Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back To Normal

... or as normal as it gets around here anyway.
 Well, I've got the 'series bug' out my system and I thank you all for suffering through it. Actually not all made the cut, because I notice that the readership has fallen, which gives me a good idea of how the group of posts was received. I was afraid that might happen, but I have never made apologies for the content here, reminding all that I write as much for me as I do for you all. The content in that series contained a lot of things I have been wanting to say 'out loud' for a long time. We can fix this service if we just work on it in a business like manner.
 It was interesting to see that some readers became a little bit more 'regular', looking for the next installment, while others didn't show up as much. I'm thinking any career service readers I had pretty much faded away when I focused on the Volley Service, and I don't blame them. There was one exception and that was Capt. Mike. He checks in pretty regular, no matter how bad it gets here.
 I never started this blog to give the big boys a challenge, just to get some stuff off my chest and perhaps share something that somebody else out there would find useful. This is why there is no facebook page, no "like" buttons, no attempt in anyway to get my 'name out there'.  I figure if folks like it, they get the word, and if they don't, well then I learned something. As an Instructor, I am very interested in what gets people interested, and what does not. This understanding is vital to make my classes meaningful and worthwhile for those who participate in them. The concepts in the proceeding series were those I was considering putting into an article submission for one of the major fire service Magazines. I wanted to judge interest, and I've think I gotten my answer.
 In other news, let me catch you up on what's been going on around the farm while we were all occupied.
  • I played Safety Officer/5th Instructor on 2 live burns in 3 days. Both of which kicked my ass. These bottles don't last as long as they used to, have you noticed that? The first burn was for a Firefighter 1 class. The first one for this class, and the Instructors worked hard that night. I was working with State Fire Instructors that had been my instructors not too long ago. Having  virgins on their first burn meant a lot of extra work pushing them and showing them what they should be doing and how it's done. All of the Instructors were Career guys except me, and one, a veteran Captain, remarked to me that he had humped more hose in the last 3 hours that he had pulled in the last 2 years. I made a remark about him earning his pay ( as I was tripoding and trying to catch my own breath) which led to a discussion about the recent (paid) Instructors jobs which I had considered, but failed to apply for. I mentioned that it would have helped pay for FDIC next year and he lit up. He said "Next Year Man! I am going to finally go, nothing is gonna stand in my way!". So now I have another traveling partner. Sweet! We are gonna have a blast. I came home that night soaked with sweat right down to my socks, and a huge grin on my face.
  • The second burn was a class given by a guest Instructor. I had met Ray last year when he came up to do a workshop on building size up and initial fire attack. This year he used the training center, did a 45 minute classroom session, followed by a few hours out in the burn building putting it all together. These students were more experienced and we focused on decision making, communications, and coordination. I didn't sweat as much on this one, but my gear is still drying out. Good Times with a good Instructor at a good facility. What more could you ask for?
  •  I am back in class myself, taking a Fire Behavior class from one of the Instructors I worked the first live burn with. Good class and I am learning some stuff. I think I am also doing a fair job of keeping my mouth shut most of the time. It must be rough having an Instructor as a Student in a regular class. I keep catching myself as I am about to blurt out the latest numbers and statistics that the Class Instructor doesn't have handy. He is pretty good about it. When I do slip up, he gives me that look, smiles, says "Thank You, UU, now please shut up" I apologize, we all laugh and move on.  It's good to be learning some new stuff.
  •  My ass is dragging today. We had an unusual shift last night. Caught a run at 11pm (dementia patient found wandering down a two-lane, nearly got hit twice) and as we were doing the turnover at the hospital, we got dispatched to a cardiac emergency (A-Fib) so we dumped and ran all the way back out of Small City to our District, loaded that patient and transported with ALS aboard back to Small City. As we were turning over THAT patient, we got dispatched for a respiratory arrest call. Dump and run again with a long hot run back to town to load-and-go, again with ALS on board. This one was a 'worker' with all the toys brought into play and our medic did a great job. I got back into bed at around 3am. So yeah, it was rough to get up at 6 and go to 'work'.
  • The last 5 days have been interesting. My wife, Sister, Mom, and Dad are all over in Cape Cod where my Sister has a house (that's a far piece from here). I thought I would have some time for myself to relax, be a bum, and do some stuff for 'me'. Turns out it doesn't work that way. By the time I check the mail at my folks house, feed and run the dog, clean the dishes, cook, take care of the training commitments, etc., I barely have time to sleep and go to work. Who would have thought? I'll be glad when they all come back in a couple of days.
  • We had a public service event yesterday. An annual run sponsored by a Law Enforcement to benefit the Children of two Officers who died in the line on duty  in our District about 8 years ago. We have lots of volunteers for this one because they get a T-shirt and a hamburger out of it which is more than we usually get. I've done this one for many years, but these days my 'contribution' is to let the young folks go have fun while I post myself on standby in the middle of the District. I read the paper, drink my coffee, watch the boats and the birds out on the Big Water, and let the hours roll by. As is usual, no work rolled my way.
 Ok, so we are back into the day to day mode here and I've used up enough material in this one that could have given me a weeks worth of posts. Looks like it's gonna be slim pickings for the next few days.
 Be Safe and Be Sharp,


  1. I have just come across your blog- threw a friend of mine's blog. . I really enjoyed readind what you have to say. . Thank you ad look forward to reading more. .

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Come back anytime!