Monday, January 19, 2009

They call me the Fireman, That's my name.

No not really. That is a George Strait song lyric. However recently, I had a visitor named Eric who asked me if I was really a Fireman and really in the Navy. He saw a comment I left on my favorite fireman's blog; Monkeys are funny. My answer would be kind of and Yes. First off Yes I was in the Navy for 20 years. I was kind of a fireman because everyone on the submarine went through firefighting school for obvious reasons. Being isolated on a submarine, often hundred of feet below the ocean and thousands of miles from land, we all had to be ready in case a fire broke out. There was no one else to fight a fire so we had to do it. An oil fire on a submarine would be out of control in less than 15 minutes and the compartment would flash, which means that everything and everyone in it would burn.

Actually, my father was a fireman for most of his life. In his later years, he was the Fire Chief for the City of Ormond Beach. Before he was a fireman, he was a lifeguard on the beach, He spent his whole life working for the City of Ormond. When he died they had his hat bronzed and gave it to us. However my older brother lost it because he was too lazy to pay a storage space rental but that is water under the bridge now. Grrrrrrrrr

Anyway, I was actually an Electronics Technician, Nuclear. That means that I worked on electronics in the nuclear area. During our offcrew however I also went to other training. I got a marksman ribbon for the 45 caliber pistol and I also went to firefighting training. Those were given twice a year. So don't try to sneak up on me. I have a gun and I really know how to use it. :) As for the fire fighting training it was really intense. We went through a series of exercises ending in the big oil fire.

To do this one, we had to each put on breathing equipment and enter a building engulfed in flames. We went in as two teams, one cooling the teams with a fog and the other brushing back the fire with a more intense spray. For about the first 19 years I enjoyed the training. I trusted my partners to protect me and had no trouble going into a smoke and fire filled room. However the last time that I did it, I began to hyperventilate and knew that it was time to give it up. I lost my nerve and knew it. So thankfully I retried shortly after that and never had to be put to the test. I did however attack several small fires but nothing big. I am good with a co2 extinguisher.

So hats off to my father and all the other firemen out there. I know what you go through and appreciate the job that you do. I would also like to remind everyone of the Charleston 9 who paid the ultimate sacrifice and are our hero's. They lost their lives in a Charleston fire when the roof collapsed.

Have a great day,



Dorothy Champagne said...

Last week, we were able to have a group of firemen bring their fire truck to our homeschool group and show the kids a few things. They extended the ladder all the way to the top and told us that it would reach up to the 6th story of a building. They allowed me to volunteer to climb the ladder. Fearlessly, I began to climb. I'm not afraid of heights, but it didn't take too long up the ladder to realize that I was not in the best of shape. The ladder also became skinnier towards the top. I told the fireman (the one climbing up behind me) - 'I don't know how you do this and bring someone back down with you' He told me that because of the equipment he has to climb on the outside of the ladder because it's not wide enough. I know being a fireman is a hard job - and I'm thankful to those that pursue this honoring career.

Sandy said...

Well that's a lot I did know about you, like that you were in the Navy for 20 years. Very interesting to read and glad you are good with a little extinguisher. I'll know who to call when I burn my dinner, as usual..

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Wow, Greg, that's quite a resume.


Have you seen the movie Fireproof yet? Great fireman movie. hee hee

Marla said...

Very good life story. Firefighting is a scary job. You always have such good posts. I really live a boring life. No adventure for me!

B His Girl said...

My brother-in-law was a medic with the fire department so I have heard rescue stories through him. They rescued many people where I live when Hurricane Ivan hit a few years ago. People were close to drowning as the water came into homes. I also have great respect for what they do. Hopefully you will not have use your training but we stand warned :)

Edie said...

Wow this was really interesting stuff. I really admire people who have the kind of courage it takes to risk their lives for others.

I would be a bit upset about that bronze hat too. :|

Becky said...

Wow, what a full life of service. Thank you.

Sharon said...

This is a great post, It really got my attention because my husband sings this in karoke and does it very well, but you are so right, Thank you for all they do, the courage they have, what they go through to either save someones home, land, animals and most of all people. They are amazing, and I respect them totally.
When you spoke about you being in the navy, instantly I thought of my father, he too was in the navy in va.
It did sound like a resume! :)
But great post and thank you for sharing.
Be blessed today

Scarlet said...

You and those like you are my heroes. Thanks for sharing this part of your life we didn't know before.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I always enjoy learning more about you and my blogging buddies. I didn't know you were in the Navy for 20 years either. Thank you for sharing!

My ADHD Me said...

OK, first just a tiny bit of humor.
That visitor named Eric...well, opps. It was me. I didn't realize I was on (Alberquando) his account. I wonder how many people I left comments for that day! So typical.

OK, Anyway, thanks SO much for the story. I Was curious. Fighting fire under water---wow. There's no bailing out pun intended.

I know what you mean about the intense training. They told us they wanted us to experience (if possible) the worst we would ever need to do while under controlled circumstances.

I was in Cherry Grove SC when I heard about the Charleston 9. What a tragedy. I brought home the newspaper and the picture/article is still on our bulletin board at the station.

Oh...and a bronzed Sorry it's gone.

My dad and grandfather were firefighters. My grandfather was the 2nd paid firefighter in the county and was eventually chief. I wish they had some of their gear or memorabilia. I did find a gentleman that had some old photos and articles that he let me copy. Also have a trophy my dad had.

ANYWAY, thanks so much for the info.

Your friend,

Monogram Queen said...

Greg my Grandfather was a city Fireman in Williamsport, PA and my Dad was volunteer Fireman for years in our neighborhood where I live today.
Firemen are a wonderful, brave, strong group of men!

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

Hay, I like firemen and I like George Staits song about Firemen
"I am the fireman that's my name, I go all over town putting out flames" something like that :)

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm a few days behind in my reading/comments. That was a really neat story!!!! And I know that song. A LONG time ago, I used to line dance, and know that dance to that song. LOL!!! Did I mention that was a LONG time ago.

I'm also laughing at my sister (ADHD) logging in on her sons account. That is funny! Almost like a set up, as you then mentioned her in your blog. Sounds suspicious to me! LOL!

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