I overslept Friday. Missed the alarm or turned it off in my sleep. My daily routine was totally messed up. I had to rush to get down to the garage because I had an early appointment Then the actual Friday took off and I skipped breakfast and before I knew it Lunch time!
Because I did not work out I also missed that Jay my friend and workout partner missed too. He later texted me that his wife had been shot last evening. Dang all kinds of scenarios flew through my brain and I was like WOW! Then my brain calmed down and I waited for Jay to text me back. Hit by a ricochet and nicked a leg artery. Not life threatening but surely random and scary.
Troop 919 was at Camp Raven Knob with the scouts working on merit badges and the adults working as Rangers. We got many items accomplished for Dave and Company. We got the word that a Scout and Adult leader were killed when a tree fell on their tent while on a trip to the Northern tier. Random and Scary.
Roberta and I were on the way to 6th week campfire at CRK when Vienna was alerted to assist Old Richmond on a house fire. Storms were popping up everywhere. I diverted to the fire and was pleased to learn water supply had been established and I could be a firefighter.
I usually take the command roles the other Chiefs need for me to take and due to my arrival time it usually is Water. I got dressed and got to the front yard after the first attack crews had used all the air and come out. The heat was brutal and most were spent. I was asked to form a crew and finish the interior fire attack and start vent and overhaul.
I had my passport already ready and had 4 FF jump at the chance to see some fire. I had a mixed crew and we talked on the yard as we masked up. Hose-lines at the ready we entered and took rooms to open windows and check the attic. Brown smoke was still coming from the roof near the chimney. We started on the un-burned side of the house and worked into the fire rooms. Windows opened and attic checked in each room with a thorough secondary search too.
We found the fire in a vaulted ceiling room in the wall and dead space over the ceiling. We had to coordinate with a ladder crew working next to the chimney. We hosed it to death… I gave my crew the go ahead to finish and go to rehab after I heard the 1st low air alarms start ringing.
I stepped outside and found 1 lone FF trying to move the ladder and get to some hidden fire next to the chimney. I guess the first crew succumbed to the heat and took a break. I got command to send me some fresh FF and got them to work. As I took my stuff off I realized it was raining and we were in a massive thunderstorm. The rain was pouring down and felt great on my hot head. The mask and hood under the helmet kept me from hearing or seeing the rain as it started. The first Thunder I heard was just as I removed the helmet.
Now I was just another FF getting the hot stuff off but still a Chief Officer. Lightening!!! Ladders!!! Aluminum! I looked around and the yard was a scramble to grab equipment, get to cover and still continue to put the fire out. I had a crew in danger of the elements. I needed a crew to go to the roof to finish putting out the active fire under the 2nd roof but above the 1st. All would have to wait till the cloud cleared.
I haven’t said that my oldest son was in the first crew and my youngest son in the second crew. Both were in danger of the Fire, Brutal heat, and Lightening storm. I knew the dangers to us all and still kept us in the danger zone because of training, situational awareness, and faith.
I guess I scared the paramedic because she rushed up with 2 water glasses after I walked back to the Engine. My face gets really red when I am hot. 100 degrees before the fire and 25-30 minutes in full turnout gear will run up the heat stress on the body. I was ready to cool off and welcomed the water. After a brief rest I went back as the cloud moved off and helped direct and coordinate the side D crew and get another crew up to finish off the fire.
An Old Richmond engineer brought me another water and asked for my pack. I guessed it was time to go put it in the truck and take the coat off and release the heat. Command assigned another officer and off I went. Roberta was still at the truck and helped me out of the turnout gear. We talked about the fire and storm and missing campfire.
We never talked about the dangers and random and scary things that happen. I am at peace with the confidence of Faith in God. I put my faith in Christ, training, youthful exuberance and random Great things. I am positive and keep positive friends and co-workers. I think positively and write in the positive light.
I will continue to help my community, climb ladders, fight fire, direct traffic, work and play in the heat, go camping in the trees, and live life , teach the youth and Love my Roberta. I will turn my kids loose on the world, and be scared for them. Positive scared and expecting the best. Thanks Lord and Roberta and all my magnificent Friends