Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Report From Ladder Company 40 The New and Improved Blog Plan

March 21-27, 2010  Days 184-188

Hi Team!

This past week has been long yet went by quickly. I can’t really explain it except that it is finally over and I am very tired from it all and wishing to go back at the same time.

Friday morning at 2:45 am I was dispatched to a 2-11 (2 alarm structure fire) in a commercial building. It was a medical building and when I arrived it was spewing flames from the front of the building and the roof. Sadly it was arson. The fire chief released us just as my alarm went off (I use my cell phone for an alarm clock) to get up for work. Sigh.

Saturday my husband and I spent four hours at the Fire Training Center going through the practical exercises for CERT and received our certificates. It was a great class and I learned a lot there but I want more than that. I can hardly wait to finish school and get working!

Saturday my brother surprised me with a visit so in the evening the Fire Buff Battalion all went out to Shari’s to meet him and visit. After I dropped him off at his in-laws where he was staying I went home. He had asked that I call him to come play if we got anything and I didn’t expect it to happen. I’ve gone weeks without a call and never had more than one in a week before, but hot damn!… (no pun intended) at 22:30 a call came in. 1-11 in the north end. (Single alarm structure fire) and we got to play!

So, as you see, it has been a busy and constructive week for me. I only got two days of planned exercise in but went on two fire calls which I worked at so that sort of makes up for the one miss. I drank all my fluids for the week but my sleep was in the tank! I must figure out how to improve that and fast.

I have talked about redesigning this blog and now I think I know what to do. I think I will give my self a weekly letter grade. A,B,C or D.  Sort of like a weekly report card.

The subjects will be Physical Training (PT), Study Hall (studying for school), Rest and Recuperation or R and R (Sleep), and Health (where I will report on my fluid intake and occasionally on my weight loss efforts).

The report card will have a section for Extra Curricular activities: Fire Buff Battalion stuff, Dream stuff, etc.

Here is how I will grade myself:

If I purposely exercise 3 times a week I will get an A for Physical Training

2 times a week will be a B

1 time will be a C

No times on purpose will be a D

Studying will be added to my list of things to be held accountable for. (We’ll say a minimum of one hour of study is a unit. I’m sure there will be much more than that.)

5 days of studying gives me an A

4 days will be a B

3 days will be a C

2 days will be a D

Each day I drink at least 2 quarts of fluids including skim milk, water, tea (hot or iced), 100 per cent juice, or sugar free drink mix I will give myself a point.

Seven points will be an A

Five or six points will be a B

Four points will be a C

Three points or below will be a D.

You might notice there are no E grades or Failing grades. I am doing it that way by design. If I am going to do this, failure is NOT an option! I am going to do this, one way or another.

Now, I am not unrealistic. I know I have a lot of challenges that could prevent me from getting to the top of the ladder I’m climbing. I may never be a firefighter/paramedic. Physically it is an extremely demanding job and my old, beat up body might never be able to hack it. But I’m not going to roll over right now and say, “I can’t.” It is not part of my vocabulary. I am going to shoot for the moon. If I become a paramedic and have to work for a private company, I’ll do it. If I don’t make it as far as paramedic, I can be an EMT for a private company. Or even in a hospital.

Either way, I am going to do this. I will be certified to make a difference. Even if I never save a life I can make a difference if one person feels like their emergency was a little more bearable because somebody cared or somebody allowed them some dignity.  Even if I never hear “thank you,” I will know I have made a difference by seeing fear start to subside or by being able to reassure a frightened patient or family member. I want to be there. I want to help.

Last night I sat down to think for a moment and it suddenly hit me! The time between “I’m going to go to school” and “I AM going to school” has disappeared! This is it!  No more talking. This is where the rubber meets the road. Bring it on!

Thanks for staying with me through this. I know I don’t always post interesting things and I ramble, etc. But you, my team, have remained faithful and give me more encouragement than you might ever imagine. Half of you came to my blog by invitation and half of you stumbled upon me one way or another all on your own. Either way, I am grateful to have you here.

I hope you like the new and improved Report From Ladder Company 40. It starts with the week of March 28-April 3rd.

Until then, stay safe!

Hotflash out.