Sunday, March 27, 2011

Big Trucks, Long Ladders

A while back Carter’s class had a field trip to the neighborhood fire station.  Since it was “Winter Break” for elementary schools, and because Cole is my 24 hour a day buddy, the kids and I all tagged along for the fun.

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For the past 50-60 years, this squad has called themselves the “animal house.”

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The trucks were out of… well, let’s call this garage.  The fellow here who gave the first part of the tour called it something technical, but I can’t remember his term at all.  :)

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What I can say, is most of the gear was kept here, hung up or in lockers.

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Up high, a reminder of selfless heroism and danger.

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We were treated to a tour of (almost) the entire station.  [The locker room was… occupied…]

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The squad is divided into three teams/shifts that overlap in a complex way to ensure adequate day-to-day coverage, meaning the firemen spend a lot of time on duty away from family.

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Be it wrong or right, shallow of not, I love their mess table.  There’s a tradition in the city that, whenever a bowling alley removes lanes, the wood goes to the firehouses.  This huge table is covered in the thickest coat of... oh, I have no idea – it seemed like plastic, but was glass smooth.  It’s also 4” thick.  It must weigh a ton.

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Want!  How does one get a bowling alley lane table for their home???  Of course, in my house, the kids would be sliding on it on sock feet, and one crazy 5 year-old I know would be trying some daring slides off the top.  Then, maybe we could call the fire EMT to come and splint his leg, completing the circle.  ;)

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After more inside stuff, which I think the adults liked more than the kids, we went out for the best part—if you’re a kid: the truck tour!

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Cole’s obsessed with letters and numbers, so he mainly amused himself telling us what letters he could find everywhere—and making faces at himself in the shiny chrome.

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I was busy helping 3-5 year olds out the back door of the truck, so I am not sure how Bunny finagled a front seat tour.  She loved it, though.

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She’s getting to be so big, but looks tiny here.  Fire trucks be big.

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Fire fighters have cool tools.

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I must brag a little and say Carter was the one who guessed correctly why they might use an axe.  It seems obvious to us adults, but many of the kids went right for the one thing they knew an axe was for (tree chopping:: “Only if the tree were on fire,” was the nice fireman’s answer).

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More cool tools:  jaws of life.

Near the end of our time at Fire House 9, another mom asked how quickly the fire fighters can get into their gear.  He laughed and said, “If I had a probie on hand, I’d have him do it, but I don’t feel like getting sweaty right now.  You want to put it on?”  She declined, but we had one person who is generally game for anything fun: Bunny!

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It was hysterical to see her all smooshed inside the suit, boots and all.  It appeared as if a shrink ray had zapped her.

After that, it was time to go, as a call came in for them to do their jobs.  We scurried off the lot before the trucks had to rush away.  One of the men there explained that they used to have over 100 schools come to visit their fire house annually, but, due to budget problems, they’d had to curtail the public elementary school field trips in past years.  We really appreciate their time, and their invaluable contribution to our city.  Thanks, Engine 9!

1 comment:

Lorretta said...

The combination ladders firefighters have are incredibly useful for the job.


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