What was your first fire like? We you scared or nerves? Was it tougher or easier getting it out then you thought?

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My first fire. we rolled out with 3 in the back including me, and as the jr guy i was stuck on hydrant duty. i got them the water supply, stood outside changing bottles and then they let me go in and do some overhaul. it was fun. 2 weeks later we went to a mutual aid fire and they put us right to work, we went up to the roof i cut a hole in the roof and then overhauled. i was nervous as all hell on that roof. i hate heights. i also popped the cherry on a car fire earlier in the year

My first fire was a story and a half house fire. I was probationary so had to stay outside and basically watch. I was later told to go to the rear of the house and hump hose to the entry crew. The fire kicked our butt however it was a good learning fire for me. The reason it kicked our butts is because it (the fire) got into the attic spaces of the upstairs and very hard to reach from the inside of the house so we went exterior and vented the roof and got to it that way. I know you are not supposed to spray water in a vent hole but sometimes you just have to improvise to get the job done. so the vent hole became an attack hole.


first interior attack on a structure. I was fresh out of FF1 on my volunteer dept, and we were called 3rd out for a commercial structure fire. Historic downtown setting. on arrival i was tasked with the first interior line. I was given nozzle and we went in. about 10 minutes in the evacuation tones went out. no sooner than evac went out, fire flashed, and rolled over top of us. Managed to get out fine.

My first "fire" was just a grass fire that burned about 3 acres but my first structure fire was actually a rekindle of a mansion that had burned to the ground earlier that day. I remember being really giddy on the way there (about an 8 minute drive) even though I wasn't really allowed to do much more than fetch things for those fighting it (junior at the time) it was still an experience I'll never forget.

The first fire that I was actually on a nozzle for was actually this past November at a vacant house that went up like kindling it was so dry. I was on the first due engine on scene and assisted in dropping the 5 in in a forward lay leaving the starting end at the road for the second due engine to hook up to as well as a hydrant. I remember the wind changing really early on and the thick yellowish smoke just dropping down on top of us. My eyes and throat were stinging beyond belief and the second I finished deploying both the two and a half and inch and three quarter attack lines I notified my officer and got out of the smoke.

About an hour and a half in we started rotating guys on the lines as we were operating defensively at this point. I was told to get on an inch and 3/4 line and lob it onto (and into) the roof. So with 2 other guys from our sister company I was on the nozzle for about 30 minutes or so before I got rotated out. I screwed up a few times and started thinking too much, directing the stream into different areas of the building that were also on fire but were being attacked by other crews. Later I was told the rotation officer started getting angry with me and I apologized to him post call citing excitement, nerves, and poor judgement on my actions. While yes I did partially screw up my first "on nozzle" fire I'll never forget it because of that.

I can't forget my first fire off "probie" status.  I felt like a dick for months with this one.  5:00AM i get woken up for a working house fire.  I missed the engine so I grabbed my gear and rolled to the scene.  When I got on scene, geared up, ran to the engine and grabbed a pack all visible fire was already knocked down, so my lieutenant had me go with him with the TIC and look around in the fire room.  I was then re-directed to pull the eaves outside the house to check for fire or smoldering.  After doing that for about 5 minutes, I got really dizzy and notified my partner that I wasn't feeling very good, that I better have EMS check me out then I passed out.  When I came to, the FAST Team was on top of me un-strapping my jacket.  Of courrse I became a little agitated, I didn't know what the f*ck was going on.  After I calmed down, I was being assisted to the waiting EMS crew and my captain.  While I was answering their questions, I went down again.  This time when I came to, I was being strapped to a stokes basket, and became even more agitated.  Paramedics checked my blood sugar in the bus and it was in the low 70s.  I was discharged from the hospital diagnosed with smoke inhalation (which was bullshit) and hypoglycemic episode.  I was on medical leave for a week, and in that week, i was collecting all of the dept's property that i had, badges, pager, pager charger and house key.  I even had a letter of resignation typed and printed.  I called my officers and told them to meet me at the firehouse when my week was up, that I'm returning my property and handing in my letter.  My lieutanent, chief and I had a really long talk about it.  And after a really long discussion, they said that it looked like I was going through PTSD and told me to keep my stuff and take some time off, and if I still felt the same, then I can hand in my stuff.  2 weeks later, I turned on my pager for the first time since the fire and the tones dropped for a car fire.  Needless to say but I was back in action.  Gave my dept 5 more years before I resigned due to a medical condition with my knee and back (non-dept related) and a lack of vehicle.  After I have everything situated, I plan on returning to the fire dept but in another town.

