Sunday, April 25, 2010

Report from Ladder Company 40 The New Adventures of Sparky and Flash

April 18-24, 2010   Days 210-216

Hi Team!

It has been a great week!  Well, there have been some ups and downs, but I am generally pretty happy.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome my newest team member, John.  I don't know how John came to find my blog but I am very happy to have another supporter on board!  Thanks for joining, John. =)

Ok, report card time!

Physical Training: C

Rest&Relaxation: C+

Health: B

Study Hall:  A

Total grade for the week:  B-

I am actually quite frustrated with the fact that I can't get the physical training grade up.  I need the exercise and I need to start really strengthening the core!  I won't make much of an EMT if I can't do the physical aspects of the work!  For those of you out there who are my prayer warriors please pray that Godwould show me how to fit it in and help me to balance it with everything else I have to do these days.

I have been better about taking SOME time off from work and studies, though I am still not getting nearly enough sleep.  I was so tired before class on Thursday night I didn't have the energy to eat my dinner!  Well, I managed, but it was a real effort  Being that tired makes driving kind of scary.  Needless to say, I nap when I can and I pray a lot!

I am still working on getting the fluids in and eating healthier.  I know I haven't weighed in for quite a while or taken my measurements to see where I am at.  After a month of class and no exercise, I am kind of afraid to.  But I will try to get that done for the next post.  Nothing like a little reality to help boost the will power to make the right choices.

As I said, I have found more balance between work and studies and have taken some time to relax this week, but I have also put in more hours of study than I care to count.  I would say I have averaged two hours a day in studies over and above work.  And I found a program online that is put out by the publishers of my EMT book.  It is a study aid for the EMT exam.  I find it to be way more challenging than the dumb stuff that came on the disc that came with my book and more challenging than the web site the book directs us to for further study.  The program was not very expensive and gives me free access for one year.  I think it was well worth the $35.00 I paid for it.

Okay, enough of that.  Last week I told you that something cool happened but I was sworn to secrecy until later.  Well, later has come! 

A little back ground:  If you know me very well, you know that I am involved in the Fire Buff Battalion.  The Battalion has been around since the early 1980's.  That was when I first decided I would really do something about my interest in the fire service.  Sadly, I was intimidated by the uniform and was too shy to talk to the firemen four doors down from my home!  So, when our city hired it's first female fire fighter I wrote her a letter and had my little brother help me deliver it to the fire station to pass along to her.  Long story short, he kept being my Linus Blanket and his interest and excitement for the fire service grew to epic proportions!  He got so excited about it that he had a portable scanner and small electronic siren mounted to his bicycle and he began beating the fire department to many of their calls, even in the middle of the night!  He was even investigated as an arsonist!  Before the investigations started, he got involved with the Fire Buff Battalion as a junior member.  For a number of reasons, not the least of which I believe was a personality conflict with at least one of the members, he was removed from the club.  He grew up and settled down but never lost his passion and excitement for the fire service.  He has been a fireman now for nearly 17 years.

Recently my brother had the opportunity to meet the current membership of the Fire Buff Battalion while he was in town visiting.  He met the core of our group (most of them, anyway) and we had a wonderful time listening to his stories and reminiscing about his childhood exuberance!  That night we got a fire and he was able to tag along with us!  He helped out and when things settled down on the fire scene, he made the rounds to the more long term fire fighters, introduced himself (many remembered him or had heard of him!) and apologized for his over the top enthusiasm as a kid.  The firemen seemed to enjoy it and I know my brother did.  

Good thing this was the short version, eh?  Ok, the point of it all is this:  At our April Fire Buff Battalion Meeting, our President brought up his visit and his past history.  She called for a motion to offer my brother an honorary membership in the Fire Buff Battalion.  Even more special than that, a recently retired fireman was the one to make the motion.  He remembered my brother from his early days.  The motion was seconded and passed.  A long-time wrong has finally been righted!  The Buff's affectionately nick named him Sparky.  So now begins the New Adventures of Sparky and Flash. :)

Last week I reported that I was in contact with a fireman from a large metropolitan city to the North of my town.  He had spoken to his captain who agreed to allow me to ride along one day.  But I still had to jump throught he departmental hoops to do it.  I found out from Ladder 8 (his screen name) that I had to write a letter of interest.  He told me who to write the letter to and I did it.  I wanted to reference our casual acquaintance in the letter and I didn't know his last name so I e-mailed him about it.  He e-mailed right back and I finished the letter.  He had recommended that I send it electronically but even on the website for their department, I could not find an electronic address to send it to so I e-mailed him again.  He e-mailed right back that he would find out the fax number and e-mail it to me the next day.  He did one better!  He called me on my cell while I was at work that afternoon which surprised the heck out of me.  He said he was calling to tell me that he had taken the liberty to print the copy of the letter I had sent him, signed my name to it and hand delivered it to the appropriate party!  What a sweetheart!  I can't believe he went to all that trouble for me, and we've never even met!  I got a letter the next day from his fire department along with a waiver that I had to sign and return before my request would be considered officially.  I have taken care of that already, of course.  And when I asked him what kind of cookies he liked so I can bring a thank you to him, he said, "Cap's favorite are chocolate chip."  I LIKE Ladder 8!

One more thing for this week.  I wanted to share an example of how good God is.  I have a fellow student in my class who sits right next to me.  He is kind of quiet and perhaps a little unsure of himself, but from what I can tell, he is deeply caring and compassionate.  I think if he gains some confidence he will make an excellent EMT.  He confided in me that he really could not afford a sphygmomanometer set (cuff and ears to those of you who don't know) and he needed to practice taking blood pressure outside of class where our hands on time is severely limited.  God really put it on my heart to do something.  But with my husband's recent demotion and pay cut, I was not sure it was prudent to be spending money that was not absolutely necessary.  Still, I really felt drawn to do this.  I talked to the hubby about it last Sunday before church.  After some discussion, he said we could talk about it more after church.  At church, a woman came up to me and said, "I have something for you."  I was quite surprised.  She took my hand and carefully palmed a few bills, folded, into my hand.  She said to me that it wasn't much but she was sure that I could use it.  That maybe I had a need or want that I could not afford and she hoped it would help.  Well, I was very surprised and thanked her for it but I didn't look to see what she gave me until I went home.  When I unfolded the three bills, it was almost exactly enough to buy the set I was looking at.  And then I heard from my mother-in-law that the keynote speaker at women's retreat that weekend had focused on this:  Use what is in your hand and be faithful.   The tears just rolled down my cheeks as the Lord confirmed not once but twice what I was to do and He provided a means to do it!  I purchased the set on Monday and brought it to class.  I asked my friend if he had been able to obtain a set yet and he said that he had not.  I took him aside and told him that God had put it on my hear to help.  I asked if he would accept a loan of a set until June 10th, the last day of class.  I thought he was going to cry.  Happily for me, he accepted.  My plan is to watch and see how he does.  If he remains serious and stays with the class, I intend to give it to him at the end.  If for some reason he is not able to remain, (which I seriously doubt will happen) I will speak to my instructors and make sure that someone else who needs it in a future class gets an anonymous donation.  It isn't mine after all, I was just given the privilege of sharing a gift from the Lord.  God is good!

Well, this post has been long enough.  Thanks for reading and thank you for all of your prayers, e-mails, comments and cheering for me.  You are all amazing!  I am truly blessed.

Stay safe!

Hotflash out.