Tales from a tailboard fireman-firehouse funnies and other stuff

I hope the job has not been changed due to the times we live in. When I worked  (1973-98) no matter what runs we got, having fun at the firehouse was S.O.P.

I was taken once. When I was working toward a promotion to captain I applied for a position in our support services division. It would have required me to go on a forty-hour week and commute every day. I really did not want to get it but had to put in to show I was a company guy. I got a call at the fire house and the voice on the phone said he was the Deputy Chief in charge of that unit. He told me I got it and had to report that Monday. I whined I was going on a 6-day but he said tough and show up at 8 AM. I stewed about it most of the day before I got the call telling me I had been had and it was a fireman from another station, not the chief, who had called me.

At station --- a two piece company the guys all bought lottery tickets and when the numbers were picked they posted them on the chalkboard. The engine went out on a call and while they were gone the truck crew got Bob's lottery ticket. They posted his numbers on the board and when he return he could not believe his luck. They left him in fantasy land for a bit but before he could call the Chief and tell him to sick it, they came clean. He took it well and said at least he had been rich for an hour.

The stories are endless and I loved it. The payback for having such a good working life is the memories of the bad runs we all carry. I was just watching a TV show about a woman whose son had shot himself.

The run from 25 years ago came back in an instant and I relived the horror of going into a house with the bereaved parents of a teenage boy who shot himself in the head with a 22. I can still see the blood pumping out of his head and the feeling of helplessness being unable to stop it.

I wonder if those who are so ready to cut our benefits understand what we really do and how it affects us.

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