Thursday, August 26, 2010


I have friends who name their vehicles, whether its a bicycle, motorcycle, car or truck. Sometimes it's a proper name like Sam. Sometimes it's a nickname like "The Beast" or "Bumpy." Say Hello to Jenny and Ericka everyone. :)

I'm not criticizing this or making any kind of judgment. It's just something I personally can not do.

Why? Have you ever heard of the movie "Christine?"

Well if I ever name my car, that means it's possessed and it will want to kill you. That's right, you don't EVER want me to give my car a name. You're welcome.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Global Warming

Everyone is talking about Global Warming. Why? Because the weather all over the Earth has been crazy! First off, to be clear, Global Warming does NOT mean that the weather is hot all the time. It refers to the average temperature of the Earth and that it seems to be going up by 1 degree every few years.

This upward trend is blamed for the cause of our weird weather patterns and other phenomenons. They say our world will eventually turn into a wasteland if this trend continues. I don't want to live in a wasteland!

This is where the disagreements start. Some say that the change is man-made, and some say it is occurring naturally.

Regardless, the culprit is what people call "Greenhouse" gases. One of those gases is Carbon Dioxide. When living things breathe, we exhale Carbon Dioxide. Many cars and factories produce Carbon Dioxide.

To prevent this, we need to lessen the impact of this excess Carbon Dioxide that we create. The only thing I know of that does this, is plants. Through Photosynthesis, plants "breathe in" Carbon Dioxide and give off Oxygen.

Oxygen is what all living things need for their bodies to function properly. Oxygen helps keeps us healthy by providing nourishment to our brains and heart. Maybe with Global Warming, our Oxygen content is going down too. That would explain a lot of things. There's more health problems, heart attacks, and more crazy people in the world. It must be the lack of Oxygen! What if all we needed was more Oxygen producing plants?

But what are we doing in the world today? Cutting down the Rain Forests and replacing "green" with concrete in other places. We need to stop this trend. We need more plants in the world to combat the excess Carbon Dioxide that we create.

So I have decided to start a new trend to lessen my production of Carbon Dioxide. Exercise makes you breathe harder and faster. That stops right now. Sedentary is my new motto. Eating "right" means having fruits and vegetables with your meals. That ends too! No more killing plant life for me! Living plants give me Oxygen, dead plants make me go poo. Poo makes even MORE greenhouse gasses! And last but not least, I will eat more meat. Animals create just as much Carbon Dioxide as the next Greenhouse gas producer, so we're better off to have less of them.

So all of you "Greenies" out there in Cyberland, riding your bicycles, and living/eating a Vegetarian or Vegan lifestyle, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. YOU are killing the Earth!

What? So you say my new way of living is unhealthy and will lead to my early demise? Well, maybe it's better than getting old and living in a wasteland.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Firefighters 24/7/365

Firefighters are rarely publicly recognized for their work. And why should we be? It's our job, and we get paid to do what we do. But every so often, an organization shows their appreciation for Firefighters. Usually this comes after large scale incidents like Brush Fires, Earthquakes, Floods, Riots, etc.

Sure, sometimes a citizen will thank us for what we do. Sometimes we even get cookies, cakes, ice cream or food. Sometimes a big hug. We do appreciate it, but really, it's not necessary. It's what we do.

Our Fire Station is near Dodger Stadium. The Stadium was once in another Fire Station's District. Even though we were closer to the main entrance, Dodger Stadium belonged to someone else. About 2-3 years ago, that other Fire Station was closed and a new one was built to replace it. That Station was moved about one mile from where they used to be, so their district was redrawn, and we ended up officially covering Dodger Stadium.

As far as I know, an individual Fire Station has never been personally recognized for their work by the Dodgers. But, for reasons unclear to us, we were chosen to be recognized today. The Dodgers asked us to pick four members to represent our Station, in a ceremony on the field before the game, and gave us four tickets to the Baseline box seats. These seats were in the second row from the field, and included all you can eat food from one of the Stadium Clubs.

The four individual members were chosen by seniority at the Station, one from each shift, and one chosen by our Chief. On the A shift Engineer Don Witty was chosen with about 17 years at this Fire Station. On the B shift, Engineer Richard Villata was picked with about 24 years at the Station. On the C shift, Apparatus Operator Rubin Hunt was chosen with about 20 years at this Station. The 4th was Captain Charles Clark who had many years in and around the Station, and spent the last 5 years at this Station. The last three were also going to retire within the next eight months. Family, friends, and co-workers were offered free tickets to the game. In total, we had over 40 people show up to give us support.

At the last minute, Captain Clark could not go due to an injury and he was not able to walk and/or stand up for a very long time. So, Capt Clark asked me to take his place. Even though I was scheduled to work Overtime that day, I gave it up for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

At Dodger Stadium, we were chaperoned by one of the staff. He gave us field passes and led us down to an area behind Home plate where they had roped off sections. There were many other groups there who were also being recognized or were guests of someone. This is where we learned that State Farm sponsored us for the "Good Neighbor" award. We met our State Farm representative, and invited them to our Station. We watched the opposing team hit batting practice. We took pictures. We picked up baseballs. Then we got instructions on how and where to line up, and we waited.

