Overheard at HMHQ

Over lunch one Saturday…

HM looking at phone news feed – “Oh look, 48’s had a 2 alarm fire this morning.”

MrsHM – “48’s?  Which Companies are due on a second to the Island?”

HM, startled, -“What did you just say?”

MrsHM – “Didn’t I say that right?”

HM, proud, -“Yes, you did…”



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7 thoughts on “Overheard at HMHQ”

  1. Okay HM, time for a question that’s been floating around my noggin for a while and this seems like as good a time as any to ask…

    It’ll be a little convoluted but such is the nature of my brain.

    Is it just a California thing to refer to a station’s companies by the possessive of the station number? (ie; 48’s caught a run for a structure fire…)

    Does this come from it being more common in the West for multiple company stations to share numbers while departments in the MidWest and on the East coast tend to mix numbers in a station? (ie: LA County Station 51 was home to Squad 51 and Engine 51 or 127’s was Engine and Ladder 127 while here in Iowa my first due is Station 4 and houses Engine 4 and Truck 2.)

    Just a little detail that’s been kicking around in my head.


    1. BGM,

      Common here in the Midwest too. In the burbs the ladders/rescues/etc are usually type followed by station assignment-E1, T1, R1 run out of same house. Detroit often refers to the number alone, but even in a double house it will be referred to by the engine’s number. Eg-Detroit E50 and L23 are stationed in same house, but the house is referred to as “Fifty’s” or “Fifty’s quarters”. Fire runs will be referred to by the closest house, like “that fire was in Fifty’s first due”.

  2. Yeah, my wife knows the lingo too (EMS). Since I respond from home some nights she knows all the codes that come over the pager and radio. It makes our conversations a little easier some times. Hey, it shows they take an interest in what we do.

  3. And if HM wants to join Ambulance Driver on the naughty list for inappropriate comments:

    “My wife. I think I’ll keep her.”

    It’s great when they understand what we do, and even better if they understand WHY. Mrs HM sounds like a real gem. Give her a hug from me, with my thanks for sticking with someone in this field. Lord knows, it ain’t easy sometimes.

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