My first fire being interior was a non-attached garage fire, aprox. 25'X10'. PD was on nightly patrol when they asked communications if they had reports of a structure fire. Comm Center advised they did not and dispatched the box. Ambulance arrived on scene and one EMT (who is a FF) gave an initial report of a 25X10 garage with a working fire and also a car inside the garage and no exposure problems at this time. After PD and EMS were unable to gain contact with the homeowner, they looked inside the garage to see if the homeowner was in the garage. After not seeing him, EMS closed the door, which snuffed the fire out. Upon arrival of Ladder 23, which I was on, I pulled the initial attack line and dropped at the door. I yelled for water, and thought "well it's now or never" and went in. Opening the door obviouslyreignited the fire. The main body of fire was under the car and on the C/D corner. After the fire was out, we worked on getting the garage door open to ventilate.


Was it like I thought it was going to be?

         --Not exactly, because it was a garage fire, there was not alot of heat. But there was alot of smoke,which I expected, the white smoke that when is hit with an LED flashlight just gets worse.


The funny part about the fire was the drunk homeowner who kept asking why we were using so much water on his garage. After about the 5th time of asking, the chief turned to him and said "Because your garage is on fire you morone". That was the highlight of the whle call.


The cause was determined to be a kerosene heater in the C/D corner of the garage.

my 1st fire was 3 months into my career. I was still a jr.ff and we got paged out for a brush fire. it ended up being a 3 alarm fire but i was 3rd on location. Our brush truck was out of service so we where using our old rescue,almost like a pick up with work boxes on the sides. Anyway when i got there. one guy was out wth the rescue fighting the fire and my Captian was on the radio giving commands to incoming trucks. i ran up to him and asked him where he wanted me and he replyed,"right in the middle of it kid"!. So i ran out in my coat and helmet to where our rescue was with the lone ff. He looked at me, threw me the nozzle, and said, "here,im tired of this shit". So I was now on the hose as he dove down the line. It was very cool and exciting. About half way threw the fire we stopped at a huge tree that was on fire. The other guy told me to grab an axe, but when i can back around he told me to cut the pressure on the line. So like the stupid kid I was, I dropped the axe, started running, but a componation of a wet hose and melted boot made me slip and fall on a water tank.....I broke a rib. They called in the "man down" and i was soon in the back of an ambulance getting pached up. But even after that i felt soooo happy. It was nice to know that I got to help put out the fire and was finaly one of the guys!

the first i went to with my brigade at the time was a massive scrubby i was really excited but i was only observing , i dont remember my first one after that where i got really involved , i just kind of got in there an did what i had to do

Heck, beings as I just got done with my probation period three days ago, I could run down the entire list of every call.  (but I'll just hit the highlights)

First call, I actually missed the truck - the dispatcher had a habit of screwing up the page for our department, and being new, I didn't know that so I assumed she wasn't calling us (5:00 AM I don't think the clearest anyway).  

First call I made it on came 1 month after I joined the department.  We had just gotten done with our weekly practice, and a few of us had gone out for a beer or two.  The bartender set 'em down, and we hadn't even cracked the cans yet when the tones dropped.  The five of us stood up and walked out the door in unison, and by the time we drove the 5 blocks back to the station, the first pumper was rolling - some of the guys hadn't left yet.  The captain ahead of me looked at me, said "We'll take the rescue.  You can drive".  Followed two pumpers and our quick attack out of town, with the tanker bringing up the rear behind us.  I was already a little dry from practice, and about three miles out of town (fire was at the edge of our district, about 15 miles out), cotton mouth hit so bad I couldn't even swallow.  We were heading to a smoking combine - hadn't actually busted out flames yet, but it was dang close.  We fired up the scene lights on the rescue and then I helped poke around the machine to find the hotspots.  Ended up saving the machine - he was probably combining again by noon the next day, once he replaced a few burnt belts and cleaned the machine out good.

