Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back in the Battalion

Not related to Engine 17 in the slightest, but amusing anyway.

I'd been gone from the Pacific Northwest for a long time, but now that I am back, it is nice to make up old connections again.

Sister has now joined the volunteer canteen/rehab unit run by the Tacoma Fire Buffs, is moving along nicely in her bid to change careers and finally get into the emergency services, and is currently hip-deep in EMT class. I had a chance to meet with several of the group members recently, and several seemed amused at the stories I shared of days gone by. It's easy to be amused today at things that were not amusing twenty years ago, though.

Accordingly, I recently got this memo from the group:
Tacoma/Pierce County Fire Buff Battalion

April 17, 2010

Subject: Frank (last name withheld by request)

Dear Sir,

It has come to this club's attention that you seem to have some past and present interests in the Tacoma/Pierce County Fire Buff Battalion. We are a very strictly run club, who not only play by the most serious and strictest rules, but create them.

Therefore your interest raised much discussion amongst our membership, at our last meeting on April 17, 2010. Needless to say some of the membership had met you in person. Yet others had to pass on important observations and insights, some were pro others con. So after several rounds of gut wrenching laughing, I, Cat Urbon, current President of the Tacoma/Pierce County Fire Buff Battalion called for a motion to be placed on the floor. Kenn Smith, long time firefighter, and newly retired (who remembers the crazy kid on the bike) put a motion on the floor to accept you into the club under the guidelines of and as Honorary Member, this motion was seconded by Bob Urbon. Upon voting you were unanimously accepted.

Furthermore you will be entitled to a copy of our monthly newsletter, allowed to respond to fires when in town (NO BIKE, RADIO OR SIREN PLEASE), and will be hereby nicknamed Sparky, Flash's brother. I would like to personally congratulate and welcome you into the insanity.

Cat Urbon, President

I don't even know what happened to that old bike. But I've got my own fire engine now, and they didn't say I couldn't bring that, so who cares?

OK, that was wry sarcasm, all right? Just making sure.

On a serious note, I once again repeat my thanks to Tacoma firefighters of days gone by who tolerated me and kept me alive until I became useful to the service later on, or at least not in the way any more.

If you had told me twenty years ago that I would eventually live in an active fire station and be provided in-service apparatus by the department to run calls - well let me tell you that running an active fire station (chores, maintenance, upkeep, etc) single-handedly while still holding down a full time job, it's a LOT of work - but nonetheless I know it is a very cool gig to have and I am very lucky to have been chosen and have the opportunity to serve my current agency in this way.