Canadian Firefighter Magazine


Jennifer Grigg   

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April 2, 2012 - Like Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Jack Morrison, said in the movie Ladder 49, “You’ll just be sitting around like this, and all of the sudden that gong will go off . . . Man, it’s awesome.” 

happened to be cleaning my bathroom Saturday morning when the pager went off. OK,
OK, half truth. I was actually cleaning the bathroom while waiting for my flat iron to heat up. (And just for the
record, I’m not what you may call high maintenance, and I don’t flat iron my
hair every day. In fact, I rarely do it. I don’t know what the heck possessed
me to do it Saturday morning, but anyway, that’s totally beside the point.
Let’s just leave my hair out of it, OK

Back to
my story. I ran into the bedroom to grab my pager and listen to the call. MVC
. Hmm. And the mental barrage begins. “Ah, an MVC, and it’s up north,
so it’s a Station 2 call and we’re just the backup, so only one truck will roll.
Will I even make the truck? Not likely but . . . I better go anyway. They’ve
been short on manpower lately. OK, I need socks. Oh, and I need to put jeans on
because I’m wearing yoga pants. Oh yeah, gotta unplug the flat iron in the
bathroom, too.”

I grab
the pager, grab the cell phone, run down the stairs, trip over the dog, grab
purse and keys and coat. It’s cold out. I need a coat. Can’t decide on a coat.
Leave without coat. Will just have to hope the Jeep warms up sometime before I get to the hall.


Fast forward
20 minutes. I get to the hall. The tanker is still in the hall. Right on! I’m just
about to key the mic to radio command and ask if he’d like the tanker to
respond when I hear him stand down our hall
. I’m like a big ol’ balloon that’s just been blown up and let go .
. . deflated. Oh well, I think, “I’m here anyway, I’ll go say hi to my fellow
bylaw enforcement officer and grab a coffee.” (As of Monday, I’ll be starting a
contract bylaw enforcement position with the township and will be working out
of our fire hall).

I go
upstairs, to where the offices, training room and kitchen are, say hi to fellow
bylaw officer on the way past his office, and head to the kitchen to make
myself a coffee. I found myself a (relatively) clean mug, poured my coffee,
added the cream and then . . . I hear the driver of our pumper say something
about a vehicle fire. The message is unclear on my pager because of my location
in the hall. I abandon my coffee and run back downstairs thinking for sure
they’ll want the tanker to roll.

Once I’m
back in the truck bay downstairs, I radio command and ask if he would like the
tanker to respond. He advises me to stand by at the hall.

that’s strange.” I think to myself. “I’m sure I had just heard something about a
fire. Oh well, back to my coffee.”

upstairs I go. Again, I pass fellow bylaw officer’s office and he asks what’s
up. I tell him I’m still trying to make my coffee. As I get to the kitchen and
close to my coffee, I hear our dispatch radio command and advise him of a
report of another MVC.

I think,
“NOW, they’re going to need the tanker for sure!” I go running past fellow bylaw
officer’s office for the fourth time and when he asks, “What’s going on?” I
yell back “I gotta roll the tanker!” feeling my invisible red cape flowing
behind me . . . Lol. I crack myself up!

story short, I finally got to roll a truck. Not
literally ROLL a truck
, but rather,
respond the truck to a call.
And afterwards, when we returned from the
call, I even got my coffee. All in all, it was a great day. Just can’t beat the
feeling of driving a fire truck!! Man, I love being a firefighter!!!

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