Archive for August, 2009

Playing With Fire

Yesterday I had the great privilege of visiting a fire station. The first thing I noticed, and the most disappointing part of the trip was that there was no pole, as the fire house only had one floor. I had really been looking forward to risking life and limb by sliding down it. Unfortunately, the government has banned these poles in certain counties because of liability reasons. Too many people get injured. What are they learning in Fireman School if not how to slide down the pole?

Nonetheless, when my awesome pal, who I call The Fireman even to people who know his real name, invited me to visit him at work (aka The Station), I was enthused. I got to meet real live firemen who put their lives on the line every day to protect civilians like me. Well, actually, they only had one call that day from a woman who had called 911 complaining of some nausea and diarrhea that turned out to be nothing but a mild case of the flu. And technically, firemen do not work every day, they work every third day.

But these guys work hard when they are at The Station. I got to see some very special crayon drawings of fire trucks they had colored to decorate their bulletin board. And while I was there, they made me feel right at home – like one of the guys, really. We sat in the comfy day room and watched some major league baseball on their 52″ screen television while we chewed the fat about people at the gym who are annoying. (I happen to have met The Fireman at the gym, so we know some of the same characters, and thus had plenty of fodder for discussion.) For instance, we analyzed the forty-something divorcee who seems to be looking for attention a bit too desperately. And we laughed together about the young guy who is overweight but thinks that he is hot and often pulls up his shirt while flexing in front of the mirror. Ugh, gross.

I loved when The Fireman took me on the EMS truck and showed me all the drugs and medical supplies they have. I made sure with my own eyes that they had plenty of individually wrapped packets of fingernail polish remover in stock. He checked my blood pressure and heart rate to make sure I was not dying of excitement. Then he showed me the Jaws of Life, which are housed on the fire engine, and about which I have always had a sick curiosity. I got to sit in the driver’s seat of the engine. Finally, he showed me a panel of buttons and levers on the side of the fire truck, but The Fireman said he had no idea what any of that stuff did.

All in all, I had a great time, and I am very thankful to The Fireman for an educational and enjoyable experience.