A Split Second Of Grace

  “Death keeps no calendar”  (English proverb) Scared? I’ve never been so scared. I have never been so scared in 17 years on the department. I have never been so scared in all my life. Today, I found out just how scared I can get. We say “I almost died …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …