Saturday, January 2, 2010

Report From Ladder Company 40 Day 107

Hi Team!

Today is the last full day I will be in "Brother's Town" for a while.  My bro woke me up around 9 am with a run to a chimney fire.  I got dressed as fast as I could and ran out to the squad just as my bro pulled it forward to the front door of the station, which was closer to where I was than the squad's "bay" which currently is just a covered car port.  I jumped in and we raced away!  We are in a rural area so sirens are not necessary unless approaching intersections and hazardous areas so we ran with just lights until we got to a busier road with a hairpin turn off one road and onto another.    We were flying down the road when the word came... NO FIRE!  Yay for the home owner.  Bummer for me.  Seriously, I am glad there was no danger, but I can't help but be disappointed that I still haven't gotten to observe a working fire.

We went to see Grandpa shortly after returning from that run.  It was so good to see him.  I think it has been about 10 years since I last saw him.  At least 5 but the years all blend together after a while and I really couldn't say for sure.  (guilt,guilt,guilt)  Grandpa was sleeping when we arrived and we debated about waking him up or letting him sleep.  Finally my bro and my sister and I agreed that if it was one of us, we would want to be awakened so we did wake him.  Grandpa seemed very glad we did.  I am amazed at how sharp he still is after such a long full life and a pretty serious stroke.  He is still quick witted and thinks a lot.  He was thrilled to talk shop with us.  (once a fireman always a fireman!)  I think it really did him some good to have someone talk fire with him.  He kept posing all kinds of questions about water pressure in certain scenarios needed to get the wet stuff to the red stuff.  My bro knows how to figure out the math and such to do it, but he is kind of rusty in the kinds of questions grandpa was asking.  See, grandpa was a large city fireman.  My bro is a small rural area firefighter.  Grandpa was asking about multiple story buildings and my bro rarely sees anything other than a two story house.    I think grandpa was enjoying making my bro think about it.  It felt like grandpa was really wanting to bestow some great firefighting wisdom on my brother, to pass it down so to speak.  He clearly is proud of my bro and talked about how much my brother knew about pump operations and the engine long before he ever became a fireman.  He said usually that info is kind of a secret, learned on the job.  It impressed the hell out of him how much my bro learned ahead of time. He enjoyed the pictures of my bro's personal fire engine and the stories of when we picked her up.  He also enjoyed the pics of me playing with the fire hose and wanted to know how I held that hose on my own.  My bro told grandpa that if he would like, he would try to arrange to come pick him up and take him out in his pumper.  Grandpa seemed to really like that idea.

When I was a teenager and told grandpa what I wanted to do with my life, he was SO supportive... an old school fireman who was encouraging and excited that his granddaughter wanted to follow in his footsteps in the early 80's!  I didn't know then how rare and amazing that was.  I was appreciative at the time, but I wish I had known what a big deal it was then.  He is the best grandpa a kid could ask for.  I remember telling him of my dream back then and the excitement he showed.  He told me it would be hard but he encouraged me anyway and after I told him he said, "Come on!  Let's go see some of the guys."  He took me to one of the fire stations and introduced me to some of the guys telling them why he brought me.  He got them to encourage me too.    After that  I heard him on more than one occasion bragging that his granddaughter wanted to be a fireman.  I know he won't be around when and if that ever comes to pass, but I hope he sees it just the same.

After seeing grandpa today, my bro and his family, Wendi's mother and my sister and niece and I all went to dinner.  After dinner we took my sister and niece home while my bro's wife took the kids and her mother home.  We were headed back to Station 6/Home when the real call came in.  Structure fire.  We wouldn't have been first due but had we been home we would have gone.  We got back to the station as fast as we could and reported immediately to cover Station 4 which is where I am writing this from.  Right now we are it for most of the district.  This time it is a confirmed working fire and we have to be here!  I'm sad again.  I mean, covering a fire station to help protect the rest of the district is a very important job, but it is not where I WANT to be!!!  I know this is typical life in the fire department, at least in this rural area.  I'm glad to be here.  But I sure want to go see the guys in action!  Sigh!

Okay, I guess I should get to the accountability report.  I have had right about two quarts of liquid today.  Truthfully I haven't focused on it too much.  Pete has been playing Tarzan so much today that I can't give you any kind of account of my steps and I can guarantee that I have not had enough sleep in the last 24 hours.  I guess that makes me about 1 for three!  Some days are just like that. =)

Well, we could be here a while but there is nothing else to report.  I will wait to post this until I get back to my home town because I have to post day 106 first and I want to add some pictures before I do. 

Stay safe.

Hotflash out.

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