First actual fire came a week later, pager went off at about 0130, and I was just getting to my truck when dispatch came back and 10-22'd us - the fire was in the neighboring district.  About then, I heard my neighbor (3 houses away, and the guy that got me onto the dept) roar out of his driveway - he didn't have his pager with him, so he didn't hear the 22.  Figured "what the heck, I'm up..." so I followed him down to the station.  Listening to traffic on the way down, heard the deputy roll up on scene and radio back to the comm center that they might need us anyway, it was a pretty big fire.  My buddy, myself, and one other FF were hanging around the station deciding what to do when the tones dropped again.  By the time the other guys started rolling in, we were geared up, had the pumper pulled out of the station and ready, two more guys hopped in and we were on the road.  Ended up being a state roadside park that had caught fire - grassland and timber, right next to a standing cornfield (dry, dry, DRY fuel)  Both departments spent about two hours on scene for that one, but we kept it from getting into the corn and managed to prevent any damage to surrounding property.

And lastly, the first fire I actually got nozzle time on was a grass fire on the NW side of a prairie/wetland complex consisting of over 400 acres of native grass.  Tones dropped about 2200 and I made first truck again.  Rolled up and realized we were in for a fight - if the winds picked up at all, we were going to have a problem.  Tried hitting it with the monitor on top of the truck first, but fire was out of reach, so four of us grabbed the two 1 3/4" preconnects off the crosslay and charged into the grass, me backing one of our more experienced FF's up.  He got a good initial knockdown on what we could reach from our setup, and handed the nozzle to me and said "Here.  Your turn.  Knock that down" and pointed to an advancing line of fire on our 2:00.  On scene for a little over an hour with that one, and got to help out with the unofficial investigation phase a little bit.

Every time, the adrenaline dump when the pager tones gets me going, (even 6 months in, if the nightly pager test catches me off guard, I'll sit at my desk and shake for a few minutes from the dump) and the 3/4 mile drive to the station, my heart is racing - but as soon as I get my gear on and get on board a truck, everything seems to settle down and I go into "game time" mode - thinking about what needs to be done as soon as we hit the fireground, and listening to the radio traffic for updates.  Charging into that grass fire, second man on the hose, was one of the more surreal moments of my life.  I knew there was still fire upwind of us, and the potential for it to become a problem, but I also knew we were far enough downwind from the flame front to react - and further wet the grass between us if needed, and had scorched earth just a short ways in front of us if needed also.  Following the nozzle man, putting complete faith in him to keep you safe - and knowing it won't be a problem - was probably one of the biggest rushes of my life.

....Wow.  That turned out a little more wordy than I intended.  Sorry!

umm lets see just the adrenaline ...was overwhelming i guess the feeling of hurrying  up and not missing a thing but also the feeling of belonging of the fire dept as a team...hoping i dont mess anything up...it was a house fire a large family lost everything...we were hooking up the hoses on the next block to the the hydrant...i was sad that the familt lost their home  ...but in another sense happy i was able to help out...but as time progress we learn more..

  I guess we never forget our first fire. It's right up there with, well, other fine firsts in our life. ;)

 My first fire was outside of Las Vegas, NV. A mountainside resort-style community was in danger of burning to the ground thanks to a careless camper leaving a fire unattended. My engine was charged with protecting a water tower and some residences that surrounded it. After looking around for a situational size-up, we were all too aware of what a challenge we had ahead of us. 

 People had actually built their houses around big trees, literally. Not to mention all the above ground propane tanks in the back of everyone's house.

 We had just gotten the hose lay in place when the fire front crested the top of the mountain above us and started crowning trees and jogging down the hill. I knew right then, at that moment, this was the job for me. When that adrenaline started pumping, there was no looking back.

 We fought the fire into the night. Saved the water tower and the houses. The entire community was full of wildland and structure firefighters for a week and there were no more losses than the forest. A success by almost anyone's standards!

  When our job was done there, the people started filtering back to their homes. We were treated as hero's by the grateful little vacation town. What a great feeling! Saving what they love for them and seeing how much they all appreciated it. 

For me it was over 22 years ago, I only remember thinking I may have made a mistake becomeing a firefighter because I was very confused and disoriented and my biggest concern was just trying to keep up with my officer so I wouldnt get my A** chewed out, it took about a year before it all started to come together.

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