Getting it Done

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We never needed much to get the job done. Just a willingness to do the little things so the big things were a little more managable . . . Once a month the “Supply Man,” one of the senior firefighters who volunteered for the job would drop off some office supplies and a few boxes […]

Everything is political. Except the work.

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“Everything is political.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I could start a bonfire. The job is definitely political. Thankfully, the work is not. There are no asses to kiss, no quotas to fill, no people to appease or right things to say. There is only the work. It stares […]

1800 hrs.

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Night shift started at 1800 hrs. but most of us came in an hour early. The ones who didn’t came in even earlier. Didn’t want to miss anything. After turning in the pack, relieving your man and telling your officer, “I’m with you,” we would gather in the day room and talk. It never took […]

Manhandled

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Manhandle man·han·dle, verb move (a heavy object) by hand with great effort. “seven guys had to manhandle the piano down the stairs” Similar: heave haul push shove pull tug drag move carry lift maneuver hump lug handle (someone) roughly by dragging or pushing. Sometimes a person needs to be manhandled. It is the ugly elephant […]

Get Out As Soon As You Can

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“I’m down here!” We followed the voice into the basement, it was difficult, spider webs, dust mites, rat droppings and garbage slowed our progress. Human waste is worse than all of those things combined, and it nearly overwhelmed me as I worked my way toward a small light shining under a door at the far […]

On the Table

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Put your money on the table . . . . . . and there it would stay. Lunch, dinner, breakfast if the spirit moved somebody, three bucks, four, five, it didn’t matter, three, four, ten or fourteen people in, every one of them paying their share. Nobody touched it. That money was as safe on […]

We Own the Night

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From this Morning’s edition of The Providence Journal A world exists just outside our windows, a world where things are not always safe, not very clean and absolutely terrifying. Things happen while we sleep, lives are lost, homes destroyed and hearts broken. Shots are fired, blood is spilled, cars roll over, occupants thrown from their […]

Firefighters make great medics

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  Firefighters make great medics. Too many of us have been attacked, shot, shot at, stabbed, punched, kicked, abused, and disrespected by the public we serve. Yet, besides the occasional patient with an altered level consciousness lashing out at those sent to help, attacks on fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel are relatively rare. […]

Lonely, but not alone in the nursing home

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It is a dreadful time for all of us, our seniors especially so. Covid has seperated us, taken from us essential needs like touch and closeness. But no crummy disease will ever take away the humanity that exists within all of us. During an emergency at a nursing home things may not be perfect. Sometimes […]

Christmas Present

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He was small, but looked tall, dressed in a flowing robe, standing by the pay phone, a bottle of wine cleverly covered with a brown paper bag in one hand, a box of Chicken McNuggets in the other. “Who are you, and, and why did you call me?” I grumbled. “I am sthe spirit of […]

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