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June 5, 2012
By Jennifer Grigg


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June 5, 2012, Midland, Ont. - Being a member of a volunteer fire department affords one certain privileges not necessarily enjoyed by others. Translation: by volunteering to be on standby for the Just Add Water Festival in Port Severn on Saturday night, a group of us was fortunate enough to see Kim Mitchell perform live, in addition to the few hundred people at the festival.

June 5, 2012, Midland, Ont. – Being a member of a volunteer fire department affords one certain privileges not necessarily enjoyed by others. Translation: by volunteering to be on standby for the Just Add Water Festival in Port Severn on Saturday night, a group of us was fortunate enough to see Kim Mitchell perform live, in addition to the few hundred people at the festival.

It sure sounded like a great idea to me. I’d never seen Kim Mitchell in concert (at least I didn’t think I had . . . my sister insists that we saw him years ago at a bar in Penetang called The Brule. I’m sure I would remember something like that. I can’t understand how I wouldn’t remember seeing Kim Mitchell in a bar in Penetang. C’mon . . . I still don’t believe her.)

To make a great night even better, one of the firefighters had brought DVDs of the 70s TV show Emergency! to the hall. What a classic! I was so excited when I saw that box set; I couldn’t wait to pop a DVD into the DVD player. (Almost as excited as when the box set of the entire Third Watch series that my significant other had ordered online from some website arrived in the mail, but that’s another story – came from China, was all recorded off NBC. Sad but true.)

Anyway, both shows are classics. At least, that’s what some of us, ahem, older members of the department thought. The one 20-something year old in the room had never seen, nor heard of, the iconic favourite of all firefighters. Needless to say, after watching a couple of episodes, I’d be willing to bet that he couldn’t wait to run out and buy his own set of DVDs. The action, the drama, the acting . . . good ol’ Roy and Gage, what a team! They did it all.
[Editor’s note from Laura: Randolph Mantooth is speaking at the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia conference this week – not kidding!]

I digress. Back to my story. After watching a few episodes, it was time to head over to the festival and see another icon, Kim Mitchell. We happened to be standing near the stage as he came out of his trailer and got ready to appear before the masses. As he walked by, I thought to myself, “Holy heck! Where’s the long hair and the OPP ball cap???” This man didn’t look like the guy on the Akimbo Alogo album (yes, I said ALBUM, for you young ‘uns out there) that I listened to growing up.

His looks may have changed somewhat, but he still rocked like I remember and I’m sure everyone there that night would agree with me. (At least I know I’ll remember it this time . . . ) Awesome show, great tunes, well worth being on standby at the fire hall. Totally worth it. Even got a great pic of my friend and me in front of our new marine unit . . . in our dreams, anyway!

As the show ended and the crowd began to disperse, we had one more thing to do before we went home, which was to help take down the stage. The show was over at about 10:30 p.m. so I sent a quick text home to say that I wouldn’t be too late. How hard could it be? There were six of us there from the fire department to help the stage crew so I figured we’d be done in no time.

We got back to the hall at . . . 3 a.m. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. I was soaked from the rain, covered in mud, tired, cold and downright pooped! I could not believe how much work was involved, and that there were only six guys there to do it, aside from the firefighters. What was I thinking???

Long story short, loved Kim Mitchell. Loved watching old episodes of Emergency!. Not so happy about the fact that I still hurt. Note to self: don’t sign up next year. Lol.

Jennifer Mabee is a volunteer with the Township of Georgian Bay Fire Department in Ontario. She began her fire career with the Township of Georgian Bay in 1997 and became the department's fire prevention officer in 2000 and a captain in 2003. She was a fire inspector with the City of Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services before taking time off to focus on family, and is excited to be back at it. E-mail her at jhook0312@yahoo.ca.


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