Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More From The Weekend

Thanks for all the biking comments. I wish running was as easy but its not. Saturday was a tough day. I met the Cruisers at 7am for the normal Saturday morning run. There ended up being two groups, one doing 13+ miles and our group doing around 8. There was just a little chill in the air when we started but the wind had already started blowing.

By mile 2 I wanted to quit running. I couldn't hardly breathe. My legs felt great, it was just a struggle to keep moving. Ran a lot with Jane who is always great company on a run so that really helped. Probably didn't help that I started out probably too fast leading the group we had for about 3/4 of a mile. Then I started dropping back. Kind of like getting dropped on the bike, once you get dropped, it's over and it's hard to catch back up. That was me. But I really wanted 8 miles.

Somehow I managed to keep going and it was nice to know that Jane couldn't breathe either. I had thought it was just me and my lack of training but it was everyone. It was the high humidity we had. Anyway, long story short, got the 8 miles done and glad I made it.

Felt great afterwards, went home and changed. Followed Annette up to the Dinner to meet some of the other runners for breakfast. Everyone was talking about how tough their run was. My average pace was no where close to what I wanted but it was mileage. 8 miles @10:50. With mile 1 being a 10:05 and mile 2 being a 9:57. Should have ran those slower. Was hoping to keep a 10:30 but it was hot too.

Afterwards I went by the Fire Station to check on my trucks. With the high winds I figured we would have some idiots burning and set their fields/woods on fire. Had a problem with the batteries on one of the brush trucks so I worked on that a while then went home. Worked on the plumbing problem, went to Home Depot and got a gauge to measure water pressure. By that time it was after 1pm and I was getting hungry again. Headed up to Sonic but they were all backed up so I decided on some Mean Pig Barbecue. Was in a long line, made it all the way to second spot to order when my fire pager went off. Large grass fire! I knew it was going to happen. So I took off for the station to grab a truck. I sure hated missing that Mean Pig Barbecue but this is the life of a firefighter sometimes.

The fire was almost as far west as you can go in our district and probably a 17 mile run from my station. The scary thing was, we only had one engine responding with one firefighter at the time. Another called in en-route and no one else showed at my station so I took off as fast as my engine would go to get there. We also called for mutual aid from one of the surrounding departments. Our first truck in started calling for brush trucks. They had a field on fire and it was getting into the woods. When I got there no brush trucks had arrived so I grabbed a rake and did what I could which wasn't much. The flames were 3-4 feet high in the sage grass so it was too hot to get to with a rake. I concentrated on stopping it before it got in the woods and the next field which had a house and two campers close by. Two brush trucks came in with one getting stuck in the field before they could even get close to the fire. We had the other come around a different way and then we started getting some water on the fire. In about 3 minutes we had the field out but still had woods burning. Myself and another firefighter went into the woods and used a rake and water pack to put out what we could. What saved us was there was a creek running around the the wooded area so it acted as a natural fire break. It was very windy which made conditions worse but the woods were so think with thorns and thick brush the wind didn't push the fire much. It did play havoc on my arms though. It looks like my right arm was in a cat fight from all the vines, thorns and sticker bushes. To top that off, my fire boots give me blisters after so long so that was happening. We ended up fighting fire for a couple hours. I was pretty dehydrated by then, my eyes were burning from sweat and smoke. Once everything was contained we were finally able to take a break and get some water to drink. Then after checking with everyone we decided we had the fire out and were going back in service. Looking at what burned, it had to be close to 10-15 acres of sage and woods. Not a bad stop for basically 4 firefighters.

I drove engine 64 back to station 3, realizing that I had to get fuel as it was getting low. Had to stop at station 3 to grab a gas card and was talking to the chief on the phone when we get paged out for a rollover accident on 67-167 in front of Ace Liqueur. That didn't sound good. So here I am by myself, had the chief on the phone and he asks, "so are you going on that call?" I'm like, yeah, but I am waiting on a crew, not much I can do with an engine and no other people. Plus I figured Cabot would get paged too and they did. About that time one of my guys checked in route to the station so I knew I would have a crew. I really wanted out of those fire boots, my feet were killing me and I could feel the blister on my heel and toe forming. A couple minutes later we were screaming down Highway 5, passing traffic on the center lane. There was a lot of traffic so as a driver, its always a concern to be extra safe at intersections. A couple minutes later we were on scene, had a pickup truck up on its side in the middle of the service road. MEMs and Cabot had just got there and were treating two patients. I assisted getting one man on a backboard and basically we were done. Lucky for us, I was behind the Cabot engines so we were the first to leave. Even though the accident was actually 3 feet into our county. I love it when that happens. Usually it works the other way, the paid guys leave and we get stuck on scene for another hour or so. Not today. I was ready to go home!

I had talked to Annette when I cleared off the fire and she said we had dinner plans around 5:30. I looked at my watch as we left the scene and it was about 4:45. I still had to stop and fuel the engine. Got that done, got the engine back in service and in the bay and headed home. It was about 5:15 by the time I made it in the door. Annette would not come within 3 feet of me. I was almost black from head to toe from the soot and smoke from the fire. I probably looked like I got beat up by a smoke monster or something, scratches on my arms and everything else. Had to take a double shower to get all that off. The water ran black for about two or three minutes and before long I was clean again. Even made dinner just a few minutes late.

Ended up being just another average Saturday for me. I really hated I missed my lunch though.

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, what a long arduous day for you! Really, I am amazed that all happened in just one day. Hope you got a great meal and the wounds caused by the smoke monster are healing up.