Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the brag

I want to brag for a minute. Upsala firefighters fought a fire by the book last night. The caller dialed 911 and gave a proper address (instead of saying "it's at Joe's place by the big birch tree"), we actually found the place instead of barrelling by, someone met us in the driveway to tell us where the fire started and that everyone was out, we ventilated the fire side, attacked from the less burned side, set up the fan, the fan actually worked, we extinguished the fire before the roof caved in, and did overhaul with axes instead of a backhoe. Whew. I'm out of breath.

It might not seem like a big deal to you, but those types of responses in Upsala are about as scarce as blackflies in Toronto. Read my April 15 post for another look at firefighting in Upsala.

Then there's that self-sufficient, boondocks mentality that is so prevalent in remote places. Lots of times they don't even need us.


If you want to see more Herman and other cartoons, click here.

Firefighters are strange creatures (I think I've said that before). We work hard at public education, then get bored because "it's been quiet lately." We teach people how to use fire extinguishers, but are secretly disappointed when we arrive and find that they beat us to it. It must have something to do with brain fever from too much live fire training.

When it comes to the jump-the-gun-don't-wait-for-the-fire-department mentality, volunteer firefighters are the worst offenders. Three or four times we've arrived, adrenalin pumping, lights flashing, hands itching to pull a line, only to find a grinning volunteer in street clothes with a smoking extinguisher in his hand. The nerve of these over-trained, under-worked imps.


  1. man, ain't that the truth...

  2. I shouldn't complain . . . we snatched a fire from the MNR once. When the chopper took off from Thunder Bay (about 90 miles) they saw the smoke column, but halfway there it disappeared. When they arrived, we were mopping up. It was their first fire that year. What goes around comes around I guess.


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