Covering a shift …

It’s not as fun as it used to be …. I guess maybe because I’m getting older.

I’ll have to admit to being a creature of habit. I’m used to my station…. my rig …. my bed etc and when you “travel” or cover someone’s shift, everything is different (unless you cover in your own house).

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I worked for Rhett this past Saturday. His Captain is off on vacation and he needed to be out of town for family. With the Captain off, Rhett ( the Lt) moves up as the Officer so for him to now get the day off, he needed to find a Lt. or above to ride…. that’s where I came in.

Obviously, I don’t mind covering for Rhett but to be honest, the differences between stations had me “off my game” a bit.

The piece assigned to Station #3 is a “squirt” …. yea …. thanks Kalamazoo.

Before being transferred out here to “Lucky #13” I was assigned to Station #3 so the rig and accommodations  are not all that unfamiliar to me.   There are quite a few differences though.

To begin with, because Rhett had been “riding the seat” I had to take the time to remove his booster seat before I could even put my gear on the rig ( LOL…. that was for you Statter )

All kidding aside …. our two rigs are very different so my “set up” has to change.

The seat belt is in a different location than I’m used to reaching for. My helmet, gloves etc are not where I’m accustomed to them sitting.

The run books, computer etc … everything is in a different location. You feel like you’re always looking or reaching for something that is normally within reach and 2nd nature for ya when you’re in your own piece.

The good news is that Station #3-A has a solid crew … a VERY solid crew. They took very good care of me and paid no attention to my fumbling around over in the Captain’s seat.

“Big” Dave Lucas was my driver for the day so I didn’t have to worry about getting to where we were headed or having water on the line.

Big “Luke” is squared away.

He used to be a Lieutenant ….  for a day or so anyway (our Lieutenants are our driver / operators and act as the Officer in the Captain’s absence).  He also was or is #1 on the lieutenants list … if there even is a list. Yea … I know … I’m confused as well.

You see, 2 years ago; Lucas tested out #1 on the Lieutenant’s list for promotions. One of my members, from #9-C ;  Scott “Coon” Boone tested out #2.

Our promotional testing consists of both a written test and extensive practical exercises. It is a very stressful and competitive process. It’s an accomplishment to land in the Top 10 of the scoring, much less 1 and 2.

Several promotions were made including 4 Lieutenant positions. Big Luke and Coon made it ! Well almost. A day or so after they were told they were promoted, our admin figured out that they had miscalculated our available positions. The promotions were taken back!   BOOMERANG  BUGLES !  GONE !

I posted about it on Engine 9’s Blog.. the “Melrose Misfits”  HERE .

(You can also find a picture of me without my mustache in that post … just like the Lt. bugles…GONE)

I also posted this video of Ernest T. Bass counting in an earlier post on that site….I still laugh every time I see it.


My point here is that Lucas is a good driver / operator and that made my ride at #3 much easier.

It’s a good thing too because we had a fairly busy tour.

The most excitement was catching “The Great JC Penny Mulch Fire of 2012” and a mutual aid cooking fire out in the County.

We switched out the firefighters for the shift. I started out with Brad Harris ( coach for the Roanoke Rampage) and switched over to Eric “Wingnut” Mulford halfway through the tour.

Harris caught the cooking fire and Wingnut was riding on the mulch fire.

Both Harris and Mulford are Medics so they split the shift on the ambo. Harris rode the 2nd half on the ambulance and took a beating …. I’m suprised he didn’t just quit and walk out 😉

Rhett was in Nashville, Tn visiting family and, every time he opened a beer; would call to check in on us.

I can’t believe he would call and frett us like that.

My regular followers know that there are a lot of things that I can tolerate but FRETTING is not one of them !

Unfortunately, this is the Fire Department and as we often say …. “it’s all on the big wheel” (meaning sooner or later …. it will roll back around to you).

And roll it did. Rhett and the family tried to head home yesterday afternoon.

Of course that put him on the interstate about the time all the snow hit. He ended up parked on the Northbound side of I-81 for about 5 hours. The good news is that they had plenty of gas and some movies to watch so they stayed warm and entertained. He eventually made it home… safe and sound.

I should have know he’d have trouble driving in the snow despite the fact that he’s a Yankee. We travel a lot together and every time he drives, it’s a gamble. He does GREAT in a fire truck but when he gets behind the wheel of the Blog Mobile … LOOK OUT.

Driving in the snow is not that difficult. Hell …. even the Buckaroo can do it ..

How many 3 year olds do you know that can drive better than Rhett?  LMAO.

So yea…  as you could see in the video …it snowed … and in FEBRUARY … imaging that!

We got about 8-10 inches at the house … not so much here in “The Noke”.

I have to admit that I LOVE snow and wish it had gotten butt deep to a giraffe.

Of course, snow adds a few more challenges to my life both on the farm and on the job.

That said … if it was easy … everybody would do it !

Farm challenges aren’t so bad ….

I’ve got the equipment  to handle it and my cows adapt pretty well.

I do often wonder what a Texas Longhorn is thinking while standing in the middle of a wet and cold Virginia snow…lol

Probably what “Rookie Randy” finds himself thinking most of the time … “why in the hell did I follow him to HERE ! ”   LMAO


Anyway, you folks seem to enjoy some of the farm and “Buckaroo” pics AND … everyone else has been posting their “snow pics” so I’ll add a few more of mine for your viewing pleasure.

The challenges a snow presents at the firehouse are obviously different but weren’t a factor today.

After all that snow yesterday, the temperatures today reached the mid 40’s so most of the white stuff went away.

It was a wet and heavy snow so we’ve been running “wires down” calls Department wide ALL DAY LONG! A couple of EMS and fire runs thrown into the mix but nothing exciting or worth reporting.

We are working the “Hell Cycle” this week ( Mon, Wed, Fri ) so I’ll be checking back in with posts kinda regular.

Sorry for the “random thoughts” and “rambling”  … it’s just the mind set I’m in tonight.

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Thanks again …. stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines