In the fire service, there isn’t a day that goes by that someone is not giving someone else a hard time. It’s what we do. It’s how keeps our minds off the darker part of the job. It’s also not uncommon for one shift to joke around with the others about recent fires, cleaning the station (or lack of), among many other things. It seems that whichever shift YOU are on is always the best shift, in your mind, and that you notice things the other shift does (or doesn’t do). This is the way things usually go…but not within the past week.
Earlier this week, A-shift caught a fire in Station 2’s area and it was a rough one. Freezing temperatures and ice made the scene miserable for the brothers that were out battling it up into the night. You can click here to read about the fire. Several of the off-duty guys were called in to assist, and it sure sounded like ALL of the guys who assisted gave 110%. The department has been busy since with water pipes and sprinkler lines busting. The call volume has been up and the guys have definitely seen very little sleep in their 24 hour shifts. All these calls fell in B-shifts 4-day break, so we haven’t had to deal with most of it. Everyone of our guys have done an excellent job over the past few days.
Last night, C-3, E-5, E-4, FR-12, E-1, L-1, FR-5, and E-2 responded to a reported apartment fire on Walker Street in the Lynn Garden community. Within a few minutes, Engine 5 arrived on-scene of a two story apartment complex with smoke showing from a 1st floor apartment in the C-side. The crew passed Command to the next arriving Engine and prepared to make an aggressive interior attack on the fire. The fire was quickly located in the apartment and extinguished. The fire was contained to the room of origin with smoke/fire damage and the rest of the apartment did sustain some smoke damage. Luckily, the smoke was discovered early and it allowed crews to arrive before the fire had extended into the other apartments. The smoke was removed from the structure and overhaul was completed. I was able to be an OUTSTANDING firefighter with the rest of the Engine 2 crew since we were assigned to RIT. (My crew called me out on what I had to say in this article.) Within no time, crews were being released from the scene. Great job guys! Here are a few photos from the scene:
Anyone in the fire service knows that a lot of factors just depend on the cards that we are dealt. A-shift were dealt a “loser” the other night, and to protect the safety of the crews, they went defensive until the fire was extinguished. Instead of risking A LOT to save a LITTLE, crews focused on exposure protection to keep a bad situation from getting worse. Last night, B-shift was dealt a good hand and played the cards right. It’s a no brainer that if the fire isn’t called in until the flames are blowing out of the roof that it’s going to be much more complex than if it’s discovered in the incipient stage. With that being said, the performance of your crew can have a negative impact on the scene IF crews do not handle the situation appropriately. Luckily, our officer’s are competent and do a great job of making the right decisions on the fire ground. The important thing is that despite all the hands that have been dealt this week, all the crews returned home the next morning without any injuries. This unfortunately isn’t always the case…
This week also marked the 26 year anniversary of our most recent Line of Duty Death. On January 5th, 1988, Captain Charles Berry succumbed to injuries sustained in an apparatus rollover in the Cooks Valley area. Berry’s grandson now works for our department and carries on the family tradition as a firefighter. I reposted a few articles on Facebook earlier this week showcasing Berry’s career with the Department. WE need to always remember those who came before us because if we don’t, no one else will. Here are a few of the links: