A firefighter of course! I've been meaning to schedule another station tour for the boys. So when I found out that the tours at this particular station can be scheduled for Saturdays, I immediately set one up to include our oft left out homeschooling member of the family - Mr. Maricucu. Little did I know he would love it so.
First we had a fire safety chat. My favorite moment, hands down involved a very serious question. "What do you do if you find matches or a lighter laying around?" My kids, my campfire obsessed children, the very same boys that make matches out of legos answered, "turn them on!" Mr. Maricucu and I had a mighty fine held back giggle while the firefighter held back his reaction to set the record straight. Then another officer began to get dressed in all his gear under the premise that "the kids aren't so scared of the firefighter in his gear after the presentation." I told Mr. Maricucu that our kids would be jumping up and down in glee were they to encounter an honest to goodness all dressed up in his "scary" gear firefighter no matter the venue.
I had a hot flash right about then. Good grief that's a lot of layers for this Florida girl.
He put on his air pack and turned on the oxygen. The third firefighter attached a microphone accessory to the breathing pack that allows them to be heard more clearly.
Once the safety chat was over and we were well acquainted with their very neat heat reading camera equipment we were off to see the trucks. The ladder truck was called mid chat so we watched it go off and we inspected the water truck. The boys didn't even have to be asked twice if they wanted to sit in the captain's chair. Whoo, fuzzy photo but they were moving fast.
We saw all sort of tools, hatchets, picks and bolt cutters. Every manner of quick access, destructive equipment and I'm glad they have each and every one.
I do believe the boys asked to see every access panel and hidden compartment. Nothing slipped by them and of course we were able to inspect the miles and miles of hoses.
Did I mention one very big kid thoroughly enjoyed the tour and was peppering the firefighters with his own questions? He found it fascinating that the firefighters worked on most minor truck repairs in their in-house shop and I was amazed at the laundry list of tasks they got accomplished before noon. The station is truly a well oiled machine.
After checking out the truck the boys got an impromptu look at the dormitory, showers (yes, they asked), workout room and garage.
And if there was any doubt these little boys adored these firefighters, well they had to go and do this. My boys were gifted hats and badges which you would have thought were the keys to the station.
Oh and did you know that firetrucks don't have keys? Which of course prompted the question from these two jaded adults, "what happens in places like Miami?" Apparently the firefighter was prepared and responded that in places that are a bit more risky the firefighter has to chain the axle on the wheel. See, I'm not the only paranoid one.
It was a truly enjoyable way to spend a weekend afternoon. Mr. Maricucu and I both were impressed with the firefighter's genuine love for their job and true interest in engaging with the community. Thanks guys. We hope to return soon.