Today began earlier than the norm, by only fifteen minutes, because this is the final week of the school year and my six year old’s kinder class was having their awards and graduation ceremony. I don’t know if it is worthwhile having these events for the most trivial of accomplishments and I feel uncomfortable inviting family but my daughter is happy and wants people there so I oblige. My wife and kids left for school and I spent another half hour getting ready because I go on shift today and have to be in at work right after the ceremony. The temperatures are in the hundreds this week so I took extra care watering the grass, shrubs and tomatoes. The dog’s water bowl was filled to the brim. They have plenty of shade but I worry on days like these.
At my daughter’s school, I see my parents and suegros. I have enough time to stop by my wife’s class. It is comforting having the girls go to school where my wife teaches even though the school is twenty miles from our home. That is why I had to be up early. There is no quick way to get there and home and then to work which for me is also on the other side of the mountain that splits this town. When I leave home, I leave for twenty-four plus hours. My daughter is happy.
On my way to work, I stopped in at the drive thru for a Whataburger. That is my favorite burger besides the more expensive ones at Crave or Great American. The fries are tops too. I got the burger because I have been on the Rescue the last five shifts and I know odds are I will miss lunch at the station.
Rescue 22 is the busiest ambulance in our battalion. It gets no where near the calls that Rescues in the northeast get but it gets enough. Those northeast guys deal with the shittiest of calls. One night out there when I was swinging, I had drunk’s puke and blood all night. Just transporting and decon all night. I hate drunks. We get them everywhere but there’s something about the people in northeast.
I got to my station and soon got the tones. I had put my phone on charge at the station and didn’t have a chance to tell my wife I love her. That first call was unremarkable. A nice old lady. We ran it with the Pumper from a station I like. I like the guys there and it has private bedrooms. It is important for me to have my own room not only because sleeping in a room with ten guys is slightly sophomoric but I get night terrors sometimes and that tends to freak people out. I had one last night. I feel bad for my wife. It was something about bears. At station 22, without a private room, its also hard to find a quiet place to read or write.
On route back to the station, we got hit again. I thought, “its going to be one of those shifts.” The thing about R22 is transports take a while. Two runs equal almost a football game. That puts a bad taste in my mouth during the season. At that moment, I was glad I got that burger.
The third call came as we had just returned to station and I was restocking the ambulance. It was a tapout. That’s fire. We got en route and communications put out the info. House. Child inside. That’s my biggest fear on the job. A child in serious trouble. We were the second company on scene and as the firefighters say, it was rolling. We were with the same Pumper from the morning call. Outside was hot. Inside was miserable. My officer left me on the line to knock down flames in the living room while he and Sam did a primary search. Thankfully there was no one in the home. We were in there about forty-five minutes. The thing about fires is when its out, the work is just beginning. Overhaul. Cleanup. The temperature hit one-oh-four today. We were on scene about two and a half hours and all I was thinking was, I need to tell my wife I love her, not because of the danger of my work, I feel we are pretty safe the way we do things. I just need to tell her that as often as I can. She makes me happy.
After getting back to station, checking gear, getting hit with another run, a diabetic, I finally have a chance to look at wordpress blogs. I’ll read a while now and soon doze off. The thing about it though, is that in five minutes from now we could be in a CPR or staring at smoke and steam. I call my wife.