Saturday, November 19, 2005

I did something right for once

Any lingering doubts about the other volunteer firefighters I had were completely erased yesterday evening.

One of my main concerns with joining a volunteer squad was from what I had seen in the past, they're filled with boneheads and wannabe's who get erections over the lights and sirens unlike the city fire department that I was used to where the men (and women) knew their jobs.

So last night around 7:15 PM my pager goes off. We're being dispatched for a car fire on Eads Mill Rd, just a few miles outside of town. I throw on my boots, grab my jacket and head across the street to the fire house. It was there I realized I was truly in with a bunch of jokers, one of the reasons I fit in so well. As I was trying to get into my bunker gear I also realize I'm not a fast as the rest of the guys who've done this a time or two before.

So as I'm not even halfway in my gear they pull out of the station leaving me there... One of the guys was looking at me, laughing and then flipped me the bird.


Anyway, it wasn't all that bad because just then the Chief pulled in and got into his gear and I headed out to the fire with him on the second truck.

We get to the scene and the vehicle is fully involved. All we needed was the marshmallows and wienies to have a right good time. It's here where I saw true professionalism. Since I'm not a certified firefighter yet, all I could do was watch, pull hose and learn. And boy did I ever.

It only took about thirty minutes, but in those thirty minutes I saw a professionalism that rivaled any big city paid fire department. All jokes were put aside and they went to work. Hoses out, pumper cranked up... Halagen to pop the hood... Flames extinguished. The vehicle was a total loss, but because of these guys a nearby mobile home was saved.

Riding back to the station I was smiling to myself. All doubts were firmly and forever erased from my mind. I was in the company of professionals. I know some of them might be reading this because I gave them the URL to this little niche of the blogsphere... So if you are,

I'm really proud to know all of you and serve with you guys (and gals).

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden


berly02 said...

How long till you are certified?
Really amazing what you guys do. Facing destruction that way.

Ranger Tom said...

Berly, It's going to be a while. The next fire school doesn't start again until the spring... At this is an all-new thing for me. I was a cop for ten years and never had any desire to do this although my grandfather was the Chief of the fire department in Camden, NJ.

The closest I got to any of this stuff before now was traffic control at fire scenes and assisting paramedics at MVA's and at other sites of mayhem as a cop. I'm just doing this now to give back to a community that's welcomed me as an outsider with open arms... And it really and truly makes me feel good to actually help for once in my life. Like maybe I can do just a little bit of good with what time I've got left.

And shed some of the cynicism that's build up over the years...

Airforce Guy said...

U al ways cared a bout me tommy thats what realy count! ur the best dad in the world even tho u aint my reel dad i still thin of u that way ur the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!