That Moment

"Baxter Street Command to Rescue 1."

"Rescue 1, go ahead."

"I need a count."

"One adult, five children in Rescue 1, six adults and five more kids outside."

The kids outside were teenagers, too cool to hang out with the firemen. Hmmph. Their loss. We were in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Providence, or anywhere.

They sat in the back of Rescue 1, five girls, ages five to eleven. Three sisters, a cousin and a neighbor. The boss was with us, a woman of about thirty-five, keeping the girls in line. They listened to her, for the most part, but as the incident dragged on, and the shyness disappeared things got more interesting. I often wonder if people here notice how white my skin is, or if they just accept me into their neighborhood and don't give it a second thought. I think the adults are more aware of racial differences, and if the kids are, they certainly don't show it.

"If you could do it again, what is the one thing you would take with you?" I asked.

"My puppy!"

"You don't have a puppy."

"My jeans."

"You got them on, girl."

"FOOD!"

"I told you to eat before all this!"

"My phone."

"You have your phone."

"The refrigerator!"

"We have a winner! I said. The girls went on, asking questions, touching things, touching each other, giggling, squirming and asking more questions."

"How come we had to leave."

"Because your street has a gas leak."

"How's a street leak gas?"

"Umm…"

"When can we go back?"

"When the gas stops leaking."

"When's that going to be?"

"When they fix it."

"What's that?"

"A defibrillator."

"What's it do."

"Starts your heart in case it stops."

The Canteen Truck arrived on scene. http://www.providencecanteen.com/

"I'll be right back." Just in the nick of time, the questions were getting pretty darn tough.

The folks at the Canteen gave me a box of assorted cookies and crackers, and made six cups of hot chocolate for the refugees. I was about to become an instant Superhero.

"Anybody spills the hot chocolate is going out in the street."

The kids went bananas. You would have thought I brought them the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory. I sat back in the Captain's chair, and watched the party. They laughed, and carried on, and shared the cookies with each other, some crackers here, some Oreo's there, a little peanut butter for you, some cheese for the little one.

If I could take one thing with me after twenty years of mayhem, it would be that very moment.

 

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Michael Morse

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

Recent Posts
The Beach May 26, 2015
1432406170186 With Gratitude May 23, 2015
us firefighter Window of opportunity May 19, 2015
Fast and Rosier May 18, 2015
Comments
Mike F
Top 10 reasons EMS gets no respect
Or maybe you could simply point out that it should be "than" instead of "then" instead of continuing the trend of sarcastic "bashing".
2015-05-15 06:06:55
Nile Barnes
Top 10 reasons EMS gets no respect
Of course the mispelled (homophone) in the image for number 5, doesn't help folks respect the level of education.
2015-05-14 18:21:53
Tim
Should firefighters shop while on duty?
Absolutely - good point. Of course if you live a bit further north where snow , Ice and bitterly cold weather is around for 7 months it is a bit to chilly to be hanging outside the rig hoping for people to come talk to you. We park our rigs away from the direct line…
2015-05-14 17:20:27
Commissioner Carey: Go pound sand | Burned-Out Medic
Mealtime
[…] this: Emergency service providers AND THEIR EQUIPMENT stay together AT ALL TIMES so they can respond immediately to a call for service without stopping anywhere such as the station to pick up other crew members or […]
2015-05-07 00:21:13
Unlimited-Unscheduled Hours
Twenty, again…and again!
Michael, Congratulations again on that fine piece, your retirement, and the better place you are in now. I read that piece when you first put it on the blog and it stuck in my head. I didn't realize it myself, but I was entering a dark place too that went on for a few more…
2015-04-27 23:54:12

Uniform Stories

Visit Uniform Stories

Responding $3.99

wordpress visitor counter
December 2012
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST EMS NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS