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Sept. 18, 2012, Redwood Meadows, Alta. – Definition of busy as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
1a: engaged in action, occupied
1b: being in use (found the telephone busy)
2: full of activity; bustling (a busy seaport)
3: foolishly or intrusively active; meddling
4: full of distracting detail (a busy design)

September 18, 2012
By Rob Evans

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Sept. 18, 2012, Redwood Meadows, Alta. – Definition of busy as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
1a: engaged in action, occupied
1b: being in use (found the telephone busy)
2: full of activity; bustling (a busy seaport)
3: foolishly or intrusively active; meddling
4: full of distracting detail (a busy design)

We are all familiar with the definitions of the word busy but I thought I would examine just how this week in my life measures up. Today marks my first day off from my paying job at Calgary’s Public Safety Communications (PSC), although day off is a little misleading. I am pretty sure that the upcoming couple of weeks will fit in just nicely with the definition.

First off, let us look at 1a: engaged in action. I worked Monday night until 0600 Tuesday morning. After a brief sleep, I had to take our tender into the dealership to have one of its rollup doors replaced. While the truck was being looked at, I had to run around and get a birthday present for my nine-year-old. While we are in the air flying to St. John’s for Fire-Rescue Canada on Saturday, he will be celebrating with his first plane trip.

When I get home I will have a short reprieve before a Firefighters’ Association meeting to talk about our ball on Oct. 20. (Donations for our silent and live auctions are very welcome.)

Immediately following the meeting is our training night.

This week, we are welcoming crews from Alberta’s Sustainable Resources Development who are coming by for a meet and greet. Wednesday, I will be up early with the kids to drive our two youngest to school and give Jenn a break. After doing that, I will come back home, or to the fire hall, to prepare for a council meeting that night.

Sandwiched in between will be an afternoon of fire dispatch refresher training at PSC – 4.5 hours of overtime to sit in a class that I helped to update; I’ll take it. While on the way home I’ll try to catch a bite to eat before making it to the town office just in time for the meeting.

Thursday will hopefully be the lightest day of the week with a short photo shoot at Okotoks for a fire truck calendar. Yeah, I know, even with my photography I cannot get away from the fire service. Have I mentioned that my 15-year-old needs to be picked up from senior football practice every afternoon? Oh, and that’s my starting center 15-year old senior football player.

Friday will be a day of full of packing and making sure we have everything ready for the trip to St. John’s on Saturday. This will be the first time traveling like this as a family and doing so with our autistic daughter has proven quite the challenge. This may fall into the fourth point of the definition: full of distracting detail.

Saturday involves getting the kids to the airport – without forgetting our luggage or my camera gear, and making stops in Toronto and then Halifax. I would suggest that the scene from Home Alone when the family is running for the gate at the airport won’t be much of a stretch for us to recreate.

As for the remaining parts of the definition, I think it is fair to say that anyone who tries to contact me this week they will run into the “being in use” definition of busy for me. I will certainly be full of activity although I do not think that anybody has ever described me as bustling.

And for the remaining point – foolishly or intrusively active – I may delve into this while trying to help Jenn prepare the kids for the trip. I am sure she will, at some point, say I am meddling with her well laid-out plans and schedule.

And last but certainly not least, my blogging. Watch for another one later this week about Fire-Rescue Canada, the CAFC election and the excitement of traveling to Newfoundland for the first time.

Rob Evans is the chief fire officer for Redwood Meadows Emergency Services, 25 kilometres west of Calgary. Evans attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1989 and studied photojournalism. In 1992, he joined RMES after taking pictures of an interface fire and making prints for the department. He has his NFPA 1001 level II certification, NFPA 472 Operations and Awareness (hazmat), NFPA 1041 level I (fire service instructor), Dalhousie University Certificate in Fire Service Leadership and Certificate in Fire Service Administration and is a registered Emergency Medical Responder with the Alberta College of Paramedics. He lives in Redwood Meadows with his wife, a firefighter/EMT with RMES, and three children.


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