Saturday, March 28, 2009

Does no one own a map!?

Argh. This story is actually not funny because some poor, scared guy had to wait probably an hour. However, it is such a cluster I feel the to vent.
Scared guy calls 911 from cell phone because even more scared wife with health problems is having an asthma attack. Cell phone call bounces off a tower in County A. County A either was smart enough to read their map, or they just punted the call. He gets transferred to County B to the south of A, where he actually lives. County B borders us on one side and is infamous for trying to pass off stuff they don't want to us. County B transfers call to County C where we reside. Apparently neither B nor C was smart enough to run the address. County C transfers to my illustrious City. The City also does not look up the address, and sends us.
As soon as the call goes out, I tell the Lt. that's in County B. We go enroute and call dispatch on the cell phone to ask if it is indeed mutual aid as we assume. We get met with a whole lot of "Uh, I don't know." Followed by a lengthy explanation of who called who and tranferred where. They just assumed County B asked us because they are tied up. Fine. Whatever. We're still responding, but it's going to take a little bit.
As we approach the County B/C line the City calls us. "Squad, be advised that this is not in our jurisdiction." (No, really?) "County B is sending a unit, however you are closer. Continue for now." We enter County B and discover that this address is considerably farther away then we thought. We advise the city to call County B and tell them we are NOT closer, continue their squad. County B finally pulls up a map and realizes something. The area there is contracted to a city in County B, NOT to the squad they originally sent to meet us.
We went in service with serious headaches from the idiocy. I hope that poor guy and his wife got their squad. What a disaster.

Where the hell is building "G" . . .

So I mentioned in "Let's remember one key point . . ." about fire alarms and poor building markings. Last night was yet another fine example of this. Also the point I made in the same post about people flagging you down (or not) was proven.
Since I work in a college town, at least ten percent of my shift is dedicated to fire alarms. University fire alarms and apartment fire alarms, most of which are malicious false alarms. We have several complexes that have multiple buildings; some complexes span multiple city blocks. When you have multiple buildings that look exactly alike, you have a problem.
Enter last night's adventure . . . "Respond for the fire alarm/First floor pull station/Building G"
This is a newer complex, so they keep adding on while we keep updating our map books. (Side note 1: The officer in charge of our map books is a little behind.) We head to said complex, and I'm manning the radio/map book in the squad. (Side note 2: We carry airpacks and gear on our squad because our call volume is rapidly outgrowing our number of personnel.) Suddenly I realize "Building G" does not exist on the map. Ok, well, whatever. It must be new, I know my alphabet, it can't be that hard to find. Right? Yeah not so much.
Our station covers a large area, part of which extends beyond the city limits. Thanks to contracts, politics and other problems we have quite a bit of rural area to cover. This complex is out far enough that it has its own streets, kind of like its own housing development. The elusive "Building G" is on its own street, not accessible from the street the engine turned down that had "Building F," go figure. . . So the few college students who have bothered to evacuate for the alarm are staring at us, from the other street, quiet for once in their life. Awesome.
So back to my original point, there are NO exterior markings on these buildings visible from the street to denote what is what. The only markings are on the entrances, by the door, about the size of a 5x7 card. Yeah, good luck with that. Hey Lieutenant, hand me the binoculars . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2009

That's my brother . . . Part 2

For those of you who read the earlier post about imaginary twin brothers, here's one about real brothers.
A traffic unit pulls over a vehicle and runs the name and DOB given by the driver. Much to the driver's surprise the cop immediately arrests him. For felony warrants. The guy freaks out and starts telling the cop he gave his brother's information because he, the driver, has warrants. The irony? The warrants that he wanted to hide were misdemeanors, not felonies. So after identifying him by his social security number and photograph, he still gets arrested.

Bonus: The warrant squad arrested his brother several hours later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Traffic is overrated . . .

A quote from a friend of mine in the academy, "Well that detour was awesome, it took so long I now need an oil change."

"The left lane is for passing, the right lane is for YOU."

"I think people should have to write an essay on what a four way stop is and how to proceed at one. I also think there should be a second essay on why you need to treat a traffic light as one during a power outage."

"People, please. It's called maintaining the flow of traffic. Slow people on the right, be expeditious in your turn and don't do stupid shit."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CVSA fun . . .

A friend of mine took a CVSA (computer voice stress analysis) for the city to move from part time to full time firefighter. He is the definition of Type A personality. He is also the most anxious person EVER. He called me almost in tears with this . . .
"It told me I beat the wife that I don't have!!!!"
Poor kid . . . he had to go talk with the fire chief. But he still got the job at least.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I don't get paid to do that . . .

This morning in intake/release we were cleaning up breakfast trays when this transpired. One of the newer guys looks at me and goes, "Where the is the trustee who collects these? I'm going to call the kitchen and tell them to send his ass down here."
I managed to keep my head from exploding. Somehow. I took a deep breath, and said . . . "Are you serious? Are your arms broken, or are you really that lazy?" He looked directly at me and said,"I don't get paid to do that shit."

Let me tell you what I DON'T get paid to do. I started my career as a volunteer firefighter, I didn't get paid to risk my life. I don't get paid to get thrown up on during squad runs. I don't get paid to have urine and feces thrown at me by inmates. I don't get paid to go through the police academy to take on more risks. I don't get paid to talk to suicidal college kids at four in the morning. I don't get paid to have nightmares about calls I've been on.

I get paid to uphold the laws of the United States Constitution and the laws of my state. I get paid to protect lives and property. I get paid to deliver high quality emergency medical care. I get paid to provide adequate care and safety for the prisoners entrusted to me.

God help me if I ever do ONLY what I am paid to do. You cannot pay someone to be compassionate, have empathy or understanding. No amount of money can buy loyalty, integrity or honesty.

Never forget how many have died for simply going to work and doing their job; whether or not they got paid to do all of it.