Today I went on my first ride-along! I rode with station #7 at a Fire Department out of town, because currently I'm not allowed to ride with my own city's station until I get up to a higher level in the Explorer Program I'm in. I'll be up-front: we only got one call the whole time I was there (and it ended up being nothing), but I had a great time regardless and it was a good opportunity to meet new people, expand my contacts, and have a closer look into what a day might be like as a firefighter.
To start off the morning, I left a little earlier (6:30) so that I could get Jamba Juice before I needed to be at the station. My current favorite is Aloha Pineapple, and it was delicious! If you've never had Jamba Juice, I highly recommend going there and getting the Aloha Pineapple smoothie.
I arrived at the station a little before 8:00, thanks to the handy GPS system my dad let me borrow. I met the crew, signed a form, and then got to be a part of their life for a day. The captain was straightforward and let me know that they were a pretty slow station, and that they'd go about their daily routine and I could jump right in or just observe. All of them were really nice and made me feel at home. After all equipment was checked off, we left in the truck to go meet Station #10 at a grass field nearby to play some Frisbee. Apparently this is something they try to do often, not only to get in some cardio but also to connect with other firefighters in the area. I'd never played frisbee before, so I tried my best but I wasn't very good, and half the time I was rather afraid of getting completely crushed by a few of them. They're all so competitive! But it was a lot of fun. I felt like I was getting the hang of it near the end, so next time I'll be ready to play harder!
We shopped at Basha's for lunch. Everyone chips in $5 a meal, and we had grilled chicken sandwiches on bagels with delicious melted cheese and pineapple inside, and "the concoction" - which is a beautiful fruit-filled concoction that I plan to make again sometime! Yummy! Right as we were finishing lunch, a call came in. Someone had seen a man fall off his bike and hit his head, but when we got there he was walking around fine and just had a little dust on his shirt.
Back at the station, we pretty much relaxed the rest of the time I was there. I got to have some conversation with one of the firefighters while two of the others watched a movie. After awhile, we all started watching the movie. It was one of those scare-flicks, and was definitely a bit disturbing, but I decided I would just watch it unless it got inappropriate. It had some violent parts, and really was just weird...definitely would not have picked that out to watch. After it was over we watched an episode of 24, which was much more "normal." Then I had to leave at 3:00, because I had class at 4:30. So...overall there wasn't as much action as I had been hoping, but it was a nice day and I had a good time. I'd definitely do a ride-along with them again, but maybe I'll try to get a busier station for my next one.
Countdown to Africa: 37 days!!!!!!!!!!
Outside Temp: 78°F
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