I dreamed I went to a fire last night and it was great. I was back at my old house, the Hero House 7’s and with my old crew. We were sitting around the kitchen as always when the bell went off. Single family structure with possible trapped occupants.
We bolted to the truck and there was gear sitting right next to the back right door, the back right door is right behind the officer, kinda a place of prestige, the senior plugger gets that seat. That way at the scene the officer and the senior plugman can face to face before we go to work.
I pulled my gear on like an old lover embraces their true love. They felt heavy and warm and smelled of the last fire. We were fast last night in my dream and the big red truck roared to life as we slammed our doors shut. I slid my arms into the straps of my air pack, another warm embrace, my heart pounded like a teenager going for their first kiss.
It was such a familiar hug as I pulled my straps tight I was thrilled. We all had on our headsets on and the preplanning started. As we left the station we had a visible header in the distance and it was black and nasty looking, a small volcano awaited us. Man that gets you going, your head swims with what you will do. What will it be like? How to attack and which way to attack?
Freddy the lieutenant started.
“Okay boys we have a worker it’ll be a fast attack and let’s find out if we got people inside.” He grabbed his mic and called dispatch.
“Dispatch from engine seven, we have a header let’s go ahead and tap a second alarm on this.” Freddy had an instinct for knowing at a distance what he needed and more help was always welcome, as long as they got there just a few minutes after we did, first due is the bomb. That’s what you want, that’s when your metal is tested the most, just you and your boys and the beast.
“TimO take the new guy with you, keep him close, and Chippy (the new guys nickname) you stick with TimO no freelancing you got me?”
“Yes sir.” Answered Chippy. I looked at him winked, smiled and gave him a big thumbs up.
“That’s why we are here kid. Let’s just go to work you’ll do fine.”
We made a right turn and there it was a freaking mansion, but there were no mansions in this neighborhood, dream thing I guess. The fire was already blowing out the front windows and a group of Wavers and Pointers were at the curb showing us the obviously raging fire.
“Take the front door TimO with a fast attack and see if you can get it knocked a bit.” Said Freddy, he never barked orders he had a very calm way of leading.
The Wavers and Pointers included some family and they said two children were still inside. Chippy and I were stripping hose and stretching it to the front door. The door was an easy pop and as we crouched low the fire surrounded us, washed over us. Strange how welcome that felt in the dream. We went in low crawling heavy smoke and heat greeted us, but that dim glow of orange in the distance gave us a target.
We made some rain as we call it; you point your hose at the ceiling above the fire and ricochet the water down on to the fire, at the same time the greatest heat is at the ceiling level so it turns to steam condenses on the ceiling and makes “Rain”.
I had Chippy in front of me on the nozzle; I always liked my new guys in front of me just in case they felt like back up a little, fire can do that to you.
Then all of the sudden the Truckies were there, I knew all the faces, some were even dead guys I knew from years ago, but in the dream they were young and strong and brave one more time.
“You got this?” asked a dead man.
“We got it Cap.” I answered and old friend that had passed years ago, he seemed to know he was in a dream too, his eyes were bright with life and energy as if he was thanking me for bringing along.
“We’ll get the kids then.” And he and a bunch of other dead men crawled past me and up a staircase. Now it was the job of me and Chippy to protect their exit, we had to get a good knock down so the staircase would hold.
I pushed Chippy forward by the collar.
“We gotta get in there kid.” We crawled on our hands and knees dragging the hose, it was so heavy with water and friction; it was like taking an elephant for a walk. The floor was so hot it burned my knees right through my gear and I loved it, I was so alive right then. We made the seat of the fire and killed it quick with our sword of water. But the fire had extended into the floor above us.
Out of our reach and if it was under the staircase the staircase could fail. Our low air alarms began to sound, but the Truckies hadn’t appeared yet.
“We have to go.” Yelled the panicked new guy.
“Not yet kid, we got guys up there.” The wait was strange for me in the dream, I soaked it in, the smells, the heat, the noise, my old life had come to visit once again, it was fresh for a moment. I cried.
Then the dead guys appeared again, each had a child in his arms and a huge smile on his faces, one last rescue for them too I guess. Each gave me a nod, and then my alarm went off.