Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dispatches From a Fire Truck

Just as I promised both my readers and myself, I returned to the city of Jackson Fire Station to have a ride along experience. 

I entered the building at about 5 p.m. just as the shift workers were starting to discuss dinner. It became known to me that the issue of the night was going to be how to remove the lid, which was severely stuck, from the the pot of bean soup. As the two guys, whom are firefighters I might remind, realized they couldn't free the lid from the pot, they decided they would be treating themselves to Klavon's Pizza. 

Unlike my first experience at this fire station, these guys weren't so talkative and friendly. Ultimately I was hanging out with the crew, hoping a call might come in, until I had to leave at 7 p.m. The captain briefed me on what I would do if a call was to come in and I just waited. They said they had had one call that day, but inevitably when riders along come in there are no calls. Well that was not one such night. 

At about 5:45 the first call came in. Bells went off and a female voice from the 911 dispatch center was piped through the intercom system telling us to go to a nearby elderly home. Two firefighters and I hopped on the latter truck and headed that way. As the truck pulled out of the station, the siren went on, and the speed increased, I could not wipe the smile off my face. Aside from my love of roller coasters, I don't consider myself an Adeline junkie...but this was WAY cool! 

The call was quick and before I knew it, we were pulling back in, only to hear another call. I switched trucks and headed out to a street near mine for a possible overdose case. If you were unaware, fire personnel goes along with ambulance whenever they are called. All the calls I had anything to do with were medical. 

The second call was rather interesting. A young woman, high on something was hysterical and refusing to get out of her parked vehicle. Police, fire, and paramedics were on scene to help her. As she refused to get out of the car herself, the men forceably removed her and as she fought, six grown men had to strap her to a gurney for her ride to the hospital. 

When we returned and the men began eating their Klavon's Pizza, a third call came in! This time toa nearby apartment complex with someone choking. This was another quick in and out call. I noted to the men is was obvious they don't seem to hang around the scene too long. Each call I went on lasted no longer that 15-25 minutes. They made the point that the department is so understaffed that they have to quickly get off the scene and be ready to receive the next call. With 5,000 calls a year, they are busy. 

I didn't see any fires or bad injuries, which is more or less how I wanted it. I got to ride on the truck three times and found it tough to stop the smile reflex on my face. I felt like I was holding on for dear life. The truck didn't provide the coziest, comfiest ride I've ever had but there was something about the power of the truck, made me feel powerful too. I also got to wear a headset! As I learned, the siren is very loud and those headsets they are wearing allow the firefighters to talk with one another over the sounds.