Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Station 2 And The “Garlic” Attack

This took place around 1975 or so at Station 2 located at the corner of Walker & Richmond. This was the “old” #2 that resembled a real fire hall rather than the updated version that stands on the same location today and resembles somewhat of a bus station. Our “chef” at the time was Greg Reitzel and he had just finished cooking up a massive amount of spaghetti and garlic bread. That may be surprising as Greg’s last name is clearly that of Germanic descent and you would have expected more of a schnitzel recipe to appear on a plate than that of an Italian dish. Anyway, Chef Greg LOVED garlic and obviously must have held major stock options in the local garlic industry by the profuse amounts of garlic that he used during this type of feast. Most of us had at least three helpings of this stuff and consumed at least six loaves of garlic bread amongst the twelve of us around the table.

What I find remarkable about garlic is that if everyone eats it you cannot detect the odor of garlic on each others breath. Having said that can you imagine how much garlic fumes were hovering around station 2 after dinner? No one in the room was aware of how much “garlic breath” we all had.

We hadn’t even began to have our tea when the alarm came in for an emergency in our area. We were the first arriving crew when we got to this little two bedroom war time house. When we saw the nice pretty lady who owned the house standing on the front porch informing us that everything was alright we all “ratcheted” down somewhat and all the firefighters traipsed into the house including the vehicle drivers. This was the usual custom whenever a really pretty lady lived in the house.

I believe it took her about thirty seconds to become aware of the unpleasant smell that was now permeating the small living room area where we we’re all congregating. One thing you might not know about garlic breath is that it doubles its volume every ninety seconds. The twelve of us started to make small conversations with her. At that point she quickly excused herself and went to the washroom for about a minute or so and then returned. She politely told us that everything was alright and that we could all leave. But the Cap had to take a report. It seemed at the time that she was getting a little impatient with us but we had no idea why. It appeared as though she was trying to breathe through her mouth rather than her nose while at the same time she was trying to hold her breath. I found that really strange. She wasn’t smiling any longer either.

It was then that we realized what the problem was! We all glanced sideways at each other with a sheepish grin; you could see when the next guy realized what was going on. After the Cap’s report we all said, “good bye” to the nice pretty lady who ushered us out the door with no formalities whatsoever.

I should have had my first clue about this problem when I noticed her eyes rolling back in her head and I saw the whites of her eyes. It would appear that the old wives' tale regarding garlic keeping vampires at bay is a very true superstition. We didn't see any!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Benefits Of Methane

Did you know that agricultural animals such as cows, sheep and goats, etc burp and fart methane? This is really interesting as methane traps 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide. Wait!! It gets better! Were you aware that New Zealand has 10 times more sheep than persons?? Think about the consequences; that’s why New Zealand taxed every cow 58 cents and each sheep has been taxed 8 cents. This is the interesting part; they’ve named the new tax the “fart tax”!

Having learned all this wealth of knowledge it brought up some fond memories of a guy in the fire hall named “Wilf”. Now, I won’t reveal his last name because it may be embarrassing to him. Whenever Wilf drank copious amounts of Pepsi he would release enough amounts of methane into the atmosphere that maybe, instead of complaining, we should have either taxed him or somehow harnessed the potential power of his results.

Can you imagine the benefits of methane storage and the potential savings for the hall??

Just imagine:

· You could fuel the barbecue for an entire summer. Although the burgers may have a "smoky" flavor

· With a convertor setup you could replace the diesel fuel in the trucks. Watch out for the "backfires"

· Imagine filling the vehicles’ tires with methane! Stand back when overfilling!

· No more natural gas heating; we can use real “natural” gas to heat the halls.

· With a little imagination we could even replace the hydro in the buildings for a colossal savings. I would be a little leery in the event of faulty switches that could spark.

· Remember the 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide statement? We could replace the hot water heaters with a simple hose device. Turn on the valve for the hose; let the gas into the water holding tank. Presto; instant hot water! Neat, huh?

Let’s think progress, shall we? Why don’t we provide Wilf with a never ending supply of Pepsi!!! Wow, all that free energy. We might even have an answer to the global warming issue.

I think there’s a Nobel Prize looming in our future!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mongo Learns How To Do The Riverdance

Wow, I never even realized that Mongo was Irish... and that he was also an accomplished dancer as well... I guess you just always never know : )


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kind Of Reminds Me Of .....

Doesn't this kind of remind you of Tommy Serbu?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Visit Boblo

Here's a blast from the past... click on the link to see a great site about Boblo Island...


