Some of you know, and many of you may have read in an earlier post, that I am a second generation Firefighter. I’ve asked my father, who retired just a few years ago, to think of some of the better tales from his 30+ years of service and share them with us new kids in the business.
No way to know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been, right?

Funny thing about my dad is that he had a silly nickname when he worked too. Any guesses?

The Angry Captain.

I’m not kidding. Your Happy Medic’s dad was the Angry Captain. I think that’s why he laughs more at my name here at work than most others.

But hidden somewhere in our history of silly names and lame jokes is where a spark in me said, “I want to be like him. I want to do what he does.”

There are a few memories I wanted to share, maybe sparking the memories of other second generation folks and what it was like to more or less grow up in a fire house.

The Crown Climbing the Hill

For a number of my formative years, dad worked at a Ladder Truck Company in the area we lived. His was the first due truck in our neighborhood which meant he was able to come by the house if needed, and if his Captain approved of course. Yup, I was the coolest kid in town when my dad pulled into the small cul de sac driving that 100′ Crown Tiller.
We could also hear him responding from quite a distance. Not just because of the sirens, but because when that Crown started up a nearby hill there was no mistaking her.

The hill in question stood maybe a half mile, not more, from my bedroom window and on a summer night you could hear the sirens die down and that Crown go into low gear. That low rumbling was unmistakable. It was Dad. And just to let us know he was thinking about us, just as they crested that hill he would carefully give 2 half pulls on the air horn before that Crown would take a break and head down the other side of the hill, sirens blaring again.
As a kid, I was relieved to know that dad was OK. I know now that he was on his way to work and that the siren sound should have made me nervous, kept me up, not put me back into a gentle sleep like it did.
I’m sure mom was in the next room getting the opposite effect from those honks. As if Dad was saying, “I love you,” in case he never got another chance.

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