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Monday, August 22, 2011

What took you so long?

  So much has happened since the last time I put in an entry! So I am sorry in advance if this reads like one big run on  sentence. It feels like it was. I feel like in the last two weeks I have fought and not only survived, a fierce and bloody battle like in Lord of the Rings, but came out with arms raised in amazing victory. Then, as if it couldn't get any better, Aslan from Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, gives me all new magical weapons and armour. AND it is awesome.
  Let's see... Well, we found out why our normal July in our business has only made 3K instead of 20K, so our fire fighters' monthly paycheck had to go to pay our guys, (not unheard of by the way), had a nervous break down a few times, my wonderful husband turned 31, I had a party for him, made him a deer hunter cake, that didn't come to as planned. My Grandpa had an 80th birthday party, so I made him women's tennis players torso for his cake. My poor Grams went into the hospital for three poor Mom had to take her there and had to miss the party she'd planned for my Grandpa all week. I got to go on call with my hottie fire fighter. Which was super cool. But also very eye opening. I am now a proud member of the" I have been left some where by my hubby fire fighter" club. I got stuck for the first time because he had to leave me at the party to go on some crazy calls from a wicked storm. Plus on a weekend we had full of special plans, which we never do, we had to ditch, miss, or reschedule till further notice, because of the fire dept. To top it off, we had no power when we came home after midnight from the fire department, because some one forgot to to us the call was cleared and we could go!!!
 There were over 40 calls that night and there were, say, only three or four firefighters responding.  Don't forget we are paid on call. So there is only one officer on call all weekend. Well if no one else wants to come, they don't have to. Weekends  aren't usually a problem, except in the summer and every one goes on vacation or is busy at home doing "things". Which is fine. There are many times I have told Micah not tonight, please, I need you. It is so hard to know someone out there is paying that price though. But I do understand totally!! Who wants to leave their house in a storm to move trees, wait for DTE, help some one who got smacked in the face by a tree? Thank God my husband choose to go this night. Even though, yes we had things going on. Yes an Uncle was here with his family we haven't seen in five years. Yes he went. He didn't ask. He simply said, Honey I need to go. And yes I did not complain. Don't get me wrong, there may have been a time when I did, but not anymore. He was gone for five hours, came back at 10, we started to pull out from my parents house and guess what happens? The tones on his pager go off. The dispatchers voice comes on the channel. Male, unconscious, difficulty breathing. We looked at each other and smiled. I think one of us said,  "Figures!"
  You see, my Mom had just got home from the hospital and stole my children to spend the night to cuddle with and get her love from. We were super excited because we had a date all day the next day, and that made it even better to have the night off together. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. SO there goes that! Well, at least  untill two in the morning anyway. haha!!! (Shout out to all practicing being a Surrendered Wife.) Me, being the driver of our emergency vehicle, got super excited, but nervous at the same time. We went direct to the scene, which means we went right to the place that called 911 instead of first having to go to the station to get a truck. That way the truck can leave instead of waiting for the sufficient amount of people needed on scene, they meet there. Normally this doesn't happen but you do what you gotta do to get personnel there as quickly as possible.
 We arrived first, but because we have no equipment couldn't go in. There was someone outside the patients' house, waiting to show us where to go. Driving by them was very odd. It is heart wrenching for a fire fighter to know you have to wait for a truck or an ambulance to arrive. Of course they would arrived in a minute, but it seemed like forever. It must have felt a lot longer to the poor guy in front of his house, waiting for an ambulance to show. (Hey, ya know, if we were a full time department, someone would have been there waiting for that call and would have gotten there quicker, but what does minutes mean to you during a heart attack, right?) (I hope you hear the sarcasm.) We pulled up right behind the fire truck and Micah jumped out as soon as my break was on. He yelled instructions to me as he left, like STAY here!! As if I was going anywhere. HA!  It is even more heart wrenching to hear the guy ask Micah who has been on every call that night, "What took you guys so long?" I just wanna yell out- don't vote for a volunteer fire department!!! We want to help more. We want to be there faster. BUT the township officials have put you in this situation. (eh he he heemmm) So if you are going to complain to anyone, complain to them. Your firefighters are working for you, miss most of their life and time with their family, for you, yet they receive little thanks, nor do they expect it. They are hired in, being warned, you aren't in this for money, or to be a hero. Hero's kill people. You have to be a team player and your sole purpose to be on the department is to give back, and make sure that no man is left behind. So next time you vote, ask yourself, what is this person going to do with the money you have been voting for the fire departments to get. For their millage. Take a look at where it has been spent. You know what would be even better? Ask your Chief who they would vote for and why. Who they wouldn't vote for and why.  I think what we need is a full time department. What do you think Livingston County Voters?! If you think we do too, really do some research. Don't vote for someone who doesn't think that we do. That is pushing for to be a charter. Trust they aren't going to tell you they don't either. Let the facts and the proof of their actions stand loud, louder than their words, for all to see. Let us put together the pieces, before it costs us most importantly lives of people we love, and the least important, our tax payers money.
 SO fellow wives and fire fighters, has any one out there gone from paid on call, to full time? What struggles happened in the mean time? How did it turn out? Did you lose a lot of good fire fighters?


  1. Oh goodness! We so went there 6 or 7 years ago. Our volunteer dept fought it, but it was for the good of the community by far. We didn't have near the call volume you are talking about and if we had it would have led to many health issues.

    The dept we merged to hired from within for many, many years. So if you were a volunteer then you tested, etc. if you wanted to.

    The drama sucked in the mean time. Hubby was volunteer for a little bit after we merged. It was rough because you just can't get to the station for calls as fast as the guys staying right there. BUT for us it worked out great. He's been full-time for 4.5 years now and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

    There is ALWAYS drama. Fire departments are high school all over again, but there's no graduation. lol

  2. Oh my gosh that made my laugh really hard! It IS like highschool! So funny. Thanks Val for responding! I hope that whatever happens turns out for the best too. The community really deserves it. You are right. Our volume normally isn't quite that high, but on a storm night every one's trees fall over around here. We are close to Ann Arbor, but more in the country. We also have a lot of medicals. You guys are emt first responders too right?