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dwcfireman

Funny Stories That Happened When The Alarm Sounded

14 posts in this topic

Back in the early stages of my career in the fire service we had a big snow storm one night. I forget how much snow we actually got, but we started running calls in the afternoon and well into the evening and overnight. Mostly the low budget stuff that comes with a heavy, wet snow - wires down, trees sagging into wires, accidents, etc.

We were a big volunteer department in a college town and at the time, only one big station. Figuring that the calls would keep on coming, a number of members camped out at the fire station for the night. There were no sleeping quarters at the time and not much in the way of alternative sleeping accommodations.

The calls slowed down overnight and as the saying goes, idle hands are the devil's workshop, particularly within a group of college kids. The morning came and we learned that a few of our members has spent some time outside playing in the snow. They had completely covered another member's vehicle in a big pile of snow in the parking lot. The only thing visible was the top few feet of his big mobile radio antenna sticking out of this huge mound of snow.

Needless to say, he didn't quite see the humor in it like the rest of us.

BFD1054 and dwcfireman like this

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Back when I was in High School and Just out I volunteered in a district with 2 companies one on either side of a river seperated by a single Draw Bridge, "they" had an AIrhorn that count out the Gamewell box number, My Station was a mile away and Had Gong... 2 distinct things about 3 am was it was pretty quiet excepting i-95 which is 2 1/2 miles North, Amtrack New Haven line without the commuters... I lived 4 blocks south of the station often I could actually hear the Gong ring before the Whistle arrived (3/4 of a mile as the crow flys) I was Not a legacy, but My 1st car was a Past chief's Car (noo lights and sirens crap) it was a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S Fastback and it had a 383 cu under the hood 4bbl carbs and slapstick Automatic Some Nights With the wind just "right" you couldnt hear the Airhorn, or bells, some nights Even the dispatch of the tones On lowband were Poor.. at best In those Pre 9-1-1- days The police answered a seperate 5 digit Number for each district they would tone and announce it and we were on our own..... ( we re toned and the 1st Non Driver got stuck on the radio for any fires..) (this is why I got qualified to drive YOUNG..lol) some of guys would KNOW it was me when They heard The 4 barrel Kick IN.... I think of how many times You get to the station Knowing 4 or 5 guys Live between 6 and 12 houses away and Your 1st your 35 houses away...lol anyway You open the door walk in and your Finger begins shaking >> was I dreaming the whole thing? what if I was (haha) but what it your reciever is the only one that picked up the orginal Tones... (this actually happened often) soon as you pop the tone 12 guys all come in the door and You get stuck? (NOT!!)) eventually our 9-1-1- center was moved away from That PD and To the one on the other side which was 40 times better... since Those days 40 years ago, I learned a couple things I dispatched for 5 years and was a career Firefighter Chauffer and company officer and very often found the fortitude that got be beyond "freezing" up back in those early years to cruising the mean streets at 3 am.... One Late evening I was dispatched to the Interstate a flatbed Tractor trailer had Jacknifed across 3 lanes and dumped its full load of Treated backer board which is similar to homasote (compressed material) but with ALmost like a creosote looking Material, These were Plywood size 4x8' sheets (I'd seen it single sized and much thinner anyway), this area was elevated 50' and as Luck would have it we had a STATE Project with loaders Parked Under the site with a fenced off area that They actually could dump the stuff Over into the "yard" below... the 1st car in line was someone's college sophmore heading Back to Boston after Thanksgiving, She realized she was blessed for being alive!! but now getting into being stuck for 3 hours with 2000 sets of headlights behind her, I'd checked with her On arrival, and she REALLY hadda go BAD!! ... I suggested I would do What I could IF She wanted and Promised the utmost disgression.... I had My 2 firefighters grab a couple of these 4x8 sheets of fiberboard and made a suitable enclosed space, with a sand bucket that we carried for Multiple puropses from ice build up around the pump to Traction to an oil or gas spill to..... a lifesaver...

both Firefighters Honestly were LIKE dude are you serious? and I explained Imagine Your Girlfriend or sister in the same situation, and act accordingly.... needless to say They did and all worked out fine Ultimately ... Of course when we got Back and they went to bed the guy who complained had his locker Plastered In Porta john Phone book adverts and all sorts of "related" material (tastefully of course) a couple weeks went by and he got me posted something on My locker about thinking outside the box or something... I never even asked.,.. :)

