Who’s The Boss?

Storm Alert!

A couple years ago, Mr. 4-Ever was out of town and I was home alone watching the tornado’s swirling formations on the weather channel when sirens started blaring their warning.

Outside, the sky was greenish gray and there wasn’t a wisp of wind. Almost simultaneously, a text notification beeped on my cell phone. A tornado warning had been issued and my house was in its path.

I hurriedly began collecting the things I can’t live without when the kitchen door burst open. Eli, my firefighter son, called loudly, “Mom! Mom! Where are you?” “I’m in the office, Eli. What are you doing here?” “I heard the warning on my scanner and I came over to be with you in case you were scared.”

Before I could even get the Aww, that’s so sweet of you out of my mouth, he started barking directives.

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What Do You Do If Your Proverbial House Is On Fire?

“Mom, I had my death picture taken today,” says my son over the phone.
“What? Your what?!?”

“My death picture. That’s what the guys call it.  We have our picture taken in front of the flag wearing our dress uniform.  If we die in the line of duty, that’s the picture they put on my casket and in the newspaper.”

“Oh,” is all I can say.

Eli’s a firefighter.

Eli in turnout gearHe’s been thoroughly trained on a course filled with obstacles designed to prepare (or purge) recruits who desire to fight fires.  To remind them of the perilous nature of the job, many of the obstacles are named for fallen firefighters. The Bob Lee Wall is a six foot high cement wall.  Bob Lee couldn’t scale a similar obstruction, was trapped in a fire and died. The Denver Drill is named for an downed firefighter who perished next to a window because his team couldn’t get him out of the fire from their position outside the building.  The Comrade Course is a series of cement tubes, 3 feet in diameter.  Recruits have to wriggle through them in a hundred pounds of turnout gear, secure a “victim” and drag them back through the tubes to safety.

It’s serious training because lives depend on it.

I hope and pray I never have to use Eli’s death picture.
But I know that fire and smoke try to kill my son on every call.

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