Monday, June 2, 2008

The Wind Hits Again

After biking hard Sunday I came home, mowed the back yard, got in the pool, ate a sandwich, then decided it was time for a nap. I was really tired, sat down in the recliner and I was out. I usually have trouble sleeping during the day so a nap is just 5-10 minutes of snoozing at a time. This time I think I was ready to sleep for a couple hours.

I was nodding off when I started hearing thunder. I thought no big deal, summer shower. I was almost asleep when Annette said I better come look out back. So I got up, went and looked out the back door and it looked like a hurricane or tornado. The trees behind us were blowing like crazy. There were leaves flying around, it didn't look good. This lasted about 5 minutes then it was over. About that time my fire department pager went off. We had a tree down blocking a road. No big deal, we had some people responding so I was kind of sitting tight to see what was next. Pager goes off again, another tree down on a power line. I start to get my shoes on. Pager goes off again, another tree down. Other departments were getting paged for the same thing in their area. So I took off for the station.

As I was driving down the road I saw a police car running hot to something. There was a lot of leaves and small limbs on the road but nothing major. Before I made it to the station we had alrady gotten another call with trees down. Holy cow. I got to my station and elected to stand by ready to roll whatever truck might be needed. Most of the other guys had responded to the scenes in their personal vehicles. The tree calls quickly cleared up with only one requiring the guys to stay for a while. I was still standing by when the power went out at my station. Luckily I had the bay doors open so we could roll if needed.

Less then 5 minutes later we get paged for a structure fire or a large possible unknown fire. Well, with the storms, a structure fire was the more likely thing. We had also set up a command post at our station one with our assistant chief routing calls over the radio and keeping up with where everyone was. I ended up rolling Tanker 2 as there was not a hydrant close to the address. When our first unit arrived they advised that there was a mobile home fully involved and already on the ground. Upon furthur investigation they found out that it was actually a controlled burn and the owner had set it on fire to get rid of it. Well, technically you can't do that anymore. Too many rules and regulations by the EPA and others. Irregardless we had to put the majority of the fire out.

I ended up setting up a water shuttle with the tanker pumping water into engine 65. About 2500 gallons later I was leaving the scene returning to my station. I still had to refill with water then figure out a way to get the bay doors down since we had no power.

By the time some of my personnel had gotten back to the station we came up with a plan to get the door down. We couldn't just pull a string like most overhead doors. This one was too big and the release was not working. About that time the power came back on thank goodness. Otherwise I would have been stuck there for who knows how long.

We have had so much wind this spring its really kind of weird. It's like we are in a direct path to be blown away or something but luckily we keep getting missed. Maybe this will be the last of it for a while.

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