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Playing with fire.....

posted Aug 1, 2008, 9:23 AM by Kevin Coughlin   [ updated Aug 1, 2008, 9:33 AM ]
I can't help it - I love playing with fire. So much activity over here with the trees and grasslands and open spaces and dry heat in the summer as far as fires go.... and it has been getting so that I can't seem to see a truck drive past or see a column of smoke that I don't want to chase it down. I spent 8 years on fire trucks, tenders, and ambulances that it is a part of me. Everyone has a mental picture of themselves.... a lot of time it devolves around what church they are a member of, or what they do for a living. If you had asked me 10 years ago I would have said I was a computer geek. Two years ago I would have unthinkingly said "I'm a firefighter, and I work computers for a living".

A few weeks ago I decided I had waited long enough, and started the process to join the local volunteers. They can always use skilled personnel, and I DO have skills. The fact that they are almost entirely volunteer out here, and a bit lower budget - means the trucks are a little older, and it takes somebody who really knows what the machines can do and how they do it to get the most out of them. I've been to drill the last three weeks and my paperwork is in process. I've met with a bunch of the volunteers in the southern side of the district (the district covers 378 square miles - so you don't get the entire district together every week). I still have paperwork to shuffle, the commissioners have to look at my application, read my letters of recommendation (I got one from Chief Collins, I figure that should help) and then officially meet the local chief - not just chatting at drill.

Meanwhile, I got a picture from the MySpace page of my old lieutenant on Crew 8 back in Snohomish - it was at a training burn, so we had a few "photo ops". I can always tell myself in pictures by my helmet - I have hot rod flames along one side, and a specially built head lamp I designed on the front brim. I'm the big grin on the far right in the picture.