Thursday, December 01, 2005

Busy night

Yesterday evening I got to do what I really hoped I'd never have to do.
I had off last night from work and was bored with really nothing to do so I walked over to the firehouse around 3 PM just to watch a little TV. Some of the other guys were out putting up Christmas lights on local businesses so some of the trucks were gone and I had the run of the TV room. Shortly after I got there another member arrived and we both settled down with coffee to watch TV Land.
Around 4:30 PM we were paged out for a structure fire and we both rushed down and donned our bunker gear and jumped on the truck. Soon after two of the officers arrived and we headed out, called dispatch to page out another fire department for assistance.
We arrived on scene soon after and it was there again I saw calm professionalism. The two other guys I was with quickly went to work along with the four other members who arrived POV (personally owned vehicle) and the second fire department. The house's second floor was fully involved with thick black smoke rolling out of both soffit vents.
I really couldn't do a whole lot because I'm not a certified firefighter yet, but learned a lot about the operation on the pumper and water transfer systems from the town hydrants and stuff. After the fire was contained and most of the house vented the LT called for me to head into the house and along with them I assisted in the removal of debris and pulling down still-smoldering debris. I was amazed at the amount of things still hot and on fire after so much water was pumped into the house.

As I said before, I was truly impressed with the guys on the squad I'm with and feel privileged to be working with them. We got the fire fully under control were safe to head back to the house around 11 PM.
The only thing that really went wrong was that the hydrant at the end of the driveway didn't work, and we had to run a 5" line down about 500 yards to another one located on the opposite side of Rt. 20, effectively blocking north/southbound traffic for almost three hours. Traffic was backed up all the way into Stafford Drive in Princeton, WV... I can't explain what a total clusterfuck that must have been, but Kat would know. Nothing moved north or south in southern WV locally for about three hours.
I'm not going to write about every call I get now with the FD as that would get tiring but I had to write about this one because it was my first, hopefully my last. I hate to see people's property and lives destroyed like this. It's a bad enough time of year for a lot of folks anyway, but it always seems this stuff happens around this time of year.
One of the guys did snap a few pics of me in action on his cell phone so I posted them... RT in action!
I hope you all have a safe day!
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

11 comments:

Courtney said...

Unfortunately, it probably won't be your last. But thank God you guys are there to respond...

dasi said...

Well, look at you, all Denis Leary'd out!! lol Lookin' good! I commend you for wanting to be one of those who makes a living helping people (well, actually, you've pretty much already been doing that your whole life, but you know what I mean. Continuing with the spirit, whatever). BTW - have to wait until June for Rescue Me, but did you see Denis' Christmas special?

Lisa said...

You look so heroic! Chicks dig firefighers.

berly02 said...

Great pictures.
I can actually imagine you out there, risking your life . . .

Bev said...

I think the worst part of house fires is losing stuff like family photos and heirlooms, things that cannot be replaced or recreated. Actually, I'm thinking of getting a firesafe box to keep all my negatives in.

Cheryl said...

Amazing! Way to go!

Lindsey said...

You look so cool!!!! Go fire fighter Tom!!!

cantellya said...

Thanks for sharing, Tom. I guess I'm a little confused. So, you're in WV now? But you said you probably won't hunt again? Sorry--I guess I missed something :/

Kat_womanx2 said...

Tis the season!!!!! Fire...MVA...Fire...MVA.....woo hoo....ain't it fun?!?!?!?

Ranger Tom said...

Courney: You're so right

Dasi: Denis Leary'd out, huh? LOL... I love that show, not because it's about firefighters, because that whole disfunctional crew reminds me of the guys on my squad on the PD... Haven't seen his Christmas special yet

Lisa: I don't feel heroic and don't want to be a hero. Arlington is full of those. And I'm not doing it to get chicks either... LOL

berly: I'm just doing it to give back a little to the community

Bev: here's and even better idea and it's about the same cost as a post office box... Put all of your valuables into a bank safe-deposit box... Birth certificate, photo negs... Anything you don't want to lose, because even those "fireproof" boxes you can get aren't really fireproof for long

Cheryl: Nothing amazing about it... Thousands of men and women do it every day all over the country

Linny: It wasn't to cool that night... Downright warm once I got into the house on the second floor to help pull down insulation and found some hotspots.

Cant: Didn't say I'd never hunt again, just that I really don't have the time or money to do it right now, maybe someday again... But it's real low on the priorities list right now

Kat: You ain't just whistling dixie there...

Airforce Guy said...

u look sooooo kewl! was it scarry? im proud a u!