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Savage Addiction

“Springfield Truck 10, respond to XXXX W. XXXXXX St. for a possible J4, with an unsecured domestic situation in progress” “Truck 10 copies, en route. Truck 10 will stage upon arrival, Dispatch, please notify when scene secured by PD” “Truck 10, update, there is no domestic, that was a child crying in the background, this will… Read more »

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Ghosts & Chaos

THE rain falling outside the station office windows was a perfect background soundtrack to the task at hand on an Easter morning: editing employee evaluations over a pot of coffee. It’s Sunday, so the rest of the crew is enjoying the holiday in the various corners of our cavernous firehouse, watching movies, murmuring to their… Read more »

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Uninvited

“There’s a man who walks beside me/ He is who I used to be/ And I wonder if she sees him/ And confuses him with me” -Jason Isbell, “Live Oak”   “I’m so sorry….” my voice never murmurs the words, but I’m sure she saw it in my eyes. I just realized where we were. This… Read more »

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It Just Happened Today, Again

Every year on this day, we are reminded of that most dark chapter of the fire service, and our nation; I’ve written more than a few essays on a fireman’s point of view on 9/11. When it happened I was a 26 year old side pocket, ladder-truck fireman, who’s only responsibilities at work included cleaning… Read more »

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The View From Up Here

Imagine if you will, you’re now a lieutenant. Scratch that. You’re a LIEUTENANT on the CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI FIRE DEPARTMENT, and that is an alleged “Big Deal” to the Administration of aforementioned department and now you have responsibilities. Real responsibilities with real consequences. One of those responsibilities, among the myriad arrows slung your way,… Read more »

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Fully Sleeved, On My Sleeve

The tones ring out, again, at 3am. People seem to have a lot of emergencies, real or imagined, at 3am. Conversely, my tolerance for people who abuse the 911 system is at an all time low when you’ve roused me from a two hour catnap because you’ve stubbed your toe and somehow convinced the dispatcher… Read more »

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5128

On May 5th, 2015, the City of Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to its five thousand one hundred and twenty eighth call for the year. For run #5128, Engine Company #1, C-shift was toned out for a “fire in a house” call at approximately 7:50am. The house in question was on Commercial Street in an… Read more »

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Ring Of Fire

The tones came in as they would any other: “House fire, xxx East xxx Street for Engine 7, Engine 10, Truck 6, Truck 10, Rescue 1, Battalion 1, Battalion 8, Air 8″, and we loaded up on the rig, ready to roll to an unknown; these kinds of calls happen with a regularity that doesn’t… Read more »

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On Purpose

“Don’t outsource your mission.” These words could be from a military unit commander or the fire department chain of command, but instead they were issued by the local gym owner as a mandate as we seek our purpose in this life. The workout was set up as a fundraiser/dedication to  local police officer Aaron Pearson… Read more »

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And I Ain’t Got Wings…

On one side of the kitchen table, a Lieutenant and the ladder truck driver play backgammon. Over in the recliners the Captain and two other firefighters are engrossed in a show with a marble-mouthed gold miner up in Alaska. There’s a firefighter holed up in the office likely watching shows about home renovation or obscure… Read more »