I was hoping this could be referenced by someone else first!
Statter911 is reporting an intruder at a San Francisco Firehouse HERE. I will now comment on HIS story, not the actual event.
According to the report a man was found inside the firehouse wearing a uniform and watching TV, after having washed his shoes and gotten a bit of a workout in. An anonymous commenter noted that a man wearing a female firefighter’s uniform was not out of the ordinary in San Francisco. Haha…hilarious! Does your department issue different uniforms to females or are they simply a different cut?
All joking aside though, this is a perfect chance to discuss firehouse “security.”
Do you post a day watch? Are your bay doors always closed? Is the back door locked or wedged open for fresh air?
In San Francisco we do post day and night watches, but what happens when we run a call and pull away, only looking back briefly to tell the Officer “Door is coming down” as we head off to the call?
The only way to truly secure your quarters is to leave someone behind to double check the doors are closed and locked, windows fastened shut and no one ducks under the large doors while you drive away with your mind on other things.
The fact that this happened at a station I am very familiar with was only kind of a shock, since this is a double company, Engine and Truck, and with the staffing shortages we are experiencing, a large amount of unfamiliar faces come and go from house to house as staffing needs dictate. Perhaps you have a smaller department where everyone knows everyone else, but with 43 engines, 19 trucks, 2 squads a scattering of specialty units, not to mention the dynamic ambulance staff and add to that a confusing 31 day tour schedule, I too have had to introduce myself to people at other housees that I have never met, and that’s almost 10 years on the job here.
I’m not making excuses for what happened but trying to make it a chance to talk to your co-workers about just how secure your quarters really are and learn from what could have been a dangerous situation.
Oh, and lock your lockers…you never know who’ll be trying on your uniform these days.