Ah, some of the many things that plague us during the hot months of summer. I worked overtime at E13 (just south of the Mall) the other day, and I witnessed the difficulties of trying to navigate the major arteries in and out of DC. I live in the city, so I’m well aware of how bad the traffic can be; but even with lights and sirens, struggling through 14th St Bridge traffic during rush hour can be infuriating.
Downtown difficulties aside, other areas afford their own set of troubles to us. It seems like this city is always under construction; ask any firefighter you know, and I’m sure each one will have their own “…well, they closed off this street,” or “…they just put in too many damn speedbumps on that road!” story.
The heat doesn’t help any, either. “Man down” is a popular call; as are the “unconscious” or “heat emergencies.” As the humidity and temperature climb, the calls certainly won’t stop coming. The elderly, pediatrics, perfectly healthy individuals; nobody is excluded. Mother Nature has no mercy, and takes its toll evenly on both the patients and the responders. (It seems that these days, the @dcfireems Twitter account has a rolling reminder to stay hydrated; excellent advice, if only people would listen!)
Lastly, the reason for the season: fireworks. Last year, I was working in Southeast on July 3rd, and I had my own mishaps while we were looking for the source of smoke in a sub-basement (long story); I’m sure somebody will have a good story from this holiday.
Let me know in a few days if anyone encountered anything interesting from the 4th; other than that, be safe this weekend—both on duty and off!