Monday, April 14, 2008

What Does A Firefighter Wear Under His Bunker Gear?

Ahhhh… I remember the adventurous nights working the shift at # 6 station with Bob Carroll. Picture this scenario. It’s around 3:45 AM on a summer night as the tones come in and the bedroom lights blind you as you get dressed. I climbed into the cab of Rescue Six and I wait for Bob, my officer, to climb on board. Numerous thoughts run through my mind. Where exactly is the fire? What is the best and fastest route to get there? How do I look? (Dennis Axford taught me that question).The apparatus doors open and we’re on our way to fight fires and save lives. It’s what we do. (I always wanted to use that line).

So, Tecumseh road is so empty that you could fire a cannon ball down the center line and not hit a thing.

Now this is where it starts to get strange. Bob looks at me and says, “Hey, guess what?”; so I reply, “I don’t know; what?”. Bob winks at me and makes a bold statement by stating, ”I’m naked under my bunker gear”. Then he breaks into a rather long belly laugh at my expense. I moved a little closer to my door during the run. It was a good thing that Tecumseh road was clear. It was when we returned to the station that I began to have visuals of his statement. I didn’t sleep well after that

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Photo Op

Another blast from the past. Pictured left to right are: Ed Romanko, Father Mike Graham, a chief, I believe from Tecumseh and Jimmy Meyer.

Thanks to Freddie Meyer for this pic.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Story About Marine One

Way back in the day, Windsor Fire used to own a boat that was used primarily for cruising up and down the Detroit River during the Freedom Festival fireworks. I remember everyone looking forward to see who was going to get the much desired role of "boat duty" that night on Marine One. Can you imagine the responsibility and the intense danger of cruising the Detroit River after dinner during the July holiday? "Networking" was also a dangerous endeavor! In some cases we had to use the boat to actually rescue or go retrieve victims from the river itself. This is one such story.

Our captain was Jack Gallagher; the driver Don Hall with Greg Senay and I on the back of the squad out of # four station. It was a Friday around 11:30 PM when the call came in and we had to pick up Marine One at the dock located at the corner of George and Wyandotte (I believe). We cruised down to the foot of Lauzon Road and Riverside Drive where two boats had collided and a report of four folks in the water with one presumably drowned.

I was on the job for about eight or nine months at the time and this was my first time on the vessel and Greg was showing me how to set up the grappling hooks to drag the river. I was a little nervous but pretty excited at the same time as we slowly cruised the water in the blackness of the night. It was one of those nights where it seemed much darker than usual. The constant “tug” of the ropes was startling at first as you think that every resistance you felt could be a victim in the water.

It was then that Greg told the Cap that he thought that he had something! The boat screeched to a stop (Well, it didn't really "screech") and Greg continued pulling on the rope. He said that it didn’t feel “right” because there wasn’t much resistance but he knew had had something on the hooks.

He slowly brought the contents to the surface and swung the object in front of me. Greg said, “Wow, take a look at this!!!”. My eyes slowly got used to the darkness and then I realized what Greg was holding about 10 inches away from my eyes. It was a bag of cats!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I screamed like a school girl. I could hear Greg and the rest of the crew laughing as I tried to compose myself and struggling to stop from falling out of the boat.

Things were never the same after that : )

To this day I am still afraid of cats and plastic bags!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Tough Game Of Risk

Remember the game Risk? The board game where you shook the dice and whoever had the highest number got the chance to wipe out the enemy. There were these strange countries named Kamchatka, Irkutsk and Yakutsk, etc. One thing that you would have to remember at this point is that the players had their own colored pieces that represented their armies spread over the map in several of their own countries. It was a hard fought war dealing with strengths and defenses. Knowing when to attack was crucial to world domination..

Well, we were heavily involved in the game one afternoon at Station 2. I don’t remember all the players but I think one of them was Dave Stroud, myself and definitely Don Vernes. I have no idea who the fourth player was.

We were all just about equal in wins and defeats and while two players were “battling” it out Don came over to my side of the table and decided to share his prowess and knowledge of the manly game of Risk. It was at that time that he decided to share the strategy of the game. He leaned into me and quietly said, “You know…if the Blue team and the Green team make an alliance they can wipe out the Red guy."I thought about this piece of military genius and then I saw how clear this could happen. It was then that I whispered in Don’s ear, “Don, the Red team is YOU.”

There was a pregnant pause as Don looked more closely at the board and whispered back, “Bad plan.”

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Awwwww.. A New Puppy

What a cutie... until....... : )

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