Notes from a Rookie Firefighter...February 28, 2010

I had a killer week so yesterday I took advantage of the quiet morning and decided to sleep in. At 9:40 a.m. I heard my pager from two rooms away asking for all members to report to their respective stations for hydrant duty at 10. I started to drift back to dream land and then POPPED out of bed. I never had hydrant duty before and figured it had to do with the foot and a half of snow we've had here in Morristown.

I threw on my jeans, MTFD t-shirt and my brand spanking new Fairchild jacket and ran out the door. Grabbed a cup of coffee and then headed to the station, getting there at 10:05. I was in a sweat. I hate to be late and figured there would be a load of guys waiting around to load up the trucks to go to the detail. But I guess there wasn't enough time for most people to get there.

I was there with two other people and the firefighter on duty so we split up. I was on the ladder truck and put my gear on and do you know what? I had SO MUCH FUN!!! For those of you shaking your head right now, I realize that I am lame. I was in a pissed off mood at my ex, worried about my daughter, anxious about my son, stressing that I don't have a job, aggravated that I have to have my underground oil tank removed at the old house, and feeling like crap with a splint on my right hand. So what better outlet than to take a shovel and SPANK the snow off a fire hydrant?!!! I think I must have shoveled about 15 of them, even at times telling the driver not to get out I would do it myself.

I did learn a few things on the way; after all I am the quissential rookie you know. I learned that not all hydrants have the stick thing since kids or whoever broke them off, and I learned that in one section of town the development put the Do Not Park warning side so close to the hydrant you couldn't turn the wrench to open the hydrant. I also learned that most people have no clue they should dig out their hydrants for their own safety.

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