101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Saturday, August 22

A Tale of 2 Poles

Here in Happy's Department we, like many others, have stations of varying age. Some of the brand new houses are spacious, well lit and don't smell funny. Others are cramped, crowded and have a faint odor no one can find the source of.

Recently I was working one of our outlying engine companies that still uses part of the house built in the 1940s. When remodeled, the Department absorbed the neighboring parking lot and built another single bay garage right next door, attaching the two. This allowed for a larger kitchen in the new addition and added office space on the ground floor of the old one, where the kitchen used to be. The ceiling height difference made for an awkward middle floor for the officer's quarters.

This is where the tale of 2 poles title comes in. This house has it's old pole from the dorm to the apparatus floor in the old part of the building, and a newer, interesting concept, in the new house.

The old pole never moved in the remodel, never got a clam shell, it is still bolted to the wall in front of the building. It goes from top to bottom, these are old school 18 foot ceilings.

Pretty straight forward, right? And no, our station isn't fuzzy, that's just the entry level camera built into my rockin' phone. My work camera was liberated from the car in front of my house a few months back.

Over in the new wing of the house, is this fire pole:
This pole has a top, and a bottom, as so many do, but look again. You're standing on the mezzanine level, the restrooms are above you and the new apparatus floor below. That door to the left goes into the officer's bunk. Incase of alarm, a sleepy officer could encounter a firefighter sliding from above.

And yes, you can get from the top to the middle, but it is awkward to climb off halfway down.

The reason I bring this up is the recent conversation, apparently, about slides versus poles.

Slides? Really?

A simple pole in a corner seems to work just fine.

Firegeezer started it OVER HERE, then take a look over HERE at Fire Critic for details, but take the stairs, it's not an emergency.

4 comments:

Capt. Schmoe said...

Gotta tell ya Hap, as cool as I think poles are, I usually take the stairs.

I worked many years at a house with three poles. One went from the dorm, one went from the Sr. Capt's dorm and one from the day room.

I hit the pole one night with arms that were still pretty much asleep. Needless to say, the ride down was fast and the landing interesting.

My back and my knees don't appreciate those kinds of landings anymore, so when I work at a house with a pole, it's the stairs for me.

At least in the middle of the night.

Fire Critic said...

I work at a 1 floor station now. We don't even have stairs!

I like the addition of the linkwithin plugin! I think you will find that it boosts your hits as it gives some other posts for people to click on via thumbnails!

The Happy Medic said...

FC, I loved it on your site and never noticed it was an element on the page. I've been debating asking you for the code for awhile. Thanks for the idea!

sparrowmict said...

Slides are great. they give the kids something to play on when the wife and kids come to visit you at the station. Before my hometown build the new station with 1 floor and individual crew rooms we were in the same station from the late 1800's (still had the hay loft) and the original pole. Sometime in the 70's they put in a slide that ran next to the stairs. Every memory i have of that station as a kid involved all my cousins and me playing on the slide. They wouldnt let us play on the pole, at least when uncle harvy was around (he was the BN chief) Still sad i never got to work there. I am the only one in my family that didnt, grandfather, Dad, Uncles & cousins were there over the years but the stupid ambulance pulled me away which is ok because me and ladders never really got along.