Saturday, September 10, 2011

[1727] STRANGE DREAM [In memory of those who died on 9-11]

I wasn’t going to post today- but as I woke up this morning [the morning of 9-10-11] I remembered what I just dreamt.

I was back at work at the fire dept. and we had a call- as I ran to the fire truck I realized I had left my bunker gear [protective clothing] at the other station.

I realize this might sound strange to some people- but this has happened a few times [more than I would like to admit] over the years.

Sometimes you would get assigned to the other station and you would think ‘I’ll drive straight over’ and you would just get your gear after you do the morning truck check/radio check. And sometimes you would forget to get it- and if you had a call that night- you then thought ‘damn- I forgot my gear’.

Now- you could just grab another guys gear off the rack- but if he was the big guy [or small] then you might not be able to use his gear.

And of course- some of us older guys- who were around for a while- well we got too comfortable at times and at certain fires- well- we actually did not put our gear on.

Maybe there were not a lot of flames actually showing- but a lot of smoke- and we did the stupid thing and walked in thru the front door- maybe for just a minute or so- to see what we had- but that’s a huge no no in the fire service.

When you don’t wear your gear- and have your breathing mask on [Scott Pack] then your breathing in very bad stuff- us older guys were sometimes called ‘fire eaters’ because in the early days this was done too much- and it took many years to ‘re train’ the old guys- they [we] were set in our ways.

I think I might have had the dream because being it’s the 10 year memorial [of those who died!] of the 9-11 attack- they have been playing the video and talking about the event.

As I think about my dream- I can imagine that the guys on duty that day heard the call come in- and often times you think ‘geez- today will be one of those days’. Sometimes you get to work and the fire phone rings off the hook- a day- for whatever reason- that will have lots of fires.

Or a day where you have a big fire. I was telling my daughter a funny story the other night. One year we had a call for the local elementary school being on fire [called Kleberg school- Kingsville, Tx.] and as I arrived on the scene- sure enough- this would be what we called ‘a working fire’ [big fire- need to make it a general alarm and get the off duty guys to come help].

I was the truck operator that day- had to hook up the truck to the hydrant and make sure the hoses had a constant supply of water [by the way- you could get away with forgetting your bunker gear on a day when you pumped the truck- but you never know- a guy might go down and then you’re in trouble- you have to get him out- and you forgot your gear].

So some kid set the school on fire- and we were gonna be up all night for this one. It was kinda funny- after a few hours of pumping the truck watching the guys from the outside- I finally figure I’ll take a look- you know- just step in thru the front door [of course- without the mask] and take a peek.

Now- there is a ton of smoke- both inside and out- so I really didn’t know how bad the damage was. As I walk in the front door- trying hard to see what I’m looking at- I realize I’m seeing stars! Yes- the wall [and door] survived- and that was it!

Okay- as we remember 9-11- we need to be careful that we don’t have too much of a ‘celebratory’ attitude about the thing. I went to the beach with my daughter and a bunch of friends and family for labor day- and it was packed. Yet there was really no difference between the partying spirit of labor day and Memorial day- yet on Memorial day we are supposed to be remembering those who died for the country- I mean we should not be having a ‘good old time’ at a funeral.

So as the weekend moves forward, Bloomberg banning the clergy and all [by the way- as a Protestant- I think it would be perfectly fine to have Bishop Dolan- from St. Patrick’s- there. To even do a prayer. Most of my fellow firefighters who died that day were good Catholic kids- many were Italian like myself- and out of a show of respect- I think the bishop should get a pass].

But as we remember- let’s try not to make the mistake of what our Memorial days have turned into- let’s remember the fallen- and pray for their families this weekend [and all the other guys still on the force]. I did our local prayer thing for a few years at our dept. while on duty- and yes- I did a Christian prayer- ended the thing in Jesus name.

Didn’t want to offend any Muslims or Jews or any other faith- but most of these guys were Christian- they were the ones who died- they deserve the prayer- and respect. We can save political correctness for another day.

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