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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keep Your Hat On

A little shout-out to those arriving from Radio Reference: The post you're looking for is from December 2009, and can be found here.

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I was out in my staff pickup doing some mundane power company errands when my FD was dispatched into the local small town to assist them with a reported traffic accident.  It was fairly close by, but not in my fire jurisdiction, and I was not dressed for the part in any case.

I lug along the fire radio and power company radio in the car with me most places, as you never know what you're going to find or get asked to go do.  Can't actually wear all that crap though.  Gee whiz, if I tried to carry everything.... my Minitor, Mayberry's Minitor, my fire radio, my power company radio, my cell phone.... I'd walk in circles and develop a limp worthy of disability.  But I digress.....

But, since I had the fire radio in the truck, I turned it on anyway just to be nosy.  The small town FD arrived and was unable to locate.  Boring.  I turned the radio back off.  Attention fully back on my power company business....

Several minutes ticked by.

"Dispatch to 570."  That's Bruce.

"570."

"Bruce, sent a call to your screen on the Valley Road, request from fire dispatch."

Hmmmm, could it be?  The Valley Road comes out into town and changes its street name, but some of the locals call it the Valley Road through town to the county line.  The original traffic accident call I heard was on the town portion of the "Valley Road".  I called my dispatcher on the phone.

This is Grumpy, I'm near Valley.  What's Bruce got?

Got a reported car versus pole at 4567 Valley Road.

Clicked together like new Lego blocks.  I had turned off the fire radio a tad early.  The original UTL had evolved into finding the correct location, in my "home" fire district..

Where's Bruce coming from?  A long way off, as it turned out, perhaps 30 minutes.

I'm about two minutes away, I'll head over and see what we've got.

I arrived to find a long backup of cars, some of them trying to turn around.  Finally getting to the good part, there's our Engine 55 and the small town Engine.  There's a couple of spans of wire on the ground, and a broken pole.

Keep your hat on.

It's so easy to stumble into trying to do both jobs, but that is just begging for confusion.  The white staff hardhat came out, the turnouts stayed in the truck.

I found the IC, E55's captain.  Sweet! he laughed, our dual subject matter expert!

He asked me if I'd carry the fire radio so he could reach me easier as we worked the scene, and I agreed to do it to keep track of their actions, but avoided actually talking on it.  I nearly tripped up and used it a couple of times, but stayed clean.

This scenario happens once in a while, much more often since I got my new gig.  It's old news for me, but this one seemed like a typical keep just one hat on kind of day, and it worked perfectly.  I guess my message to you guys, if ever you find yourself in a place where you potentially have more than one role, is that things go so much better when you stick to one function and don't have two bosses with widely varied goals and needs.  Nonetheless, it is always fun meeting my guys from one agency when working the other.

Stay safe out there.


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