101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Sunday, January 25

...for the vehicle fire...


So many dangers these days with flammable bumpers, exploding pistons and a full load of cardboard...wait...say that again?

THE EMERGENCY
A passerby has noticed a pickup truck on fire on a residential street

THE ACTION
It's late at night and we arrive to find a large pick up truck built up in the back to transport large amounts of cardboard for recycling, rolling pretty good. As the officer calls for the bumper line I look over to the firefighter on the other side of the engine and see an empty seat and an open door as the engine rolls to a slow stop. As usual, I don't move until I hear the brake. It's a habit.

He's out in front struggling to free the bumper line so I decide to check the cab of the truck, more out of curiosity than anything else when I see a head, connected to a body, resting on the open window edge of the door.
"Hey!" I call to him with no response. I realized later that if the siren didn't wake him, my voice won't.
I open the door and pull him out into the quiet street where the boss watches over him.
The other firefighter is just beginning to stretch the line as I return to help with the layout. Looking over the driver is fine, rubbing his eyes, clearly tired, but uninjured.

It took almost an hour to pull all the cardboard out and soak it down. The fire was intense and burned a lot of cardboard but, amazingly, the truck was rather unscathed, aside from a little discoloration.
"Why so fast out of the engine?" I asked later as we were loading up.
"Wanted to beat you to the nozzle." Was his smiling response.
"You can have it if you promise to wait until the engine stops to get out."

He never replied and I'm sure still jumps out first chance.

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