Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Report From Ladder Company 40 Day 144 and 145

Hi Team!

Tuesday was a good day.  I kept very busy today, sitting very little at work.  I drank plenty of fluids, about 3 quarts, and I slept great the night before.  Three for three!  Woo Hoo.  The best part of the day though is the fire news! 

On the playground at work today was a man with his son playing basketball.  He was wearing a sweatshirt with a worn off maltese cross on the chest.  One of my boys, a firefighter's son, asked him, "Are you a firefighter?"  I heard him answer affirmatively and I stepped in closer.  I recognized him from the fire department award ceremonies.  I struck up a conversation with him and discovered he is a medic at 4's.  I told him I recognized him from the ceremonies and told him I was the newest member of the fire buffs.  He told me he had great respect for us and really appreciated it when he sees us at two in the morning.  I told him it was an honor to serve but that I had not yet had the privilege to so.  We chatted while he coached his son on technique and  I supervised the kids on the playground, and then he had to go to pick up his other kid.  He said he hoped to see me around.  Sadly, I either didn't get or don't remember his name.  But I remember the face!

After work I was doing well and had gotten into bed by 9:15.  9:15!!  I was very proud of myself for that one.  Anyway, I was having this great dream.  My family and I were at some sort of block party. There was a guy riding around on a motorcycle and he had been drinking.  He dumped it but he got up and was walking around.  Somebody called the fire department and they came out.  Before they got there, the guy that dumped the bike was smoking and he tried to pick the bike up, dropped it, and dropped his cigarette.  He tried to stomp it out but as I watched him struggle with trying to get to it, the bike blew up.  (remember it was a dream!)  Now it is mass chaos.  We're all ducking and covering waiting for flying debris to land, people are screaming, it's pretty hairy.  The fire department rolls in and gets to work right away.  Once I realize that I am safe and not hurt, I start looking around me.  There are people with cuts and burns, but I notice that my husband has melted plastic and burns on his left shoulder.  He is too excited to realize that he is hurt but I noticed so I start to drag him along with me over to the firefighters.  As I am pulling him through the crowd I start to think, "this is ridiculous.  I'm a trained professional!  What kind of EMT am I anyway?" (yep-still dreaming)  so I decide I am going to treat his injuries myself.  All of a sudden I hear this strange series of beeps.  I open my eyes and realize that my fire phone is beeping.  Before I can react, Cat's voice comes on with something like "Attention all fire buffs.  We have a working fire at  blah blah blah address. All fire buffs responding please report."  Well, I shook off the cobwebs and fumbled with the phone.  I hadn't actually used the push to talk feature before and it was kind of awkward but I reported that I was planning on responding and asked her to please text me the address as I had not gotten it written down fast enough.  She said she would and I started running around the house trying to find something warm enough for the chilly night and good boots to wear.  (I sleep in  a recliner chair because it hurts me to lay in our bed so I was in the living room).  I barged into the bedroom looking for my boots, much to the chagrin of my husband who had just gone to sleep after getting home past 10 pm.  I said, " I need my boots.  I've got a fire."  He said, "It's late.  You have to work."  I told him they would let me leave when I had to go to work.  He just shook his head then told me to be careful and rolled over.  I got out of there, got dressed and headed to the car.  Right then the text with the address came in.  I hit the navigator control on my phone and nothing happened.  Then it asked me if I wanted to install it.  AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

Ok. I push the button to install it.  It tells me that I need to go into tools and settings and change something but it didn't tell me quite where in there to look and it wasn't in the list.  I had to click on something else first.  That took me a while to figure out and I am thinking to myself that valuable minutes are being wasted.  I finally figure it out and get it installed and then try to get navigator to work with the voice command feature so I can do it while I drive.  No luck.  Cat radios me and tells me the fire is out, it is all overhaul now but buffs are still responding.  I tell her I am still on my way.  Navigator is not working for me.  I am not saying the right words and I don't know what the right words are.  (rolls eyes, a lot!!)  I give up and head the direction I think the address is in.  I am not sure where the street is that I need to get to but I have a pretty good idea.  About the time I pull onto the main street Cat radios me telling me the chief wants to know my 20.  I tell her I am just turning onto fill in the blank street.  She gives me directions and I head to the fire.  Only problem is that when I get close, the street she tells me to turn on she says to turn east.  I do.  I can't find any flashing lights, police cars, fire engines or anything.  I can smell smoke in the air but there isn't even much hanging around.  I drive around a few blocks then radio Cat.  She gives me directions again but this time says turn left instead of saying go east.  Ah now I get it.  Left is west!!  Sigh.  Nobody's perfect, not me, not Cat!

Finally I see police cars almost blocking the intersection and I pull out my fire department ID badge, roll down my window and stop to flash it at them.  "I'm with the buffs," I say.  The officer rolls his eyes at me and waves me through.  (Grin!)  I park behind the farthest back engine, as I had been instructed, put on my orange coat, lock my car and head to the canteen vehicle.  In this case, it is Cat and Bob's personal vehicle.  Cool.    Cat and I have a good laugh about the comedy of errors it took to get me there.  No worries, they are set up and ready.  We chat, watch the scene, Bob stops a car from trying to come through explaining that they CANNOT drive over the 5" supply line across the road.

Presently firefighters start meandering over a few at a time to have something to drink and a cookie or two.  One of them checks carefully to see what kind of cookies they are and when he confirms they are chocolate chip, he helps himself.  Cat gives him a bunch of crap for being picky, good naturedly, of course.

A little later I see a familiar face.  It is Will, from 8's.  I brought him cookies on Saturday.  Well they were for all the guys, but he's the one I talked to.  The one my husband told that he wasn't that involved with the buffs, YET! =)  Will said, "It's nice to see you again, Karen."  He remembered my name.  :)

We were there about an hour before engines started rolling out and then the chief excused us.  I got home at 12:01.  I was too keyed up to sleep.  My mind wouldn't slow down.  Suddenly it hit me why the navigator wasn't working on my phone.  It wasn't my phone I was using.  It was the fire phone.  (blushes with embarrassment)  I installed it on the fire phone.  Now I owe the club ten dollars.  SIGH.  I lay there in the dark, praying for sleep to come easily and for the amount of sleep I got to be three times more restful so that I would be fully awake and refreshed when I got up at 4:30.  I still was awake a half hour later so I practiced deep breathing.  Sleep finally came.  I awoke energetic but I was tired most of the day.  Still, it was worth it! 


Before I got ready for work today I e-mailed Cat to tell her of my silly mistake in all the "excitement" last night and warn her that I owed the club ten dollars.  (more blushing from embarrassment.)  After my morning shift though, I was a good girl!  I went walking without Coach Alex today ( remember she is unavailable the rest of the week).  I also drank about 2 1/2 quarts today.  I didn't get much sleep but that was because duty called.  I had gone to bed early so I am counting myself 3 for three!  YAY ME!!!

Now, however, it is way later than I would like and I am going to bed.  IF I don't get a nap tomorrow, I will only be able to claim at best, 2 of three.  Sigh. 

Stay safe everyone!

Hotflash out.