Edited by BFD389RET
dwcfireman and BFD1054 like this

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heres a good one when i was new at the TMFD back before the fire house was remodled and 2 bays added on we would hang out down in the club room when an alarm would come in you would run for the sairs which were right next to the kitchen on the left side of the door well in 1995 the fire house renovations were finished and to the members old habits were hard to break well when the alarm would sound everyone would run for the stairs and for a long time months probably we would forget they were moved to the back side of the room no longer next to the kitchen that was now a wall well you can guess the rest "bang"

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Riding officer to a car fire responding on a parkway and we notice people are pointing at us as we are going. I happen to look in the side view mirror and see a long line of yellow behind us. Our entire bed of 4" hose was dumped onto the parkway. Turns out the friggin fire wasn't even in our district.

Westfield12 and dwcfireman like this

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here i have another one back in the (1975) when i first joined the fire dept and i heard the whistle from the other side of town i counted out the box it was 512 i think i toke off in my car blue light on and had to pass the firehouse on my way to the scene which i did as i went by the fd there was a couple pof guys sitting on the bumper of the engine on the apron i wondered why they were there and not responding so i turned around and wenT in the back door of the firehouse only to find out the whistle i heard was larchmonts who had a brush fire at flint park not our district boy did i feel stupid i was the joke for a few years i miss that whistle

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heres a good one when i was new at the TMFD back before the fire house was remodled and 2 bays added on we would hang out down in the club room when an alarm would come in you would run for the sairs which were right next to the kitchen on the left side of the door well in 1995 the fire house renovations were finished and to the members old habits were hard to break well when the alarm would sound everyone would run for the stairs and for a long time months probably we would forget they were moved to the back side of the room no longer next to the kitchen that was now a wall well you can guess the rest "bang"

I have to admit I ran into the wall a few times.

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One night I kept my plectrum on monitor. About 2 am the tones hit for signal 50 car on rt 34 at the Stevenson dam. I jumped up, got dress and beat feet to the FD. Then I realized that the Stevenson dam was in Oxford about 25 miles away.

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We ran the ambulance as well. Our running card for Mia's was ambulance, rescue, engine. We were in the less then 5 years ... Full of vigor. 3 of us were hanging out with the town hall operator/ fire dispatcher which was in the firehouse. The phones went off and the calls started to roll over on the switchboard. The dispatcher repeats the street name and the word motorcycle.. So the four of us ran , got our gear and got in the ambulance . Just as we pulled out of the station, an officer pulled up, looked at us and said WTF you doing! Put that thing away, it's a fire... With that 2 more guys showed up and took the engine to a motorcycle fire. We took a good amount of ribbing for Hanging out in the ambulance.

In the day, we had no tones in the station or pagers, we relied on the fire whistle and our home plectrums, so we never actually heard the dispatcher.

E106MKFD and BFD389RET like this

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We never made it to the fire.

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I've mentioned before The Village I came up in strattled a river and was actually 1/2 in town A and 1/2 in town B the fire district collected taxes in Both/seperate based on which town you actually live, The district also paid Trash and Street lights and blah blah..... One company was on one side the other on the other side and both the 1st side street from the Bridge which is still raised hourly and screws up Traffic generally for 49 and 1/2 minutes ... toss in a Box and forget it.....lol back in the 70's we had Many commercial Fires even multiple fires in resterants & bars etc (many OLD buildings, many types of Problems) back in 1960 one of the "earlier" post modern Jobs was a 1920's theature on the river/bridge with extension across Main St to a store block and Across Holmes st east of that ,.. The M/A call went out and about 16 or 18 other companies in Both towns and being The New Years week it wa Cold so The Stewart of Both resident companies were sent back to they're respective firehouses (each within a Block of the fire) to get some soup and coffee type things going... Frank was heavy set so maybe thats why he was good in the kitchen? I dunno he walks around the corner and here's a Mutual Aid engine just pulling up IFO the station fella jumps off runs around back and frank says hey ohh .. what the hell are youse doing? and the officer says Taking That Hydrant.... and frank says like hell you are walks over to it picks it up and walked inside with it with a company of guys standing there flabbergasted... many years later we still had the hydrant but someone mounted it to a dolly to make it more convienant to move around ...when training... lol

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