Little did we know, another group was waiting too. Members of the Morman Church were there, and one of the Elders was going to throw out the first pitch. We thought maybe we were going to do that. Well, we were kinda hoping we would.

Standing there in our roped off area, I was a little bored. Only the opposing team was out there, and no one famous was around. 2 brothers, both retired from the LAFD recognized us and talked to us for a few minutes, yelling from the stands.

Then I noticed something odd. I saw a man on the ground between 3rd base and Home Plate. People were around him. I didn't know why he was down, it could have been any reason. Maybe he got hit by a baseball? Anyway, I walked over to see what was going on, and noticed a man who at best, was not breathing well. Maybe he was choking on something? I removed his dress shirt and tie and checked his pulse. He had none. I immediately started CPR. I did compressions and my fellow Firefighters were asking the family questions and getting the proper equipment. I heard "Get oxygen, call for a Paramedic," and I added, "Get a Defibrillator."

After a few minutes doing compressions, another off-duty Firefighter came up and took over for me. By then the Dodger Stadium medical crew for non-players was there. The Dodgers staff a Doctor, 2-4 Nurses, and an EMT ambulance. All seemed to show up right when I needed them.

I hooked up the Defibrillator to the patient and he was in V-Fib, so I shocked him. Only one was needed to get him out of V-fib. The patient regained his pulse, and seemed to become conscious but did not speak. During this time I started an Intravenous line from supplies that the Ambulance crew brought. It didn't last too long and he was back in V-fib. I shocked him 2 more times, and by then the crew of my Fire Station that was on duty was there. I grabbed the Intubation equipment and intubated the patient. We loaded him into our Ambulance and the on duty crew took him to the Hospital.

The four of us dusted off our clothes and went back to waiting for our ceremony to start. That's when we learned that the man who went down was the one who was going to throw out the first pitch. One of his Church members took his place and Engineer Witty was given a glove to be his Catcher. Right after that, we were introduced to the crowd, given a special Baseball bat with "2010 Good Neighbor Award" printed on it, and then ushered off the field. We changed out of our uniforms, and were escorted to our seats. The seats were awesome.

I called to see how the patient was doing, and found out that he did not make it. I'd like to tell you that he is alive and recovering, that somehow, he would make it. Unfortunately, this time, there was to be no happy ending. And this is how this story will end, with no happy ending.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What About ME?

People say that today's generation's biggest problem is that they mostly just think about themselves. You can see it all around you, volunteerism is down. Getting people to give blood or platelets is like, well trying to get blood from people.

Recently after 2 separate house fires, I had the chance to experience this generation of people first hand.

During a small garage fire that was almost completely extinguished, a woman came up to me and asked me if she could get her car out. I looked over to where she was pointing, and saw that her car was blocked in by our Fire Hose that went from the Fire Hydrant to the Fire engine. Keep in mind that the Hydrant supplies the water that is helping us put out the fire.

I said, "No, I'm sorry, but you can't drive over Fire hose." You see, by driving over it, you could damage the hose by puncturing a hole in it and preventing the supply of water to the fire.

She said, "But I have to go to work!"

I said, "You'll have to call in and tell them you're going to be late."

She said, "But it's my first day of work! I can't be late!"

I said, "I don't know what to tell you. You have to call in."

She repeated herself and I told her I would check on the status of the fire, since it was almost out, and estimate how long we would be.

Luckily for her, the fire was out, and it wouldn't take too long to get her car out.

So I told her, "The fire is out, we can shut down the hydrant for a few minutes and drain the hose to move it and you can get the car out right now."

She said, "I don't have my car keys, I'll go get them."

Five to ten minutes later, she returns with her keys and leaves. I don't even think she said "Thank you."

After we put out an early morning house fire, I was back at my Fire Dept vehicle taking off my Firefighting jacket. Fighting a fire is hard work, all while wearing heavy coats, pants, boots a helmet, and a air tank on your back. As I was "suiting down," one on the occupants of the house that was on fire came up to me and asked, "Do you have any bottled water? We're thirsty."

I did understand that since it was early morning, the occupants were awakened out of bed and had to flee without eating, drinking or being able to use the bathroom as people usually do when they wake up in the morning. But the same was for us, AND we had to put out the fire. Being exhausted and thirsty myself, I was thinking, "You've GOT to be kidding, right?" Besides, a Fire Vehicle is not a food truck, the only food and drink, if any, is personal stuff brought by the individual. Anyway, I said no, and went back in the house to do the clean-up work.

Another time, we were in the clean-up stages after putting out a house fire, when we were approached by one of the neighbors. The neighbor started complaining about the smell of smoke in her house. She left her windows open and the smoke from the house fire drifted in. She wanted us to do something about it. Sorry, there's nothing we can do.

Then she came out again and complained about a few ashes that had landed in her driveway and wanted us to clean her driveway. We did get a hose and wash down her driveway. All this while we were still making sure the fire in the house was completely out and damaged item were removed from the building.