Okay first entry, let's see if this will pick up.
We are going back to late 2007 for this story, I was just a rookie with a dozen of shifts under my belt and a handfull of volunteer calls, and was a major white cloud, as they say in the fire service, I have had my first fire, a bicycle shed on fire, no big deal, but nothing on fire since then, enough Automatic Fire Alarm calls, but nothing more then some smoldering wiring and cranky grampas smoking under a smoke detector.
So one night, still nothing to do, the crew and myself were having a FIFA 05 competition on the stations PS2, losing big time, then...... tones drop. " Engine 4530, Engine 4533, Ladder 4550, Battalion 4595, automatic fire alarm, Clovertargets, Woodyards 30. Time out 20:55"
So we went down the pole to the Engine, I was assigned number 3, so I was to make sure there was a clear entryway into the structure, before assisting number 4 with securing a water source, my heart was already pounding in my chest and my adrenaline levels were high, double checked everything before getting in my seat "Pants and boots, check, coat, check, helmet, check" then we all gave Otto our driver that day the thumbs up to go, and off we went, our Lt radioed that we were on our way.
En-route my heartrate went down for a minute, so I took a few deep breaths, donned my SCBA, checked it again and suddenly it hit me, the adress is a 17th century monumental building, lots of wood in the roof and structure, it was being refurbished to be a cinema and grand café at the time after the local music groups moved out to a new location outside of the city.
And boom, my heartrate went back up, I began to repeat the steps in my head, get out, get halligan tool, get door, get water, and so on.
But just like that, the radio came to life "Dispatch to 4530, we are getting multiple calls, there are flickering lights and smoke showing inside the structure"
Holy moly, was this going to be my first big one?
I was rudely snapped out of my thoughts when the Lt. assigned duties "1 and 2, get the hosereel and do a first attack, 3 get the door, 4 get the hydrant nearby, if needed draft from the nearby canal"
I copied, and tried to focus my thoughts.
The Engine came to a stop, the Lt called us on scene and gave the disembark orders, so out we went.
I ran as fast as I could to the locker with the hand tools, opened up the roll up door, and grabbed tha halligan tool, off to the door.
I looked at the lock, and without even a second of thinking, I swung the duckbill into the door....... and bang, with the same amount of force the tool flew out of my hands right on the sidewalk, here I stood, looking like a doofus....... the the Lt came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder "Next time take the skeleton key from the cab, 300 year old wooden doors are not easy to open with the halligan, dumbass"
If there was EVER a good time to become invisible, this was definetly it, so I went to get the skeleton key opened and wedged the door.
Turned out the construction guys left a construction lamp on and it started smoldering, so it was unplugged, brought outside and wet down, and after a TIC search and venting we left.
So we debriefed, got my chops busted for it good, and for years, every time I was number 3, I got the standard order to not forget the key before the tool.
So yeah, now I laugh about it, but it was a valuable lesson, to never stop thinking and learning, especially from your mistakes.
Well, this was the first one, hope you guys liked it, lemme know both good and bad, and I'll take it with me in the second entry.
Have a good one and stay safe all.