See all posts in the network tagged with
I’ve been gearing up for Ireland and redesigning RaisingLaddersPhotography.com, so I haven’t had much time for writing lately.
I do, however, have a few gems that I made a while back tucked away for just this occasion—enjoy the photos!
They’re quite the throwback to Academy days—a strange mixture, but I think that’s what makes them fun. You’ll find the remainder of them in a new gallery here. Some of the images contain explicit language, so be forewarned.
P.S. – the two above photos were from an early morning fire in the 1300 block of Trinidad Ave; E10 held the fire at the stairs, while E8 (second-due) got the knock on the basement fire. WUSA9 has a quick tidbit here about the fire.
Enjoy the rest of the posters.
Image © muohace_dc
I used to like playing in the snow, stomping through it… snowball fights, snow angels, the whole nine wintery yards.
But after working in all this?
I’m kicking the head right off of the next snowman I see (and see them I will, because it’s dumping snow right now and I’m working tomorrow).
So many streets were impassable, even with snow chains. Many of our calls involved parking the engine and ambulance way down the block and hiking our equipment through the streets to get to the patient’s house—which may or may not offer us a shoveled walkway for access.
Image © meischc
I lost count of how many times we had to dig the ambulance out. The engine became stuck a few times, too—and without fail, as soon as we dig ourselves out, here comes a shout from down the street: “Hey, can you guys come give us a hand?”
Why you’re out here at this ungodly hour of the night, trying to make headway on an unplowed street in a little-ass sedan, I have no idea. But never mind that, intelligent citizen. We’d be happy to assist you in your time of need. *grumble*
Image © theqspeaks
A few funny moments:
- Walking back down the street—carrying the med bag, cardiac monitor, and O2 bottle—I slipped and landed, cartoon-style, right on my ass (I only wish the oxygen bottle hadn’t fallen between my legs at that exact instant). A few concerned folks who were out shoveling their sidewalks sharply stifled their laughter and asked if I was okay. Ah, everything’s okay here; my pride broke my fall.
- Warning: not all packed snow is as sturdy as you might think. Standing on what used to be a sidewalk, I was asking questions to a patient outside. Suddenly, I found myself three feet lower than I was before. I’m sure it was quite comical (including my awkward climb out of the thigh-deep snow): “So sir, how long have you been FOOOM—uh, dammit.”
- “Hey rookie! Why don’t you climb up front and see how the engine handles in the snow.” Shit. As I hauled myself into the driver’s seat, I experienced a horrible recurring dream that always ended with me typing a very long letter: “Dear Fire Chief…”
- Calls delayed dinner until 8pm; calls further delayed my cleaning duties, such that I was still mopping at midnight. (Being a rookie; ain’t it grand??)
- 1:30 a.m. – “Ma’am, how long have you been experiencing this headache?” “Since July.”
- 4:20 a.m. – resetting a fire alarm at a large garbage facility, slogging through (what I hope was) water as we contemplated what time our relief would arrive.
I folded up my sheets and pillow at 4:45 a.m., having not even climbed into bed once.
Image © triotriotrio
As far as keeping up with changing weather conditions, Twitter can prove extremely useful.
DC Fire/EMS (@dcfireems):
DC Dept. of Transportation (@DDOTDC):
Maryland State Hwy Administration (@MDSHA):
They’re perfect for mobile updates, so you can keep updated whether you’re out and about or stuck inside.
I’ll be out there tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to another fun-filled tour on the Northeast streets…
Stay safe, everyone.
Be forewarned: I have absolutely no Irish blood in me. However, given the great and long-standing tradition that those with Irish heritage hold within fire departments throughout the nation (as well as my upcoming trip to Ireland, which I’ll talk about later), I felt it only proper to craft something today about the Dublin Fire Brigade.
Although officially founded in 1862 by the Dublin Corporation Fire Brigade Act, the country of Ireland has written records and legislation pertaining to firefighting operations dating back to the 12th century A.D. According to the Irish Fire Services website, such archaically written gems include provisions for “forty buckets of leather for carrying of water to fight fires and twelve graps (sic) of iron for pulling houses that chance to be afire” (1546 A.D.), and the more absurdly graphic “…any person answerable for the burning of a street shall be arrested, cast into the middle of the fire, or pay a fine of 100 shillings” (1305 A.D.) As we would later see in the American history of volunteerism, Irish insurance companies would place “fire marks” on buildings to state which company protected the structure; for example, Sun Alliance placed a large metal sun with rays emanating outwards from it. (As a sidenote, Sun Alliance is still in business to this day—the original fire mark is visible at the bottom of their History page.)
The original superintendent—also known as the Chief Fire Officer—was a man by the name of J.R. Ingram, a native Dubliner who was a volunteer firefighter in both London and New York prior to his appointment. His initial brigade consisted of twenty-four men in a house off of Winetavern Street in Dublin, right near the famous Christchurch Cathedral.
Today, the Dublin Fire Brigade comprises almost 900 members with 14 stations, 22 fire engines, 12 ambulances, and a response area containing over 1 million citizens. The Fire Brigade runs the Emergency Ambulance Service (all the firefighters are paramedics, too) as well as staffing the call-taking center with actual firefighters. Their apparatus is currently manufactured by UK-based John Dennis Coachbuilders, and the training regimen runs about 16 weeks for basic firefighting. As stated before, much of this information is available through their well-stocked website or this nice little find, The Irish Fire Service’s Firefighter Handbook (it’s 277 pp. and 2.71MB, so be careful opening it. You’d be better off right-clicking and downloading it if you want to read it).
So anyways, let’s get down to business. In the end of February, I’ll be traveling to Dublin for almost a week of sightseeing, vacation, and (hopefully) a good bit of photography (both fire department and otherwise)—I’ve already piqued my interest with a Flickr search!
I’ve got some t-shirts and patches that I’m hoping to do a little trading with; what would really be great is if any readers/fellow bloggers know anyone who could get in touch with a DFB member I could meet up with. Medic 999, I’m looking at you! I know you’re in the UK, but just like us DCFD guys know some people in FDNY, I would hope you might have a few buddies in Ireland.