06 Mar FIRE HORSE
THE SENILITY PRAYER
GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO FORGET THE PEOPLE I NEVER
LIKED ANYWAY, THE GOOD FORTUNE TO RUN INTO THE ONES I DO,
AND THE EYESIGHT TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE.
The story goes that the old fire horse heard the alarm and even though long retired would take it’s place in the station where it was harnessed to the old apparatus in it’s working life. Old firefighters can be the same way. Is there any definition of getting old that hearing the call and longing to be jumping on the engine and responding to the call?
As I am writing this I am having my anniversary of coming out of the hospital one year ago. As I set here the scanner is going crazy. Conditions are similar to one year ago when the Anderson Creek Fire started. Reno County has had a big fire and Barber County sent several units up to help. We are grateful that we received the same help almost a year ago from every county in the state. Everyone is happy to lend a hand to those who did the same for us.
As our units came home from their shift up there a call came in for the Cotton Gin in Cullison for a fire there. With the wind it grew until everyone was sending units from five counties to help and still manage to keep units on hand for more calls. And there have been more calls.
One of the things that visitors from out of state notice about Kansans is the friendliness and willingness to help. The cooperation that our people have when times get rough is one of the great things about Kansas.
Wildfire in Kansas is unique because of the varied terrain and the large number of structures and animals. Each area is unique and each has its own special hazards. One thing I learned when in the fire station is that you take each call as it comes but it is the dual role of the fire managers to be prepared for that one more call that will come in and compromise the resources you have. Whether paid or volunteer the responsibilities are the same. The people you protect expect that you will do that even when things are strained. Even doing your best you can only be prepared for 95% of the possible calls. That other 5% is where mutual aid and the willingness of others is something you depend on.
When things get busy it is tough on this old fire horse to just set and listen. Getting older is just not fun.