Fire Fighting in Canada

Headlines News
Beebewitz’s Blog

timbeebeTim Beebe, the fire chief in Upsala, Ont., writes the Spontaneous Combustion column for Canadian Firefighter magazine, but that’s just four times year and he has much more to say, so we’re posting his always-entertaining blog here. You can go back into the blog archives to find out why he chose the name Beebewitz’s Blog – (something about high school!) – or just read it and enjoy.

Nov. 7, 2011 – It seemed like the ultimate statistical conundrum. What if we were paged at 01:15 hrs on November 6, and then again exactly an hour later (after the official change back to Eastern Standard Time)?

November 7, 2011
By Tim Beebe

Tim Beebe, the fire chief in Upsala, Ont., writes the Spontaneous
Combustion for Canadian Firefighter magazine but that’s just four times
year and he has much more to say, so we’re posting his
always-entertaining blog here. You can go back into the blog archives to
find out why he chose the name Beebewitz’s Blog – (something about high
school!) – or just read it and enjoy.

Nov. 7, 2011 – It seemed like the ultimate
statistical conundrum. What if we were paged at 01:15 hrs on November 6,
and then again exactly an hour later (after the official change back to
Eastern Standard Time)? The second call out would also be recorded at
01:15 hrs on November 6 . . . even though it happened an hour later.
Such an occurrence would be inconceivable in the mathematically rigid
world of chronological record keeping.

I was nearly convinced that the problem
was unsolvable until Erinn suggested that I would simply write "EDT" or
"EST" after the notation to clarify the proper chronology in the annals
of dispatch history. Come to think of it, busier departments deal with
this issue every year at the fall time change. Only fire chiefs that
live on the peripheral edge of the universe (who have never been paged
during that one-hour time period) even give it a second thought.

Speaking of time-related puzzles, the
village of Upsala lies in Central Time Zone, but we operate on Eastern
Time because most of our business is done in Thunder Bay. This can cause
complications even without the convoluted spring-forward, fall-back
shenanigans we play twice a year. All points west of Upsala lie firmly
in Central Time Zone, but I record our calls in Eastern Time regardless
of direction. I had a mildly heated discussion once with a police
officer about our page out and arrival times at a fatal crash. My notes
just didn't jive with her notes. Fortunately one of us finally figured
out that she was running on Central Time and I was running on Eastern.

Advertisment

On a semi-related topic, I'm told
that many years ago a municipality near here chose not to adopt
Daylight Savings Time because they thought messing with daylight might
cause the tomatoes to ripen more slowly. Council's discussion of the
matter is reportedly recorded in all its paradoxical glory in
the archived meeting minutes.

To finish off this downward spiral to incongruity, John Lennon's tooth just
sold for $31,200.00.
If I ever become famous, I'll have to remember to will my teeth, hair,
and fingernails to my kids so they'll have a rainy-day fund in case
times get tough.

I'm not quite sure how a supposed firefighting blog digresses this far into absurdity.

In an effort to redeem myself,
here is a post by the Fire Critic that gives a short history of Firefighter Close Calls, and the Secret List. Check out the Firefighter Close Calls Facebook page here. I've
been a Secret List subscriber, and a Billy G admirer for a lot of years,
and my respect for this fire service icon increases the more I learn
about him. I wonder how much his teeth will be worth in fifty years.

To finish off on a sane, normal note, check out volunteer firefighter
Jennifer Mabee's blog. A new perspective from the volunteer service is always welcome.

You may not find volunteer firefighter
teeth on the auction block in 50 years, but life would not be the
same in 80 per cent of Canada's landmass without them.


Tim Beebe is the fire chief in Upsala, Ont. Contact him at upsalafd@tbaytel.net

– – –
 Comment | View comments | Archive