I'm sure that a few of you are fans of the TV Show "Family Guy." In one episode, Peter gets a job on the local newscast as a commentator. His spot was called "Ya' know what grinds my gears?" Of course, Peter's perspective on life is a little slanted, and wackiness ensued. I've decided to add this to my blog post as a "ya know what grinds me gears related to the fire service?" You can agree, disagree, laugh, or agree to disagree. I'll add more as I think of them.
Things that really "Grind my Gears:"
1) Firefighters who don't carry tools with them--especially truckies.
2) Truckies that try to steal the nozzle--shouldn't you be searching, ventilating, laddering, getting utilities, or generally trying to make the Engine guys' lives easier?
3) When people say that "I'm just a volunteer, or I'm just an EMT." Dudes...you're JUST as important!
4) Career firefighters that think they are better just because they receive a paycheck.
5) Either career or volunteer firefighters that are just unwilling to stop dwelling on whether they are career or volunteer and instead being more productive by trying to perfect the craft of firefighting.
6) Hose beds higher than about 55 inches off the ground.
7) Ladder racks that are inaccessible.
8) Not pulling lines correctly on fires or raising ladders because they are inaccessible, generally perpetuating the inability of crews to perform their tasks effectively and performing their craft.
9) Chiefs that forgot that we still need to pull hose and raise ladders, but decided to spec rigs that are "multi-purpose" for that one call that we might get in ten years and thus rendering our apparatus ineffective for what they are intended.
10) Calling 100' of 1 1/2" single jacketed hose with a forestry nozzle on it a high rise pack.
11) When a firefighter from another department knocks on your station door (or a citizen, for that matter) and they aren't welcomed with open arms.
12) Anybody that thinks PPV is "the stuff" for ventilating at every structure fire. Nitroglycerin is "the stuff" for medical calls, too...but I don't use it on every patient.
13) Taking a tool and then placing a "fire service use" designation on it in order to tack another grand or two to the bill.
14) Fire equipment salesmen that haven't ever fought a fire, but by god the tool they want me to buy is just "the cat's meow."
15) Firefighters that expect the fire department training division to supply them with all the training they'll ever need.
16) Firefighters that can tell you exactly how to hook up your surround sound system, but can't find an axe on the rig.
17) Not being able to use a Medic Unit as a firefighting resource, especially when staffing is low.
18) Spending more time justifying why we shouldn't do something than why we should.
19) Not stabilizing a vehicle before extrication takes place.
That's all I can think of right now...