Archive for January2009


There are certain days at the Academy when we feel like we're on a trivia show—except that we're not playing for money, we're playing for the privilege of not running the Tower. Okay, well sometimes it's not that bad. But we are quizzed on things a few times a week. They can range from departmental officers ("Who's the […]

Flashback week, part 1.

I wanted to save this until later (i.e. a hopefully-larger readership), but I looked over it this afternoon and simply couldn't help but post it. It's one of my favorite stories from my ER days. Enjoy! —– Safe Haven "Hi, I'd like to leave my baby here." I looked up, slightly annoyed that the patient […]

Day 31: From water to fire.

First and foremost, congratulations to everyone who donated to, participated in, or otherwise supported the members who did the Polar Bear Plunge this weekend! The Department raised almost $12,000 in total for the Maryland Special Olympics, and we had a blast doing it.  I think some of us who plunged were still feeling the effects […]

Photos, round 2.

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In honor of yesterday's historic moment, I figured I should post a few Inauguration photos that I took while downtown (yes, I was one of the crazy people who decided to test my mettle and brave the crowds). I'll let the pictures do the talking; no need for a photo essay here. One or two […]

Photos, round 1.

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I've decided that instead of retrofitting posts with photos (which would require a bunch of work on the readers' part, digging back through the blog to see them), I'll just present them sequentially in today's post. My friend Sean did something similar to recap 2008 in his blog. First and foremost… The Tower. Don't let the […]

Long weekend…

…with lots of time to revise photos and ponder future posts. I was reading an account of the passengers of the plane that crashed into the Hudson this past week. Coming from The Guardian, a UK news source, it's a very moving article that does a damn good job of storytelling without any of the […]

An open letter.

An open letter to the members of the Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS Department, as well as all readers/fans of RaisingLadders: Every single day, I’m damn proud to polish my boots and walk into the Academy with our patch on my sleeve. Some don’t understand why it’s so important—all the lint-rolling, the posture adjustments, and […]

Day 24: Tower blitz

Okay, good-news/bad-news time. Good news? I brought the camera along today, and snapped some great photos. I’ll be retro-fitting blog posts with relevant pictures of the academy or our apparatus, as needed. I also have some nice atmosphere shots that provide a frame of reference for the complex that we recruits spend so much damn […]

Day 23: Almost Truckies

(N.B. – Friday's post is one below, and it's a good one. I know, I know… it was a busy weekend. Cut me a break, would ya? It's worth the wait.) ______ Over the weeks, you find that every so often DCFD gives you a gift. It has no price, nor any substance; but it’s […]

Day 22: Just a taste

“Ah, fuck this classroom shit. Let’s go light something on fire.” …and thus our Friday began. Sgt. Paulson revealed to us that there really was no agenda for this particular Friday, as everyone had already passed their EMT tests and it was too early to start firefighting bookwork. He quickly grew tired of telling stories […]

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