Two tours, one fire.

As I walked out of the locker room, I saw my officer traversing my field of view in a big hurry.
I was on the phone at the time, and my attention was drawn to his form crossing the bay floor. i/This must be something important./i
My curiosity was answered a moment later, when I heard a voice echoing from the watch desk: “1212 Eaton St! First due, first due!”
“Shit, we’ve got a box. I gotta go.”
Before I even finished the sentence, I tossed my phone in my pocket and broke into a full sprint from the back of the bay. I weaved my way through and around the boat, the tactical support truck, and the other pieces of Special Ops apparatus that stood between me and the engine.
I turned to Antoine as we pulled on our coats and remarked that I knew we’d end up in this neighborhood tonight. As I remember from my mentoring days, we routinely run into the notorious neighborhood of Barry Farms at least a few times a tour–tonight, on only my second tour back at 15, I had no clue that we’d be getting a first-due fire.
Seconds later, we turned the corner to Eaton St and started looking around—-nothing yet. A quick right turn later, we had hopped a curb and pulled up in front of a two-story end unit with fire coming from the second-floor window.
The first half of the crosslay smoothly found its way onto my shoulder; I spun and took off, pulling the remainder of the hoseline into a neat pile next to the wagon.
The Lieutenant and I pushed up the stairs until we could no longer see; we masked up at the top of the stairs and made the U-turn towards the fire room. Just inside the doorway, I parked myself off to the side and opened up into the ceiling.
It was quick work, since it was only a room-and-contents; thankfully, with the Squad and Engine 25 pushing right up behind us, we got it quick and were able to knock it within a few minutes.
—————
“Hey, rook!”
I was outside, replacing my SCBA bottle. I looked up through my mop of sweat-soaked hair to find one of the squad guys ambling towards me.
“Didn’t take you long to earn your shirt, huh?”
I cocked my head quizzically.
“You can’t wear 15 Engine colors until you get a fire.”
He paused as I made the ah-ha! face.
(I should have known it was coming.)
As he turned away, he laughed over his shoulder:
“The hard part is over. Now all you have to do is get out of probation, dumbass.”

rl_4-5-10-102

As I walked out of the locker room, I saw my officer traversing my field of view in a big hurry.

I was on the phone at the time, and my attention was drawn to his form crossing the bay floor. This must be something important.

My curiosity was answered a moment later, when I heard a voice echoing from the watch desk: “1212 Eaton St! First due, first due!”

“Shit, we’ve got a box. I gotta go.”

Before I even finished the sentence, I tossed my phone in my pocket and broke into a full sprint from the back of the bay. I weaved my way through and around the boat, the tactical support truck, and the other pieces of Special Operations apparatus that stood between me and the engine.

I turned to Antoine as we pulled on our coats and remarked that I knew we’d end up in this neighborhood tonight. As I remember from my mentoring days, we routinely run into the notorious neighborhood of Barry Farms at least a few times a tour—but tonight, on only my second tour back at 15, I had no clue that we’d be getting a first-due fire.

Seconds later, we turned the corner to Eaton St and started looking around—nothing yet. A quick right turn later, we had hopped a curb and pulled up in front of a two-story end unit with fire coming from the second-floor window.

The first half of the crosslay smoothly found its way onto my shoulder; I spun and took off, pulling the remainder of the hoseline into a neat pile next to the wagon.

The Lieutenant and I pushed up the stairs until we could no longer see; we masked up at the top of the stairs and made a U-turn towards the fire room. Just inside the doorway, I parked myself off to the side and opened up into the ceiling.

It was quick work, since it was only a room-and-contents; thankfully, with the Squad and Engine 25 pushing right up behind us, we got it quick and were able to knock it within a few minutes.

rl_4-5-10-101_smThe aftermath. Fire was showing from the window directly above the front door.

—————

“Hey, rook!”

I was outside, replacing my SCBA bottle. I looked up through my mop of sweat-soaked hair to find one of the squad guys ambling towards me.

“Didn’t take you long to earn your shirt, huh?”

I cocked my head quizzically.

“You can’t wear 15 Engine colors until you get a fire.”

He paused as I made the ah-ha! face.

(I should have known it was coming.)

As he turned away, he laughed over his shoulder:

“The hard part is over. Now all you have to do is hurry up and finish your probation, ya dumbass.”

4 Comments

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic
Comments
stephen miller
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
Great job, brethren ... be bald (bold) even off the fire ground.
2014-02-22 09:33:24
John Struve
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
As I read all the above I wondered "How does it work?" Are fire personnel asking for pledges from the public to be paid to this charity when the personnel have their heads shaved? The ad above was not clear to me. I will read it again. The charity is certainly a very worthwhile cause.…
2014-02-22 06:20:28
“Social Media Policy”—how does it affect the bloggers? | Raising Ladders
A word of caution for the chronic Facebook addicts.
[…] over three years ago, I penned a post regarding how firefighters and EMS providers were landing themselves in hot water by using various […]
2014-01-07 17:55:57
Jonny Hope
Farewell, brother.
So very well said Brother. Mike was such an awesome guy. Sure am gonna miss him and his stories. Mike touch so many people on and off the job. Mike will continue to live on in so many of us. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful tribute with us about Mike. 
2013-12-04 21:49:48
Scott Jones
Farewell, brother.
A Very toching tribute from a true brother. Thoughts and prayers to his family and his brothers and sisters in DC.  Scott Jones, BC Springfield, MO
2013-12-04 19:38:25

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"For anyone who ever wanted to grow up and become a firefighter... from someone who did just that."
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