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December 13, 2011
By Jennifer Grigg

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Dec. 14, 2011 – Great news! I’m about to embark on an exciting new opportunity. (OK, so it might not be exciting to you, but it`s exciting to me, so bear with me.) Not so great news – I need to provide a photo of me in uniform to go along with the announcement. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal but because I’ve only recently returned to my department, I don’t actually have a uniform yet.

Dec. 14, 2011 – Great news! I’m about to embark on an exciting new opportunity. (OK, so it might not be exciting to you, but it`s exciting to me, so bear with me.) Not so great news – I need to provide a photo of me in uniform to go along with the announcement. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal but because I’ve only recently returned to my department, I don’t actually have a uniform yet.

I didn’t think having a uniform was a big issue, because really, how often do you need to wear a uniform as a volunteer firefighter? I suppose it varies from department to department, as some provide firefighters with a shirt and tie and others don’t. I hadn’t given it any thought until last Monday when the pager went off at our normal test time with a message reminding everyone to wear their uniforms for ID photos to be taken that night. The message went out while I was already driving to training on that particular night, and I thought, “CRAP! I don’t have a uniform – and even if I did, I’m already on my way to the hall! I’m going to be the only dork without a uniform.”

Luckily, I was given a spare uniform shirt to wear and was told, “Don’t worry; it’s only a head and shoulder shot.” “OK,” I thought. “No big deal.” Although, when I looked around at what the others were wearing afterwards, I realized that they also had ties on, which I didn’t when the photo was taken. I haven’t seen the photo, but I can only hope that it turned out OK despite me wearing a shirt two sizes too big and no tie . . . lol. Good thing there was no hat to go with it or I would have looked like Opie Taylor wearing his dad’s uniform! For you young‘uns reading this, go ask your parents who Opie Taylor was.

jennifer 
  

So my mission for today was to buy myself a uniform shirt. I managed to find two shoulder flashes at home from my past life on the department so once I found a shirt, I’d just need to sew the flashes on, by hand. (I don’t have a sewing machine. I’m not the domestic type . . . at all. He cooks, I clean. But enough about my domestic shortcomings.)

As we headed to Barrie this morning in search of said uniform shirt, the irony of “Why would I need a uniform?” floated through my mind. This is twice in a week that the uniform, or lack thereof, has come up. Apparently, it is an issue after all.

Fortunately for me, I found everything I needed at Fisher’s Regalia in Barrie, a well known distributor of fire/EMS/police apparel. The staff was fantastically helpful, knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with. Not only were they able to find me a shirt that fit well, I also found pants that fit great, which is not easy for a woman, especially with men’s pants. (Women tend to wear our pants on our hips as opposed to our waists, and when we wear men’s pants, they tend to sit up at, or above, the belly button, which is not only uncomfortable, it ain’t pretty!) I could have ordered in women’s but it was easier to take the men’s, since they fit so well.

I also picked up a few other things, as did my significant other (you all know how we firefighters are with firefighter paraphernalia . . . like kids in a candy store!) I even got him to pick out a Christmas present while we were there – which worked out awesomely because I had no idea what to get him! (He did get me that treadmill so I was kind of under the gun to get him something good . . . ) Problem solved!

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