There are a few things that make you realize that you're not as young as you used to be. Running wide open for 48hrs is one of those things. I just don't recover as well as I did a few years ago. Although, I still think it's fun. It's just that I'm still young enough to get away with it, but old enough to know better. I had class during the day last shift. I know it sounds easy(and it was). GEMA school bus extrication. Power points and lectures. It was very informitive, just not exciting. Day two prommised to provide the excitement. Little did I know what was to follow.
Rescue 1 is always busy, but running back to back is unusual. But, what we did until 1945. After a short rest, It started all over again. Not to bad though, a few routine medical calls. At 0135- House- fully involved. In our first in territory.
We were on-scene for three and a half hours. A small cinder block home. Even, the interior walls were cinder block. The fire was seated in the rear of the house, on the c-d corner, and in the attic. The house was vacant, with all the doors and windows boarded up. Every room of the house was full of trash.
The fire had self-vented through the roof, at the c-d corner. Heavy fire in the attic and heavy smoke throughout the structure. The initial attack was at thev rear of the house. My captain and I went in through the front, after entry was made through the door, for secondary attack. It was quickly brought to a stop. Then, the fun begins.
During overhaul, the ceiling was 3/4 inch tounge and groove. There was no other way to pull the ceiling, but with a halligan tool. Two hours of that kind of labor and you will realize you mortality. Especially, with an airpack and mask. Slamming the forks through the ceiling and prying down. After making a hole, then pulling it down with the adz. I was never so tired as that night.
Back in quarters at 0430. Shower. Spare uniform. Wash clothes. Then, try to sleep for an hour or so. Up at 0700, to get ready for crew change. I load up my turnouts. I have class at 0900. A cup of coffee and barely enough time for a bite to eat.
Out at todays classroom, the county maintainnce barn. It's a flat backlot of nothing but gravel and Georgia red clay. The sun is trying to poke through the clouds. Overcast, but still warm. Three big yellow school buses to desrtoy. The heat and dust doesn't do anything for my sleep depervation. Pulling on those soaked turnouts and working all the tools drains what little I have left is gone.
Eight hours of reciprecating saws and flapping sides. Breaking glass and removing seats. It was a very informitive day, but a very labor intensive one. I think that being tired made it that much more fun for me. By the time it was all said and done, my turnouts were dry, but my uniform was soaked.
It was great day to realize that you are only human. It is refreshing to get that tired in the span of a couple of hours. I have had that great a sleep very few times in my life. I hope I get to do it again, but not any time soon.

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Comment by Bill Brierton on August 25, 2008 at 1:45pm
We suddenly realize one day that our bodies aren't as durable as they used to be. After 15 in the fire service, I run down alot faster than I used to. We are all human and sometimes must realize our limitations of our bodies even if our spirit for the fire service still burns brightly.
Comment by roy yoder on August 24, 2008 at 9:53pm
yea it brings a new meaning to what race are you? ( THE HUMAN RACE ) after all that is what we all are and a couple of days like that just shows us age challenged folks just how much human. i was told once when we were busy to sleep fast or you will not get any. so sleep fast.

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