Yesterday I was at my firehouse in the parking lot and a member of the OEM was in his truck. He was waiting for the word to drive some water to a nearby neighborhood whose residents couldn't get off their street. I am a member of the OEM but since I am also a volunteer FF, I seldom get to do OEM work during an incident. We were chatting and I mentioned that I was basically camped out at the firehouse. He said, "playing den mother?" Boy, I was insulted but being the lady I am, just answered, "Ah, no, I was on the truck all night and have been on call for days."
The hurricane certainly gave Morristown a good dose of humility. Last Monday I was working from home and as soon as I could I shot over to the firehouse. There wasn't much time to chat until the first call came in. Basically three other guys (2 paid FFs and another volunteer) and I spent about 6 hours going from one call to another. I learned so much during those 6 hours. I learned different things than during Irene since we didn't have the rain. I also learned alot about myself.
I believe we had 15 homes in trees in an hour. That's how crazy it was.There were so many trees down, huge telephone poles, downed wires, etc. that I forgot there was even a hurricane each time I got out of the truck. I didn't even hear the wind nor notice the trees blowing. How is that? On our last call, three of us had to walk about 5 city blocks to a home. One of the guys decided to jog ahead of us so my partner and I followed as fast as we could. We heard a large swoosh and a large, I mean large CRACK and looked at each other and said we'd better run. If the other guy wasn't ahead of us we would have gone back. Instead we just ran as fast as we could given the circumstances (and our age LOL).
On the way back to the truck we passed the spot and lo and behold a huge tree had fallen down. Our fire department called everyone in at that point since the winds were greater than 50-60 MPH. Back at the firehouse I cozied up on the recliner and the other guys took the couches. We talked about what happened and the young guy said we should have gone back and he could have went ahead himself. I said no way would we have done that. Never. It wasn't even a thought.
Not once did I doubt for my safety because I trusted the guys that were with me. Yes, I fell, got clobbered in the head when we were sawing a tree in the middle of the road and twisted my shoulder. All this gave me a chuckle later - I feel like such a clutz sometimes and thought maybe I'm getting too old for this!
Since I manage the FD's FB page and social media, I have been working on collecting donations at our firehouses for the past few days. We've gotten in a ton of items and I'm thankful I have a warm apartment (now) and internet to help these things happen. But den mother, NO WAY.
Can't wait until Wednesday's nor'easter.
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