Saturday, July 4, 2009


I ran into a good friend at a restaurant today. He's a firefighter from Atikokan, and a building contractor by trade. He's also a fellow instructor for the Fire College. He's also a chef, trained and certified. He is talented in numerous other ways, but it would take several blog postings to list all the stuff he can do, and you'd probably think I was making it up, so I'll leave it at that.

Firefighters in this neck of the woods tend to be like that - talented in many ways. It's really helpful to have people like that around when you are out there fighting a fire or disentangling a human being from an inhuman snarl of metal. Especially when the closest help is over an hour away. You really need people on your crew that can solve problems with the tools they have on hand, by conventional or unconventional means. There isn't much room to say, "nah, I don't think we can do that." The person in the smashed car doesn't really care how we get them out, as long as we do it safely. You can read an article I wrote about variety in the fire service here.

Here's a picture I drew to make the point:
My friend was telling me about a couple of rescues they did recently on Hwy 11. Nasty business cutting people out of cars that have been playing tag with rock cuts and each other at highway speeds. If you ever travel these lonely roads, remember the volunteer firefighters. They live tucked away from view in small towns and villages across the country, but when you need them, they appear with the tools and know-how to get you into an ambulance and off to medical help. And they do it just because they like to.

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