Saturday, March 6, 2010

Report From Ladder Company 40 Day 167

Friday  (FINALLY!!!)

Hi Team!

I did it.  I survived to Friday.  I'm not sure how.  But I did drink three quarts of iced tea and juice today and I slept 7 hours.  YAY ME!  (I did not go meet Coach Alex to walk today so I have to take a two for three today.)  Instead, I met with a fellow Fire Buff Battalion member and our most recent wannabe (John) to go visit some fire stations.  John has been an unofficial buff for a long time and has taken a lot of pictures and posted them on various websites he has created.  Photographing fire apparatus is a hobby of his and he wants to be a firefighter some day.  He is kind of shy and so is Firekat, the member that went with us.  I claim to be the shy one but they put me to shame.

We went to station 15 first.  When we got there, Firekat told us to go ahead of her.  John starts to go to the back fo the fire station and I tell him to follow me, the front is over there (pointing).  He says to me,
"I never knock on door before" (he is Japanese with good but not perfect English) "I always stop when they are washing trucks."  This particular fire station is a converted house with a large bay built along side of it for the fire engine.  The windows on the bay door are so far up that none of us can tell if anyone is even in quarters.  I told him we'd have to knock because no one was out and proceeded to lead the way.  Being shy as I am, I signalled for him to go first when we got to the door.  He backed away quickly.  I looked at Firekat who very quickly said, "Don't look at me!"   AUUUUUGGGGHHHH!  Okay.  Babies!  I knocked on the door.  They both stepped back.  The door opened and I was holding a clear plastic box of home made chocolate chip cookies in front of me.  An older fireman looks down at us and says, "Nobody's home!  Go away!  (I am sure he has noticed my fire buff battalion patch on my sleeve of my coat and Firekat is wearing a fire buff battalion sweatshirt).  I said, "But we have home made cookies!"  He opened the door wide and looked at only me saying, COME ON IN!!!  Funny how cookies always seem to break the ice.  I introduced myself to him and the other two firefighters, who came to the door when they heard "cookies" and I introduced Firekat and John and explained why we were there.  They were so kind and obliging!  One of the guys pulled the engine out onto the apron and another one said, "Hey, it's kind of dirty from the last shift.  It's got a little mud on it, should we wash it?"  The officer nodded in the affirmative and the three of them began washing it.  I tried to make some small talk with one of the firefighters just so I could feel a little more comfortable.  John was kind of demanding, I thought, in his requests but I think it was a cultural thing in how he went about it.  I tried to throw in the pleases and thank you's and explain a little about what John was doing this for.  The guys were very obliging moving the engine into the best light, closing the bay doors, removing the helmet from the dash and out of the picture, etc.  They joked with us and were really very nice.  They quizzed John on CPR because he told them that one of the guys from the C shift had been his instructor.  I told them about my dream of becoming a paramedic and that I was starting school soon and hoped to be doing my ride-alongs with our fire department.  They were very encouraging.  Our visit got cut short when they got a call but they thanked us for  our interest and thanked Firekat and myself for our work with the Battalion telling us how much they really appreciated us working to take care of them.  Aw shucks!  They are way too kind.  I love firemen!

When we left 15's we went to 8's.  I had never been in 8's in their current building but always wanted to.  (Remember I grew up near 8's original station house).  At 8's John knew one of the firefighters.  She remembered him so that made things a little smoother.  They were happy to see cookies and were then willing to oblige us as well.  I told one of the guys I would  never show up to a fire station empty handed and he laughed.  We talked quite a bit while John was making requests and doing his thing with the camera.  This guy, whose name escapes me now doggonit, was around the old 8's when my brother was around there.  I was telling him that I grew up four houses to the south of the old 8's and he started asking me questions about when and exactly where.  He knew the exact house but he was there several years after I was gone from the area.  I told him about some of my brother's antics and he had heard all about him.  In fact he knew very well who my brother was!  My poor bro, his reputation preceeds him!  He is infamous.  I told the guy my brother grew up to be a good guy and a father of six and a fireman.  He was quite impressed.  He almost choked when I said they all lived in a fire station and of course I had to explain.  He thought that was really cool and said so.   I told him my brother was pretty embarrassed about his legendary past but he blew it off.  He said we all do things when we're kids and then we grow up. Then he started telling me about his kids.  It was really fun talking with him.   Later he asked me what I did and I told him what I currently do and about school and my dreams.  I even admitted that I grew up secretly wanting to be Roy DeSoto, to which he laughed again.  I told him that I knew it was likely too late to become a career fire department paramedic but that I was going to do my best and see where it took me.  He asked why I thought it was too late and I told him about an email I got from a new fire chief back east that I had contacted.  (She just became the first full time female fire chief in her state!) She told me that if I was looking at a paid gig, civil service, then 41 was too old to get started but that if I was interested in a volunteer department to go apply.  This firefighter said that was not true.  He added that it might be where she's from but that our town did not have a cut off for civil service.  He told me of a man who was 51 when he was hired on as a rookie just a few years ago.  He told me to not give up and to go for it!  Forget could nine, I'm now on could 57!  I LOVE FIREMEN!  (Did I mention that already?)

