Andrew Pollack's Blog

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Lots of Fire stuff this weekend. Fireworks detail, and a bunch of people who just don't think.

By Andrew Pollack on 07/20/2008 at 11:22 PM EDT

So this weekend, between working on Domino and Asterisk, I had a lot of firefighting stuff to do.

First, on Saturday afternoon a down power line call came in literally 500 yards from my house, just over on the next street. I went direct and had someone toss my gear on the first due Engine. It turned out the line was a high voltage service line that feeds the transformers which then feed the houses a few at a time. This line had come off the pole and was laying across the grass and driveway of someone's house. Did I mention it was jumping around a little and smoking?

There was quite a crowd standing way too close and generally doing dangerous things. There was one guy in the crowd who "knew it was safe" making it difficult for me to get people to stay back, and generally the situation was not good at all. I don't want to go into too much detail because I actually have filed a report that will need to be addressed formally first. Here's some advice in dealing with down power lines:

1. If you see a guy with a radio, fire gear, flashing lights, and so on and he's waving to you from a distance and telling you to step back further -- listen to him. There may be a reason why he's not going closer to you.

2. In generally, if there is down line and the guy from the power company is staging back 300 feet or so in his truck....you probably should think twice about driving around him up onto your neighbors grass just so you can leave you house 10 minutes sooner.

Anyway, once that was over it was time to go put my uniform on and head over to the Yarmouth Clam Festival for fireworks detail. That's always a favorite of mine. This year I was in charge of the crew and I brought the guys down an hour or so early so we could check in, and then walk around and eat some fried food.

Fireworks detail itself came later. We were assigned our traditional spot -- in the park near the river about 300 yards upwind (yeah, upwind) form where they shoot off the fireworks. We end up a good way further in than the public is allowed, so we end up with what amounts to a private fireworks show. There were a few small issues leading up to the event but overall it went well. Here are some fire works watching tips:

1. If you see a fire truck parked facing the entrance gate to a park where fireworks are being set up, and the gate is blocked up, it probably does in fact mean you can't park IN FRONT of it.

2. Don't climb down to the river and try to sneak closer. You'll just delay the whole thing, and you're not going to sneak past a bunch of guys with hand tools and flashlights in a narrow strip of trees between a park and river bank.

3. Ear protection. I'm just saying...damn....

After fire works, I took the guys for some ice cream then back to Cumberland by 22:30. Very nice night.


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