Monday, September 7, 2009

Beginning to Live the Dream

From my previous posts, you now know how I came to be obsessed with all things firefighting. Now comes the next chapter in my life.

After watching the first two season's of Emergency! I realized that I still have the "bug" and I have it BAD!!!! It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks! It has become almost a constant thought in my mind, awake and asleep. I have long realized that I cheated myself, as women are wont to do when they grow up and fall in love, get married, have kids, etc. It isn't something we consciously do. It isn't like we wake up one day and say, "I'm going to forgt all the dreams I ever had about what I should do with my life and just see what happens." But, most women do fall into that trap. Perhaps it is the same for men, but not being one, I cannot speak to that.

When I started into the child care world, I thought, in the beginning, that I might one day pursue the original dream. However, as the years ticked by I thought less and less about it until I all but forgot it. Seeing my old pals, Roy and Johnny on TV brought back all the excitement I always felt and all the desire to be a part of it. In about January of 2009 (Around my 40th birthday -hmmmmmm...) I decided I wanted to do something different with my life. I began to question weather or not I could picture myself in my current line of work 20 years from now. -Not really!!-

By early July, I "knew" I wanted to find a way to get involved in emergency services. I doubted that it would be as a firefighter, since I am a 40 year old, 4 foot 10 inch, 200 and a few pound woman! YIKES! I decided to pursue a career as a 911 operator. I wanted to be a dispatcher for the Fire Department but discovered upon very little investigation that the position is filled entirely by sesasoned professional firefighters, at least in my neck of the woods. 911 operator was the next best thing I could think of. Sadly, it is run by the Law Enforcement Support Agency (LESA). I started to tell people of this idea, knowing full well that the more one talks about it and shares it with others the more likely one will be to follow through with a plan. I got good responses and encouragement from friends, family and acquaintances on this plan. The more I thought about it though, the more doubts I had.

Then came the next ton of bricks! I was working on a personal hobby/project of mine and needed to know (to have a clear picture in my head) what the fire engine I grew up near looked like. I knew it was likely an early 1970's model American La France pumper but that was all. I started looking online, in books at libraries and for books in book stores so that I could see a picture of one. I couldn't find what I was looking for anywhere. Hmmmmmm......

I said to myself, "Self? Where can you find this information? What resources do you have available to you?" Then my self said, "Duh! If you know anyone that can find you a picture and tell you the exact make and model, it is your just as insanely obsessed as you brother, Jamie! (Frank to all but the siblings he grew up with and our parents!)

SO... I wrote an e-mail or facebook message (I don't remember which) to my brother to inquire about the make, model, etc. and if he knew of where I could find a picture of one and or could he send me a picture that he might already have?
Very soon after I sent that message, he sent me back the information I needed, and a picture (on the internet) of what I needed. It was during this time that he himself had been considering buying a fire engine to restore as a personal hobby. He actually had a specific one in mind and had nearly sealed the deal when, in the course of trying to fill my request for information, he found the REAL DEAL! On Craig's List he found a fire engine identical, year, make and model, to the one we grew up near and I had inquired about. Not only was it identical, it had belonged to "Our" fire department originally. Tacoma Fire Department apparently purchased 8 of them all at the same time and this was one of them. That meant that this fire engine for sale on Craig's List might actually BE the one we grew up with. Well, we both knew that was a long shot, but it didn't matter. It was less money than the one he had been looking at buying and was much more romantic! After speaking with the owner of the fire engine, he decided to buy it.

Stay tuned for Beginning to Live the Dream Part 2 in my next posting. I will try not to wait a month between postings this time. I have a lot more I want to catch up on to get to the present!