Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Long Night

When it rains it pours, and such as the way it is for firefighting. We go weeks with nothing more than bs medical calls then you can bet money that when its been quiet for too long, the stuff is going to hit the fan.

Last night we had a structure fire around midnight. It was about a mile from my station so even though I had felt like crap, I knew I needed to go. We would be the first engine in and make the initial attack. Our chief drove to the scene while myself and two other newer guys got on the engine. When I pulled out of the station one of my brakes were sticking. This made it tough to get any speed at all but I was committed and they needed that truck there. Upon arrival the chief informed us that there was a hydrant right across the street from the residence. How nice! We dropped about 100 feet of 5 inch hose as I got as far up the driveway as I could with the engine. There was already a power line down so I had to make sure there wasn't any others that could fall on the truck.

The structure was a single wide mobile home that was about 40% involved with fire upon our arrival. This is when it gets crazy. While I'm putting the pump in gear, trying to get water supply established the other two guys are pulling two attack lines to stretch to the fire. I also had to connect the 5inch to the truck, its just a few minutes of mass confusion then it smooths out. All fires are that way and it probably doesn't look like mass confusion to someone else but the first few minutes always feel that way on the first engine in.

About the time I was charging the hand lines two other engines pulled up with crews so things got down to business real quick. I was pumping a 30 year old truck so I always have concerns with the safety of my crew but the old Mack did a great job. Even after we added a 3rd line she kept on pumping like a champ. It didn't hurt that we were on a very good hydrant.

The attack team was fast and knocked down the fire keeping it confined to just one end of the trailer. By the time we had things under control the fire had consumed less than 50% of the trailer and 4 walls were still standing. In the firefighting world, having 4 walls standing on a single wide mean you made a good stop. The structure is still a total loss but the home owner still has over half their belongings that can be salvaged so that's a good thing. The room that they were sleeping in was a total loss and they said their dog woke them up otherwise they may have not gotten out. One word, smoke detectors! Make sure you have them and test them twice a year!!

By the time we got all the hose, tools and other equipment loaded and back at the station it was about 3am. Then of course we have our critique where we talk about everything we did right and wrong. Mostly right on this one for a change. I did take my engine out of service until the mechanic can fix the brakes. We have a $250,000+ new engine being built but it will probably be after the first of the year before we get it. So I ended up getting about 2-3 hours sleep before getting up for work.

On the sick note, I went to the doctor today because I have been having stomach pains. More like bloating or air that won't come out. The doc did an xray and blood tests and said everything looked good. Gave me some meds to try and some stuff to clean me out. I hope that works because I have had about all the stomach issues I can stand.

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, you firefighters are just incredible! Hope you are feeling better soon.