Thursday, October 12, 2017

City of Jackson Fire Station

After meeting a retired firefighter I asked him how a curious person like myself could get a tour of an active fire station. He said all I would have to do is show up, and ask them! 

Seeing as the City of Jackson fire station is just one block from one of my jobs I headed down there after work one day. There was practically nothing going on so the friendly man who answered the door gladly showed me around the station. 

I think firefighters are extremely cool people. They selflessly protect us from injury and fire, how heroic! I am interested in how they live their lives, while at work. What the flow of their day is like. Where they sleep. Do they really still use fire poles? Plus, oddly, one of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of a fire truck decelerating. After telling this to a firefighter they quickly named it, it's called the Jake Brake. My love has a name!  

Seeing the kitchen, I learned that the lowest ranked firefighter on any particular shift is the one who does the cooking. Sometimes with good and bad results. Members of the shift crew grocery shop, cook, and eat together, each person pitching in a little cash each time. 

Wondering about the fire poles? I learned that the station I visited is the last station in the county with active fire poles. According to updated regulations, stations must be equipped with slides, not poles. If work were to be done on the station and the poles had to be removed, they would be gone forever. They work with body weight. There is essentially a trap door that is closed, to prevent someone from falling down the hole. Once weight is put on the pole the trap door opens.  

Wanting to actually ride on the truck, I asked how a person might get the opportunity to do a ride along. It was as easy as it was to get a tour. I signed a waiver with the captain and was told that I could come back anytime I am free. I am able to hang out with the firefighters on shift and "hope" there will be a call. Since this station does 5,000 runs per year my odds are pretty good. I'd like to go during a dinner time, because I was told I could eat with them as well. Stay tuned because I'll be sure to write about that.