Posts Tagged With: Technical Rescue

~ Tough Love Competition ~

It is the eve of September 11th.  A sober night for our country, and particularly poignant for My Captain, since he was deployed with Maryland Task Force One to join the collapse rescue effort that morning at the Pentagon.

untitledCCHe would spend the next 7 gruesome days on the ground of the disaster as the Task Force Leader of Maryland Task Force One, leading their effort to find any viable survivors.

They found none.  Not a single one.  Plenty of burning jet fuel and rubble, but no survivors.

One “holy cow” story that came out of his experience that deployment actually happened on 9/12.  A man in a military uniform was brought to My Captain during the rescue efforts because he had a NEED to get to a desk on the exact spot the plane hit.  It turned out that there was a file on that desk about the very man they knew they had to find:  Osama Bin Laden.   The military man needed to get to that desk and find that file.  My Captain feared there was no way the file or probably even the desk had survived.  But they got that man up the treacherously unstable rubble pile, and UNBELIEVABLY the desk was sitting right next to where the building collapsed, and the file was still sitting on it…unscathed.  UN-FREAKING-SCATHED.

No one could believe it.

There are other 9/11 deployment stories My Captain shares.  We’ll save them for another time.  He does share some of them every year with our local middle school on 9/11.

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In fact, he’ll be there all day tomorrow, as he has for the past several years, telling the kids about a day they were not even born to experience.  It’s crazy that those kids never knew the Pre-terrorist America as we did, growing up.

These thoughts were rattling around in my head as I was methodically doing the dishes this evening.   I thought about all of the families that were forever changed in that brief morning, and how all of those people never knew it was coming.  They never got one final goodbye.  One final hug or kiss.  They weren’t ready.

My eyes drifted to this:

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and I smiled.  Several months ago, I came down one morning and saw a note from My Captain that merely read: “I love you dearly.”

I left that note up there because every time I saw it, well, I felt warm, and tingly, and loved.

And then sometime this summer, I noticed that Varmint had added to it: “I love you more!”

And then sometime later, My Captain wrote: “I love you both the most!”

And then my Varmint wrote: “I call loving you guys infinity!”

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It was absolutely juvenile, and disturbing that we can’t even love each other without some kind of competition.

But truly, it makes me smile even bigger than before because, unlike so many of the victims of 9/11, we treat every day in this house as if we will never get the chance to say we love each other again.  Partly because My Captain’s profession is one of risk and danger.  And partly because of the lesson that was that horrible day.

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One we will never forget in our household.

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That’s My Captain in the white officer’s shirt at the far right of this picture.  If you are wondering why they were smiling, it was because they’d been deployed for 7 straight days and they were being relieved to go home…they were about to see their loved ones.  And they knew they were given the great gift to live another day to see those dear ones.

And love them.

Even if it was in an oddly competitive manner.

Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

~ The Big-Ass Tire That Could ~

This is the story of a large tire who didn’t believe in itself, but with the help of the Montgomery County Special Ops (Collapse/Trench/Technical Rescue) Team,  learned to.

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We’ll name the tire Fred.

Fred was between 5 and 6 HUNDRED pounds of glorious black rubber.  He had lived a rather mundane life, going in circles again and again and again, until he was retired.  He thought his life was over at that point.  He had not been chosen to live the remainder of his years on a kiddie playground, and no one was making him into a redneck flower bed.  He was very sad.

Poor Fred.

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Then one day, yesterday, to be exact, the rescue team from Montgomery County decided to use him for one of their hundreds of trainings.

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Fred found himself being hauled up hills,

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pulled over things,

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pushed under things,

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heaved,

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and hoed.

Hoed?

Just go with it.

The kind Special Ops team took him everywhere that day, so they could be more prepared when a true crises came.  And THAT made Fred feel good about his purpose in this world, for he knew he was a part of saving peoples’ lives….

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…and tiring out grown mens’ behinds quite thoroughly.

(Fred really needs to lose some weight.)

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~ Fireproof ~

So there is this movie called “Fireproof,”

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about a firefighter struggling to save his marriage.  It’s the best Friday night Movie with your hubby on the couch kind of movie.

Kirk Cameron…

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stars as the Hero in the movie, and I am always amazed at how he nails his portrayal of a Fire Captain.   I might not be able to say the same about the realism in the fire scenes, but heck, this isn’t about accuracy!  It’s entertainment folks!

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As to Cameron’s role, it really was not bad for an actor who, to my knowledge anyway, hasn’t been a true Captain fighting blazes.

