Tuesday, March 31, 2009

rookie psa

Now I am by no means a seasoned old-timer on the firetrucks but I have had enough kicks at the can to pass on a little bit of knowledge that is not written in any fire academy syllabus. I'm not going to offer cliche advice like 'stay cool' or 'there is no I in Team'. Rather, with great solemnity, I tell every rookie that the most important piece of information I can give is the same teaching I give to my toddler which is: go potty. Yep. Go potty.

When you need to go, do so immediately. Any chore or duty or involvement in leisure time can wait a few minutes. Put down that newspaper you're reading or take it with you to the throne room. If it's mealtime and you're the cook, the troops can wait. Just make sure you wash your hands afterwards. If you've had more than 2 cups of coffee at the start of shift, go potty, even if you feel like you don't have to. You do not want to be called to a high rise fire and be thinking of your bladder... all that flowing water from hydrants and hi-volume hoses won't help your situation. You may have some explaining to do back at the hall as to how water ended up IN your boots. And get stuck with a nickname like Puddles or Tinkles till long after you retire.

And heaven help you if you need to do something more than pee. If we're ever at a call together and you have a strange look of urgency on your face, that's when, my dear rookie, you're all on your own. And don't say I never warned you... as I think long and hard about a great nickname.

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