Shortly after that Engine 10 pulled up to station 8 and the Lt. of 8's went to the engine to talk to the crew.  After about five minutes, Firekat and I were talking to each other waiting for John to finish up his pictures and Engine 10's crew was ready to leave.  We didn't know it though.  Before they pulled out they turned on every loud noisemaker they could and Firekat screamed a little and we both jumped out of our skin!  I may have screamed a little too, I don't know because I was watching Firekat and hearing her scream!  After Engine 10 was a half a block away they turned off their siren.  So I guess they did it on purpose!  GOOD one guys!  You GOT us!!!  It's nice to be loved!

When we left 8's we tried to deliver cookies at 7's but they were not home and we waited until John had to leave for work.  We dropped John off at his car and drove back to 7's to wait for them.  After a while though, we gave up and decided to go to 10's.  I'm sure they would have gotten a kick out of it if they had been home but they were out too so we tried 11's, which was on my way home.  They too were out.  Busy day I guess for the local FD.  I can't give away the last dozen cookies.  Oh well.  My staff are looking foward to them.

Yesterday, I told my staff I would be visting fire stations today and that  I had to bake cookies when I got home last night.  One of them said, "Sure, she makes cookies for the firefighters but she forgets all about us!"  I said if they called me Chief I would bring my crew cookies!  When I got there I found my teacher and called her Captain.  I gave her cookies.  My assistant was the Leiutenant and our substitute assistant was the boot.  (he asked if he could at least be the helmet! LOL  I had to explain what boot meant.)  They didn't seem to mind.  They like cookies as much as firemen do.

Today at work I was so tired that I couldn't even write an incident report without sleeping.  Seriously, my eyes were open but I had no control over what I did.  I was writing a report about a child's unsafe behavior.  It started out fine.  "Joe's" behavior was unnaceptable when he continuously tried to leave the play area today.  There was a stranger on the playground who had balloons and he kept trying to talk to this person even after he was talked to several times about it.  Ms. "McGillicutty" attempted to discuss the......   (you won't believe what I wrote next) "beholden monkey stealth."  Suddenly, after I wrote it my brain started to re-engage and I thought to myself, "What did I just write?"  Then I looked.

"...attempted to discuss the beholden monkey stealth."

What in the WORLD???????
Where did THAT come from????  What does it even mean?

Oh my gosh I am SO tired!!!

Okay, not only am I so tired, I am certifiably insane.  On that note...

Stay safe.

Hotflash out.


  1. It's a good thing you didn't tell anyone I bought the old pumper, or they would have gone back to concluding that I am still a goofball.

    Oh, wait... I am.

  2. Well Bro, on that subject... actually... I did. And you know what? Even firemen get fire engine envy. :) And you are right, but I'm a goofball too. That comes with the territory, I think.

  3. "Fire Engine envy"? THAT'S new! And I thought that I'd heard it all...!

    You realize that "...beholden monkey stealth" is going to follow you for the rest of your days, don't you?

    It just gets bettern - better!


  4. Sadly, I cannot claim to have coined the phrase fire engine envy (my brother may have coined it) but it certainly fits. As for "beholden monkey stealth"... yeah, I know. That was just nuts! :D