Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Become a Fire Fighter in a Small Town

You just show up.


(Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that.)

Since moving back to the hometown an old friend has been asking Chevy (my hubby) to join the volunteer fire fighters. Last week he called to invite him to the monthly meeting, which had already started. Chevy politely declined, putting him off another month.

When he hung up the phone he said, “I would kind of like to go. They’re down to fourteen volunteers.”

He wasn’t asking permission, but I think he was hoping I would encourage him to jump in. So I did. He rushed out the door without looking back.

About an hour later he returned, with a shocked and amused expression. (Yes, apparently you can be shocked and amused at the same time.) He looked at me and said, “I’m in.”

“Just like that?” I asked, skeptical.

“Yep. They looked pretty happy to see me. I told them I was just there to check it out. They didn’t even ask. They just voted me in.” He smiled. “I’ve already got my gear, too.”

I started to laugh. “You mean your jacket and pants? Seriously?”

He smiled even bigger. “Boots, too. I got Gomez’s old stuff.”

(Let me explain here that this is my hometown, and it’s tiny. My high school class had 34. While I don’t claim to know everyone, I do know most of the names and most of the faces, even if I don’t always get them matched up. I have never heard of Gomez. I wouldn’t forget that name. In a town this small, it’s a name that stands out.)

So I asked, “Who’s Gomez?”

“I don’t know, but I asked them what happened to him. They said I didn’t want to know.” Chevy laughed, knowing that he had found a group of guys that could take it and dish it out as well as he could.

He went on to tell me how a young pup showed him all the trucks after the meeting, and demonstrated how to use them. I’m not sure because I wasn’t there, but it sounded like this little town has five fire trucks. I’d bet ten dollars that only three of them work.



Since then Chevy has filled out his paperwork, gotten his radio (which is sitting safely on top of the refrigerator because it has a bright red button that attracts children but also pages the entire department), and is now waiting for a background check to clear before he goes out on his first call.

Despite all the snow we’ve had lately, we are under a high fire danger this week. Oh, the anticipation!!