Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting My Adrenalin Fix

Had to travel for work a couple days this week so I have only gotten one little run in and it was 2 miles on the treadmill at the hotel Wednesday night. It pretty much sucked. Needless to say, I have not been very motivated lately to brave the cold and try to get a run in.

For all good intentions, I had planned on running sometime today but it didn't happen. Instead I got my adrenalin fix in other ways, fighting fire! It has been very slow at the fire department for many months and we just really haven't had the fires we normally have. So today people decided to burn outside, even though the winds were blowing pretty good, 15-20mph at times I think. I had hopes just for a lazy day but instead I ran my butt off. It's about 10pm now and I'm hoping this is it for the night.

First call came in about 11am for a grass fire that was threatening several structures. This was up off Justice Rd and it is very hilly so we knew we had to make a quick attack. This fire got very close to an out building on the home owners property but never really threatened anything else. We had 3 Engines and a Brush truck to knock it out. Luckily it was still wet enough that the fire moved a lot slower than it could have if it had been drier. The wind did make the top surfaces very dry though. Ended up being probably 2-3 acres that burned. No big deal at all for us.

This fire came really close to this outbuilding and tractor

It burnt around the building and out into the woods at one point. The 4 wheeler was not there during the fire!

After most of the fire was out, I drove E64 to the back of the property to hit some of the hot spots that were left. If there is fire, always stay in the black(burnt) area!

Some of the guys loading hose back on E65 with Brush Truck 67 sitting next to it

I was out on this fire for probably an hour, then went back to the station and did equipment checks and maintenance which entails starting vent fans, power pumps, generators, checking fluids, refilling trucks with water, etc etc. Got done about 2pm and headed home, stopping by to bring some fast food home. There was still some things we needed to do so plans were made to meet some of the guys back at the station at 3.

By the time I ate lunch and checked some emails, it was time to meet the guys back at the station. I had just got in the truck to leave when we got paged out for another grass fire on Mt Pleasant. Dang, I should have left a few minutes sooner! That's about 1.5 miles from my station so I knew we would be first in. Man, this was starting to feel like the old days again. The adrenalin was flowing, and its probably a feeling that some people never really get to experience except when something bad happens to you or you have a near death experience. It's like the runners high actually, and chemically I think its about the same thing. No wonder I like running too!

So we roll up on this fire, burning along side the road in the woods. No houses were threatened and we were able to get most of the fire out from the road. We did send one of the Brush trucks in to do mop up on the hot spots. Finished up and headed back to the station. Probably, 3:45pm by now. We fill Engine 64 up with water again then start working on brush truck 67 that had a few minor issues. I also did the monthly equipment inventory on Engine 64, Tanker 2 and Brush Truck 67. Between three of us, we get a lot of things done but we were wanting to go home. We had been around the FD since 11am.

This was a quick, easy fire, maybe an acre or so. Brush Truck 69 is hitting the last hot spots in the back ground.

E65 staged on the road. By the time they arrived E64 crew had the fire out. Can you say quick attack!

I headed home around 5:45pm, came in, washed my hands again, made a bathroom break and boom, before I could even sit down the pager is going off again. This time a medical call which was on the other side of the district so I started to relax then it goes off again. I figured it was a cancellation page but no, another grass fire. Just west of 89 and Hwy 5. I figured we would be first in again and I was beginning to wonder if it was going to stop! Had one of the other Captains go direct to the scene to see what we had and luckily it ended up being a controlled burn. Someone was burning and a passerby called in a fire. It was not threatening anything and since there was no burn ban, we advised the home owner to watch it close and call us if they needed us. I was on standby at Station 3 for this and I was anxious to clear up and go eat some dinner but as always, it's hard to get away when the guys show up and start talking. I was hungry and thirsty. It was almost getting to be no fun.

By the time I got home this time, it was about 6:50pm. I washed my hands again and told Annette I was hungry, but if she wanted to go out I would have to take a shower. I smelt like smoke! She had some stuff at home so she started cooking it. Well, guess what happened? Dang pager goes off again, probably not 10 minutes after I'm home. Damn. This time it was a woods fire at 89 and Hwy 5. Well, that was just too close to the other fire so we figured it might be the same one we were on earlier and it was. Again I headed to Station 3, stood by hoping I would not have to roll an apparatus. Well, no luck. Had to take the brush truck up there and put it out this time. It wasn't threatening anything but the fire was close to the road so at this point it was a nuisance and the home owner agreed to let us put it out. It was also dark now so fire always looks bigger in the dark. Just more time out for me, still hungry, wanting to eat bad now.

Finally got finished up with this one around 7:45pm, had to fill the brush truck with water and I headed home hoping this was it. My cold dinner was still waiting when I got home. But guess what? I sit down to eat and boom, the pager goes off again! Ha, medical call, other side of district, I'm staying home and eating. I lucked out on that one. I did finally get to eat and best of all, I even got to take a shower! Annette may want to throw my clothes away though.

It may sound weird but this is part of the reason I am a firefighter. Its the adrenalin rush you get at the beginning of a call. Its the comradeship that you get on a scene when you are fighting the flames or trying to save someones life. And when your done, you may be sore, tired, hungry, wet and cold, but you would not have done it any other way. Best of all, its about helping people and hopefully making a positive difference.

Stay safe out there and don't burn when its windy!!


Susan said...

Holy moly!

I noticed something a few days ago. Within a half mile or so of each other by my house, there is a volunteer fire department and a "fully stocked" fire department.

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, I'm glad you like the adrenalin rushes because they certainly do seem to come at any time! Thanks for being out there to help others.