Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Salute to Station 7

Yesterday we got a real treat. Our home teacher from church is a fireman. We mentioned to him once that the kids would love to visit a fire station some time. He invited us to come visit his. We finally had time to take him up on it yesterday, and made the arrangements.

The first thing we learned was that our friend is not just a fireman. He's a battalion chief. The second thing we learned is that firefighters are very good hosts. They bent over backward to show us anything we wanted to see.

For example, they were more than happy to run out their big truck (we also learned the difference between a "truck" and an "engine") and give us a ride in the basket. They didn't take it up to its full height at all, I'm sure, but we were above the power lines. I was amazed at how sturdy it was. Other than minor jolts when it started to move, it was nearly as stable as being on the ground.

Our friend also gave us a tour of all their trucks and engines and a look at all their equipment. He let us try on his equipment as well. I tried the entire outfit, and I'm glad I don't have to be a fireman in my current shape. It was all I could do to move around, let alone run up several flights of stairs, hack down a door, and drag out a 200-pound person.

Emma wanted to try the outfit, too, though she could only handle the turnout coat and helmet.

E.T. phone home!

Everyone, including we parents, found it all fascinating. There is so much behind the scenes that you never think about. For example, all of their stoves and ovens are connected to the alarm. If a call comes in it automatically shuts everything down so that nothing burns while they're away.

They also have ventilation hoses attached to the exhaust pipes of each vehicle that turns on automatically to vent the exhaust outside when they start up the vehicles and get them rolling. They can just drive off, and it's rigged in such a way that the hose comes off automatically as they leave. It also triggers the door to close after they leave.

The kids also got to try running one of their smaller hoses, one they use for brush-fires. What kid doesn't dream of getting to use a fire hose? What parent wouldn't also like to get their hands on one, even if they wouldn't admit it openly?

Anyway, we had a great time and learned a lot! Thanks again to John and the men of Station 7! We appreciate everything you do to help keep our city safe. We definitely appreciate a lot more just what a complex job it can be. Thank you for your service!

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