Sunday, November 15, 2009

Report From Ladder Company 40 day 59

Hi Team!

First, I want to say, “Thank you veterans for serving our country. America can never show you enough how much what you do or have done for us matters. I for one, appreciate you.

Now for today’s report:

My brother has a ringtone on his phone that he has set as the sound the phone makes in alarm clock mode. It is the sound of the klaxons going off from the seventies era television show, Emergency! That was largely responsible for the widespread development of the EMS in the United States.
For those of you who don’t know, the klaxon is a system of tones that sound with different pitches. Specific combinations of tones are assigned to each fire station so that when a call comes through the system, the personnel know if the call is for them or for another station and can start getting ready to take off as the dispatcher relays the specifics of the call.

This morning my brother was scheduled to work days. He works rotating shift schedules with the power company that is his primary job. He had to be at work at 6 am. My brother uses his cell phone as a back up to his alarm clock because he has six kids and sometimes alarm clocks in his house have been known to magically walk off between the time they have been set and the time they are supposed to go off! Last night my brother was so tired that he left his cell phone in the living room when he went to bed. When it went off at twenty to five in the morning I found it very amusing. I had only been in bed for an hour and ten minutes after having been up twenty three hours. (Yes, I know, BAD Hotflash!) For the first time in my life I woke up from a dead sleep, in a fire station, to the sound of the klaxons! Nice! After being embarrassed and apologetic that his phone had caused me to wake up, my brother was as amused as I was about it. Another “fire station first” for me. Yay me!

Pete was feeling especially rebellious today. He refused to stay clipped to my waist band most of the day and when he WAS there, he kept getting his buttons pushed and reset. Grrrrrrrr!! I currently have access to heavy emergency apparatus that could put Pete out of my misery if he isn’t careful! Of course, I wouldn’t really do that but I’m not telling Pete that! In any case, I have no idea how much walking I did today, but I know it was a lot. I spent several hours at Powells Bookstore which is an incredibly large and amazing new and used bookstore in downtown Portland. While we were there I found an EMT Basic exam prep book with a cd rom that contains anatomy charts and practice tests. It was only $16.00. Nice. Now I have two great resources to prepare for my EMT course with.

I had plenty of water and iced tea today so I’m well covered on my fluid intake. I’m still amazed at how easy that habit was to form when I have had issues about not drinking enough fluids all of my life! I guess that puts me at 2 for 3 for the day. Exercise good, fluids good, sleep –not so much!

I also attended drill night for my brother’s fire department. This department holds weekly drill nights but once a month it is a business meeting. Last time I visited drill night was the monthly meeting. They aren’t very exciting. You can see where I am going with this, can’t you? Tonight I got to go to drill and you guessed it, it was the monthly meeting. YAY ME! Although, unlike last time I attended, there was actually some drilling as well. The firemen pulled out their power equipment, chain saws, generators, fans and the hurst tool,(AKA the Jaws of Life). They had to take the equipment out, discuss how to turn it on and use it properly, safety procedures and precautions when using it and proper storage of the equipment when they were through with it. They discussed it and they demonstrated it. That was kind of cool. And at one point in the evening a fireman addressed the others giving them a talk about the generators on the rigs. He used the abbreviation AO and I saw a couple of guys seemed to be confused. I heard one of them ask the other quietly what an AO was and the other said, “I dunno!” I hadn’t heard it before but I knew the answer. You see, he used that abbreviation after he had been talking a while and I remembered him saying something about the “apparatus operator” a few minutes before. Therefore I figured out that AO was just that. The rookie got brave and asked what AO meant. I was doing my own little happy dance in my head that I knew the answer to the rookie’s question. (Sorry Rookie if you ever happen to read this. It is not a slam to you. In fact, bravo for being brave enough to ask what you didn't know!)

Well, now that I have typed your eyes out, that’s about all I have to report for today. We’re still praying for a real call- but we don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone. Even a false alarm would be okay –or a BS call. (One where the fire department isn’t really needed but they get called out anyway because it makes somebody feel better that the fire department responded.) Either way, it would still send us out lights and sirens to a call, but no one would be hurt and nobody’s property would be destroyed!

Until next time… Stay safe!!

Hotflash out.

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