Shift Work

One thing that I was really impressed with the night of the fire was the skill and efficiency of the firefighters that came.

Also, how many there were. I bet there were 50 in all. At 12:30 in the morning.

By the time all of the trucks had arrived they lined the whole block up and down. I think I counted 8. The funny thing is, I think I counted, but now that I am actually thinking about it, I’m not sure I did. There are lots of memories like that, I am not sure what has gotten lost in the “smoke” of that evening.

Anyway, as I was watching them gather outside the front of the house with all their equipment; oxygen tanks, hooks, axes, helmets, fire suits, and so much more, I couldn’t help but be calmed by their sense of routine.

They knew what they were doing, and they were doing it well.

I could see teams coming out, heading to a recovery area, where they got water, took off some of their gear, and rested. At the same time, another team of about 8 went in. One shift in, one shift out. Like a well-oiled machine. For four hours.

Their axes and strange hooked poles kind of scared me and made me realize that there was going to be a lot of damage inside. Even though I knew that in my head, it was still shocking when we were finally allowed to go in.

A big thank you to all the men and women out there who literally put their life on the line to control this beautiful, dangerous force of nature we call fire. I am sure grateful for you and your expertise in keeping us all safe. You are truly heroes.

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