Sunday, December 20, 2009
My most favourite firefighters in the world are the old timers. They are who I professionally strive to be. They've seen and done it all, and as such, are so laid back that you would barely think they had an increased pulse rate when the alarm goes. My adrenaline levels still spike a bit the minute I enter through the bay doors at the start of shift. It's always in anticipation of what the day might bring and it is not until I have checked in my breathing apparatus, personal equipment and all the tools I am responsible for on the truck that I start to settle down. The old guys just take it in stride. They come in, relaxed and looking almost half asleep with a mug of hot coffee in their hand. When the alarms go off they hop on the trucks as if going for a Sunday ride whereas I scramble to get into my gear as quickly as possible. And even when we get to the call and a house is burning down they move slowly and methodically to get the job done. They move with purpose and with the confidence one obtains from experience. Whereas I still often fight with the pressure of the hose, they command it, to ultimately still and extinguish the fire like the flame tamers they are. I am almost disappointed when the fire is out because to watch the old guys fight the fire, is pure poetry in motion.