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I have always enjoyed this movie immensely.  Sure, maybe it’s because I’m biased, and think that my own husband is the same Hero, the same Captain, and the same noble man Kirk Cameron plays, but to that I say, “Whatever works!”

Here’s a trailer to the movie if you have never seen it:  Fireproof Trailer 

So, the other day My own Captain was in training during his shift, and snapped a few photos.   I won’t bore you with what I think are the MOST interesting photos in the world, but I had to share a couple, because, well, they are so TOTALLY right out of Fireproof:

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This guy, James, is an officer affectionately known to some of us as “Jimmy John.”  A more conscientious, loyal, honorable, smart, heroic man, you’ll never meet (unless you met My Captain…).  The shot above made me grin, because in it, he looks EXACTLY like Kirk Cameron.

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What a freaking STUD!!!

I see men like Jimmy John, and My Captain, and I wonder, how is it that this world has any problems when we have men like this to solve them?

I guess we just need more of these guys.  Or we need to push the ones we already have out further in the spotlight.  We need to give them more media time than the Honey-Boo-Boo’s and the Kardashians.

But it’s not a true hero’s nature to WANT to be in the spotlight, though.

Which makes them all the more desirable.

Oh there are still plenty out there, friends.  You just won’t find them in the spotlight.  But believe me, they are there.

Categories: Family, Fire and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Where’s Pokey, Dammit?! ~

My Captain spent the day, today, at a FEMA-required Urban Search and Rescue collapse rescue training…a sort of continuing education with his now decades-old participation with Maryland Task Force One.   Montgomery County, Maryland, had an old warehouse they were going to demolish, but beforehand, in an astounding stroke of wisdom, they stocked the building up with mock emergencies like crushed cars and dummy-victims.  THEN they demolished it, and set the collapse rescue techs of Maryland Task Force One on the rubble pile like a pack of dogs.

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Well, actually, they do have dogs….

Anyway, I felt for My Captain today.  He’s been doing this for so long, I know it is not as exciting as it must have been when he was first starting out, decades ago.  He’s been around the block a time or two, and while, yes, there is always a new way to try things, and, yes, there are always fresh ideas to consider, and while, yes, you can never be over-prepared….today was raining torrentially, he had just recently finished a 48 hour shift, and it must have…oh, what is the word that would best suit…. oh yes…it must have SUCKED.

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It had to.  Can you tell from this picture how hard it’s raining on the pile?  So yeah, it must have sucked.  Rain.  Rubble.  Trash and unhealthy dust and ….

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Oh, did I mention they were at it for 12 hours?  Poor guys.

He called once during lunch break, and I asked him to take a few pictures.  I’ve never been to that kind of training, and it’s such a big part of who he is….I wanted to share in it, if only vicariously.

In the past, he has taken pictures of the guys working, but he never sends pictures of himself.  So I asked him particularly to do so.  I want to see My Beloved, after all!  Sure, the other guys are wonderful, but I ain’t a-married to them!  I really wished to see him in his element.  He’s got more years and experience than most people in this field… and I never get to see him in it!

He demurred.  He doesn’t like to pose for pictures.

I begged.

He refused.  Said he was too busy to take the time.

I whined.

He declined.  Tried to change the subject.

I threatened.

He capitulated.

( I’m scary like that. )

But Dang It!  I want to see my husband’s beautiful mug!  I was so glad he relented.

And this is what the turkey sent me.

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Passive Aggressive Son Of A Biscuit.

It’s probably not even him.

As heroic as My Captain is, I have a hard time appreciating the manliness of what he does when he looks like Gumby….

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~ Search and Rescue ~

I’m writing an update on our poor injured Fonzie, at the request of several readers. To remind you how this all started, I’m re-blogging the story!

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During Maryland Task Force One’s deployment to Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey, several of the team were injured, among them My Captain.

Don’t worry, he’ll live to rescue another day.

But unfortunately, another task force team member who was injured more seriously, has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

His name is Fonzie.

Fonzie and his handler, Victoria, had a harrowing ride during the week of the storm.

Fonzie’s paw got stuck under a metal door, and he cut the tendon and flesh of one of his toes.  He bled all over the place, and it looks like he will lose his toe.

This is a big deal.  Fonzie is not just a ‘dog.’

He’s a true search and rescuer, with extensive training (to the tune of about $15,000!).  He relies on his paws…and all the toes therein…to climb through rubble piles where humans could…

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Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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