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Friday, January 24, 2014

From Hero to Goat in ten minutes

Engine 56, Engine 51, Small City Engine, Tanker 56, Tanker 55, structure fire.....

E56 arrived first with the duty crew, running short handed with just two guys.  Had a fire going in the attic of a large shop outbuilding.  By the time Tanker 56 arrived with me in E51 right behind, they had the knock. 

Small City's crew showed up soon after, and we collectively didn't have much to do.  We released everyone but the first three rigs, did some cleanup and overhaul, packed the attack lines and were in service within an hour of arrival.

The Engine 56 boys were feeling pretty good, and rightfully so.  Not ideal working with a tiny crew, but some days things work out, and at least for the next few shifts they would be the staff heroes.  Five years ago the Small City was light years ahead of this agency, but these days with our staffing changes we tend to cover more of their calls than they do ours.  It feels good when we do not require their services, though we always appreciate them coming out.

We were still motoring home to our various stations when the tones dropped again.  Chimney Fire, not too far off.  Same rigs, sans the Small City.

The heroes of E56 got the jump on the call, seeing as how they were aimed in the right direction and already rolling.  The address was on one of the main roads, easy to find. 

As long as it is on the main part of that main road.

Unfortunately, if you go far enough north, it veers off to other exciting locales and changes names, but if you turn off early and then wind around the back way far enough, there is another section of that road in line with the original, with the same name.  Aaaaaand you can see where this is going.

So, E56 asked for the Small City engine to go ahead and respond with us again, since they were short-staffed.  And then E56 went up the road to la-la land, and you could hear it in the officer's voice when he eventually said "in the area, attempting to locate" a couple of minutes after we expected him to arrive.  Not a good sign.

Small City engine was not fooled, and arrived first.  Tanker 56 was next, then me.  The first-due Engine 56 heroes, by the time they figured out what went wrong and had doubled back to correct for their ways, arrived fifth.

Fifth.

Small City engine canceled and cleared everyone before E56 could even exit the piece.

Ouch.

C'mon guys, read the map!  Hero to goat, just like that.

So they'll have to carry that mantle for a few days or weeks until someone else gains infamy.  Builds character.

Stay safe out there.  And Read. The. Map!


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