! We rehearse possible scenarios and dissect everything to the nth degree, shave a second here, a mile there. That’s all good………….the experts say all of us ought to be making a fairly high (around 30%) error rate anyway. If not, we’re probably not risking enough new things and are not learning enough………
A ny way………….with that said, see if you send some ideas under the heading of, “ Selected Short Screw ups”. You might start the story with something like,” I remember the day we…………… and then just talk about I t. A couple of examples:
I remember one night Eddie White and I were on duty at the CFD . Dewey was off that night and I was driving Engine 8B while Eddie drove A. (Don’t remember where the squad was but since we had more equipment than men, we had to do some creative things with engine assignments. (if you remember, eddie, fill in the blanks)
An awful storm had just started; big time thunder and lightening, pouring down rain. We got a call that someone had seen smoke around JP Carr school. Eddie was off in his nice, dry, enclosed cab and I started across the bay to my ‘convertible’. About that time our city manager (was it Paul Boring) came walking in the station. I turned around to see who had come in and hit a slick spot, sliding for about 3 or 4 feet before totally losing my balance and falling on my butt, then my head as it bounced off the bay floor. Paul rushed to see if I was okay but I was up, a little dazed but still in the fight. Come to think of it, it would have been a good idea to give me a ‘ten-count‘ just to make sure I was okay. After hitting my shin on the running board and climbing into the driver‘s seat, I reported, Engine 1B enroute to …………. Whatever the address was. Before this was out of my mouth, I was soaked to the bone; I mean I couldn‘t see anything and my feet kept slipping off the clutch, or break, accelerator enough to make me swerve and learch and jerk my way out onto Scott street headed over to help Eddie.
You may be able to guess where this thing is going. I didn’t get half way over there before Eddie , very dry and composed, came on the radio to let me know that I could cancel because it looked like the wind was blowing water that someone mistook for smoke.
I , on the other hand, was afraid to pick up my microphone for fear of being electrocuted………..
Then there was the night that we tied Bob Cooley’s belt to his bed and called the hot line to get the buzzer to sound. Everyone was laughing so hard we couldn’t breath while Bob dragged the bed as far he could before being stuck in to bedroom door way, cussing and yelling at us……………
Or the night I slept through the alarms going off at least just enough so that I missed getting in the engine on the way to a call (alarm at a business on Green Street.. I wasn’t about to miss the call, though, so my solution was to jump in turn out gear and then drive my 74 VW bug and head out to the call. . Funny scene, Fire engines and vW bug arriving on the scene……..Herby the Fire Bug…….. probably needs a new title………..false alarm by the way………..
Then there is a whole collection of calls that involved ‘things stuck in things’……….I remember one or two; a twelve year old with his finger stuck in his dad rifle barrel; then the guy who got his finger stuck in the coin machine at the car wash (didn’t we take the entire machine off the wall and transport it or am I just dreaming………..there have to be more of these and I’m just giving an introduction. I’ll develop a story around a few facts if I have to by adding a few details to make it a story!
Many more: I’ll never forget David Almand running into a dresser mirror and seeing his own image in the smoke filled room. Scared him to death………………….or the ‘great Halloween caper of 1900 something, when some unidentified firefighters harassed the guys on duty at the station
Or the day D. Collins and I about dropped the fat lady we were trying to transfer from her bed to a stretcher…..what an awful, sinking feeling to watch her disappear between the beds…….
Or Kerry’s comments about Alan Abbott after he got his EMT training………..carried his huge first aide box everywhere. Kerry said Alan was so gung ho he would end up on the street, trying to resuscitate an armadillo if one got hit. He was right……….
The “I’m burning, I’m burning call on N. Hicks, whee we thought we were going on a fire call but instead had an elderly man who wasn’t quite sure what the problem was……
Anyway, you get the picture. Send me more,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and maybe yours will broaden the types of stories as well.
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