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September 4, 2013
By Jennifer Grigg

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Sept. 4, 2013, Port Severn, Ont. – Saturday morning of the Labour Day weekend, and we awoke to a pager going off at 3 a.m. for an MVC on Hwy 400, south of Port Severn. “Right on,” I thought to myself. “It’s his call. I get to go back to sleep.”

Sept. 4, 2013, Port Severn, Ont. – Saturday morning of the Labour Day weekend, and we awoke to a pager going off at 3 a.m. for an MVC on Hwy 400, south of Port Severn. “Right on,” I thought to myself. “It’s his call. I get to go back to sleep.”

He rushed out the door, and that’s exactly what I did. Went back to sleep. For about 10 minutes. Then my pager went off, for an MVC, on Hwy 400, north of Port Severn.

“Ugh. I knew it!” I thought. I figured when his pager went off that the chances were pretty good that the call would turn out to be in our area, which is exactly what happened.

I jumped out of bed, went to the washroom (very, very important to do that because you never know how long you’ll be), threw on some clothes and ran down the stairs and out the door. Just as I got to my car, a fellow firefighter who lives down the road went by with his green light flashing.

He always tells me that if he sees me, he’ll stop and pick me up if there’s a call. The one time I’m actually standing in the driveway, he goes right by. When I teased him about it later, he said that he saw that our truck was gone and he figured we had already gone to the hall. Fair enough. I’ll give him that one.

When we arrived on scene, the neighbouring department (meaning significant other Earl’s other department) was already on scene and attending to the more critical of the two patients, who was still in the vehicle. The OPP were also on scene.

One of our firefighters is a paramedic so he went to give the other firefighters a hand with the occupant still in the vehicle, while my neighbour-who-passed-me-by and I did the initial assessment on the driver.

Once the ambulances had arrived on scene and the patients had been loaded, our incident commander released the other department’s members from the scene; after some friendly banter, they carried on their way. I looked up and was surprised to see Earl still standing there after the other department cleared.

I looked around for his pickup, surprised that I couldn’t see it. “Where’s your truck?” I asked.

“Right here.” He said, and pointed to our pumper.

“Didn’t you drive your pickup here?” I asked, assuming that since he had responded in his truck to the original call location, that he had just followed the rest of the other department’s vehicles to this one.

“Nope,” he said. “I knew only the rescue had responded so I went to the hall to get the pumper.”

“Oh” . . . ha ha ha. After a moment of total confusion, I understood. It was 4:00 in the morning after all. It took a minute for the light bulb to come on.

Herein lies another example of firefighters being on the same team, even if not the same department (that is, unless your name is Earl, Norm or Rob – our three firefighters who serve on both departments) and being there to help each other, help you.

The important thing is getting help to the people who need it, regardless of station boundaries or municipal boundaries. And the more you work together, train together, and/or even socialize with the guys and girls in the other halls and other departments in your area, the better the level of service you can give to the people that need you.

Jennifer Mabee is a volunteer with the Township of Georgian Bay Fire Department in Ontario. She began her fire career with the Township of Georgian Bay in 1997 and became the department's fire prevention officer in 2000 and a captain in 2003. She was a fire inspector with the City of Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services before taking time off to focus on family, and is excited to be back at it. E-mail her at jhook0312@yahoo.ca and follow her on Twitter at @jenmabee.


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