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December 7, 2011
By Jennifer Grigg

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Dec. 7, 2011 - A fellow firefighter and I were checking the equipment on the pumper at Monday night’s training session. I was running through the list, reading things off, and he was confirming that everything was there.

Dec. 7, 2011 – A fellow firefighter and I were checking the equipment on the pumper at Monday night’s training session. I was running through the list, reading things off, and he was confirming that everything was there. We were moving right along and then I said something that made him stop and say “What?”, with a strange look on his face. I looked back at him, and then down at the list again, certain that I’d read it correctly to him but thinking that perhaps this particular piece of equipment was missing and that’s why he asked me to read it again, which I did.

Still looking at me strangely, he then asked me to show him on the list what I had just read for the second time (and still obviously not cluing in to whatever he had clued in to.) So I put my thumb under the item and held out the clipboard to show him, still confident that I’d read it right. “See”, I said, “right there, 1100 mm suction”. As the words came out of my mouth, he stared at me with raised eyebrows and waited for the light bulb to flicker and eventually come on. “Oh @#$%,” I said. “it’s 1 100mm suction . . . hahaha . . . oops . . . teehee!” Oh well, we all have our moments, and that was definitely a blonde one for me.

We finished the truck checks, tidied up the hall and then it was time to go upstairs to the training room to watch a video. Yes, watch a video. It’s every firefighter’s nemesis, watching training videos. But shock hazards aren’t something you can do in hands- on training. Training nights that end with a trip to the hospital tend to be frowned upon, and, after all, this isn’t an episode of jack@#$. And the shock hazards we’re talking about aren’t like the shock you’ll get from grabbing an energized fence, like the one my daughter grabbed at the farm where she takes horseback riding lessons. Don’t worry, she was fine, but you should’ve seen the look on her face!

So, everyone pulled up a chair to watch the training video, and although there was no popcorn with this movie, there were candy canes left over from the Santa Claus parade, and firefighters are always happy if there are munchies around, hence the Timbits I bring on training nights. The video we were watching was on hydro lines and shock hazards, and I found it very informative as it provided many different scenarios to be aware of when responding to those types of calls. What I thought was funny was the sound of the two guys on either side of me crunching and chewing on their candy canes through the whole movie. It kind of reminded me of my kids and how I react when I hear one of them chewing gum with their mouths open . . .

Just kidding guys. You weren’t that bad . . .


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