There is always talk around the dinner table at the firehouse that the house was clearly not designed by anyone who had ever even seen a firehouse before.
“The locker room is too small!”
“This kitchen sucks”
“Can’t we have a toilet on the ground floor?”
The usual complaints.
So this Sunday we’re heading out of HMHQ and over to the architect’s office with a copy of Gerry Souder’s book and the following demands.
#1 – Humidor Cabinet
The guys are having an occasional cigar, but why have the engine parked infront of the smoke shop every weekend? With this cabinet, each member can purchase and store quality cigars to enjoy 50 feet from the closest door, per policy. If your organization prohibits the use of tobacco products while on duty, install this in the basement. Cigars.com has a lovely selection.
#2 – Commercial Dishwasher
At a busy triple company house, feeding and cleaning up after 14 people can be a chore. But if you use a commercial strength dishwasher, you can wash an entire load of dishes in 90 seconds. That is not a typo. 90 seconds. I work at a big house that has one of these and it is awesome. Pile in the silverware, press on, wait a minute and a half and POW, clean forks.
It takes a few more cycles since there is only one tray, but the water heats up to 170 degrees and cleans those things like no one’s business. The folks at ArchiExpo can tell you more.
#3 – 3 Burner Bunn-o-Matic Coffee Maker
Forget those fancy fru-fru drinks for $3 a pop at the local coffee shop. Save those for heading home. That’s your reward for staying safe and going home again. Until then, we need 3 piping hot supplies of delicious coffee. Some may tell you the 4 burner is the way to go, maybe if you’re having a lot of meetings at your house, but if you’re all career, 3 should do fine. And while you’re at it, stop buying the crappy coffee at the warehouse store and spend the extra $2 a pound for some quality coffee from a local vendor. Chances are he’ll be glad to brag that you buy his coffee to drink in your house. No gifts, buy the coffee.
#4 – Wireless
Do I even need to include this in our dream house? What house these days doesn’t have wireless yet? Get a private phone line installed and collect the $5 a month from the members and get a network set up. You’ll likely want two routers, one on each side or end of the house so that the computer up front gets as strong of a signal as the dorms. We’ll also need a communal computer for research and checking for updates on firegeezer. That brings up another thing, networking the network. That fancy TV you spent all the money on last year you currently use to watch Dancing With the Stars has a video input on the back. Run a cable from the computer to the TV and watch training videos, fireground close calls, and post important information. We recently had a boss do this to the giant TV to give a ventilation drill. he fired up the video on the communal computer and everyone actually wanted to try it and was involved. We watched, we learned, then we went and did it. And add in the free printer, make it wireless so all the laptop guys can use it too.
#5 Truck Turntable
Too many folks are getting hurt and some have even died while the apparatus is backing up. Why? Why are we even “spotting” these things, only putting ourselves in danger to protect someone’s investment. Let’s install a truck turntable. Pull in, press the button and just like Batman did, we’re turned around and ready for the next attack from the Riddler. I can hear some of you groaning about how elaborate, expensive, problem prone this might be but it can never fail. It simply becomes a floor if it stops rotating. Not sure how the tillers will do with this, we’ll look into something. And for those of you singing the praises of drive through bays…I don’t want to hear your bragging anymore.