Friday, March 23, 2012


As much as it kills me to work when it's hot and summery out, I love being at work when it's hot and summery out. Especially on those hot humid nights when all is still and quiet. When it's just you and your crew and the firetruck cruising the streets you feel like you own the town. That sweaty feeling we get wearing full bunker gear while doing our job (while joe public in their right minds are wearing shorts and flip flops) makes you feel like you've earned your keep.

We've had unseasonably warm weather this past week and I'm on cloud nine. I can't be unhappy in the heat..... Which is perhaps why I became a firefighter. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive doing what we do. There is no better and crazier feeling than standing in the middle of a fire and feeling like you are somewhere halfway between heaven and hell. Soon as we punch in at the beginning of a shift we hope the alarm sounds and we can feel again what it's like to stand in the middle of a blaze of glory. To touch it for a sec before we put it out.
And wait for the next one so we can feel the heat once again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

keep your mouth shut

One thing that I never ever say at calls is "He/she/it is going to be fine" because that is between that person and their god and the team of doctors or their insurance company to decide. How can I say they will be fine when I don't know their history, their life story, how they deal with things? And what their pain tolerance might be? How can I make a promise like that?  I have seen people walk away without a scratch after  being extricated from a car that looked like a crushed soda can.  And I've also seen people perish from a small bump on their head when they tripped on the sidewalk.

Another thing I never ever say to someone who is grieving is "I understand". Although well intentioned, the only person who can understand the pain is that person.  I'm particularly sensitive lately when I hear these words uttered at calls. In fact I cringe. Partly because it brings me back to the tough time when my husband and I split. As I signed the separation papers my dragon-lady lawyer touched my arm and said "I understand".  I pulled my arm away and said "Oh do you?  Are you a mother?  Do you know what it's like to have to sit your children down and explain why Daddy isn't living here anymore ". I really wanted to tell her to go F herself but my mother raised me better than that and my lawyer was just going through her lawyerly routine and I was just a number and a damn big number if you knew what lawyers charge these days so I didn't want to take up one more moment of her condescending billable hours.  Bollocks. My pain is my lawyer's gain.

I also hate it when men, upon trying to pick me up say "I get it. I am divorced too". Uhm. No.  You have no freaking clue. Get your head out of your narcissistic ass.  Because first of all if you knew me well enough to even make that dumbass comment, you would know that I am separated and not divorced. Even though divorce is pending and imminent.  And what makes you think that your break up is anything remotely similar to mine?  What makes you think you can get close to me because you happen to think we have that horrible common denominator. Sheesh.

Ok. Rant over. Whew.  Glad I got that out of my system.  lol

Thursday, March 15, 2012


One of the most panicky calls I've had so far when acting as Captain was not a raging inferno but a pretty straightforward medical call. And what I mean by straightforward was that the dude was DRD. As in dead-right-there. We walked into the house, police were already present (said officer coolly mumbled to me 'oh yeah he's done' ). My crew assessed the gentleman and although his body was still warm because he was still in bed under the covers, rigor had set in his jaw and he had lividity on his back. So, I called in a code 5 (obvious signs of death) to dispatch saying we wouldn't be performing any defib protocol. You can imagine my horror when the paramedics arrived and examined the body and turned to me saying that the lividity looked like bruising and his jaw wasn't all that stiff. They were glaring at me as they proceeded to hook up the 12 lead. I knew the guy was dead. I mean I thought he was dead. But self doubt had me going and now I was unsure. I was inwardly freaking as the ECG spit out the reading.

As selfish as it sounds, I never wished until this moment for anyone to stay dead.

Because I would never live down the guilt of failing to provide CPR and due care.

Turns out we made the right call. He was dead. Massive heart attack in his sleep. Although never a happy situation, probably one of the better ways to go.

a gift of healing

One of my dearest girlfriends sent me this poem she came across and I had to post it because with all the changes in my life, the words were so powerful and appropriate.......

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning 
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn. 

Thank you my Michelle. You have been such a source of strength and one of the most incredible women I know. It is such a joy to be your friend. xo

Sunday, March 11, 2012

uhm excuse me sirs but your place is on fire

Question: How drunk do you have to be to stay inside your one room apartment when your kitchen is on fire?

Scenario: We barrelled through the door to find not one but two men having a little party amongst themselves. Dude 1 was sitting in a chair drinking beer and rockin' the tunes. Dude 2 we thought was dead. But once my crewmate started to drag him out his eyes popped open and he immediately reached for two beers. Meanwhile we were trying to evacuate Dude 1 but he wouldn't leave until he gathered up his 40 of vodka and two more beers.

I have never seen anything as funny and somewhat sad. This place was full of smoke and they wouldn't leave until they saved their booze.

I guess you have to be pretty wasted to sit and watch your kitchen burn and not feel the slightest urge to leave. My next question would be what time do you have to start drinking to be completely bombed by 8 pm?!

Life is always interesting that is for sure. I'm just glad the smoke alarms were working and no one was hurt. It could have been a bad, bad call otherwise.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

just another day on the trucks...

A bit blurry cuz it was taken by phone but how cute are we here? lol.
Just hanging in the back of the truck on the way home from a call... me and one of my favourite crewmates. He's 6"6 and comes in handy when you need someone to get up on a roof without a ladder or something out of the top cupboard.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Surviving! For all the ups and downs I have been going through I am happy to say I am still moving forward and growing, rather than curled up in the fetal position on my couch which is where I would often rather reside. It could be the lack of sunshine this winter that has caused my melancholy blues the past few months but I think I am still recoiling from all the changes in my life. And as such, I have gone into a bit of a hibernation mode with my feelings and need for extreme privacy. Which is why I took down my blog for awhile because I worried that I had become a source of "entertainment' for some. But I realized that I needed to write, and get my thoughts and feelings out, otherwise, they would just keep swirling through my head at 3 am during an attack of insomnia. So here I am. Back. More or less unscathed albeit with a battle scar or two. Sadly, the battle is usually with myself. lol. Like not ok with being single, then knowing the world is my oyster. Feeling like I'm the best mom in the world, feeling like my kids deserve more than I can give..... Feeling like a rockstar at work, feeling like I don't know a thing. Feeling like I understand the word called 'love'. Realizing that I have no clue. But if I am to be honest with myself, I do know love. Perhaps I don't know romantic love, but I do know LOVE. It's all around me and it's in me. And it's unconditional. I didn't understand it until I learned how to love and heal, forgive myself, and really, really take care of my mind, body and soul. Sounds so silly and simple but it's true. I can only love someone as much as I love myself so it's my time now.

Another rambling post but hey..... it's been awhile since I've written so gotta start somewhere.......