Saturday, April 7, 2012


"It" hard to define, but I'm sure you have heard many descriptions.  Such descriptions as "You know it when you see it," or "Some have it, and some don't" fall way short of describing it.  While I would love to extoll the virtues of what "It" is, I'm at a loss for words but I'll try nonetheless.  I feel I have it, and I see many others that do.  Sometimes you can look a guy right in the eye, and know whether it dwells in him.  It is passion.  It is dedication.  It is a warrior mindset that stays focused all the time. It is always there.  Some call it "Ate Up", some call it "Die Hard", and others call it "Overachiever" when describing it.  I know this:  I can't simply turn it off when I walk out of the firehouse.  If I did, I feel I would lose it.  I am "Ate Up".  No doubt, if I were not, there is no way I would be writing this crap still.

Did I say "It" enough.  That's it with the philosophical BS.  Onto something tangible, to describe "It."

You've been there.  While out with the family, your wife says, "We are out of milk."  So, you head for the local grocery store, let her out of the car, and drive circles around the parking lot with the kids in the back until she emerges.  Instead of dodging mini vans and blue haired ladies pushing buggies, lately my "It" has been flaring up, so I've been taking the opportunity to drive around to the C-side of these buildings in my hometown to take a look at the doors.  (Hey, I've said a long time ago that there is something broken inside of me....)  Anyway, while driving around I saw a few doors that would be a little difficult to force due to limited access and supplemental locks.

Nice size up, Son!

 What surprised me was the comment from the backseat from my 8 year old. "That door has 3 locks!"  I was dumbfounded.  Some firemen can't even size up a door standing in front of it.  Here is an 8 year old kid, sitting in the back seat of a mini-van, looking at at door through a tinted window over 30 feet away.  So much for him being a rocket scientist, he's destined for the truck company....

This is where "It" took over.  Moving down the building, I found an open door to the backside of a pizza parlor with a slide bolt I haven't seen before. I hop out of the van, grab my camera, and after a few minutes of begging permission from the manager to take a photo, I gave up. I explained, "I'm a fireman, I teach other firemen how to overcome locks when a building is on fire, No this isn't a surprise inspection. yada, yada yada." He wouldn't budge. He probably thought I was a thief casing the joint!  Anyway, during my conversation with the manager, it seems I had forgotten my wife....

Here are the photos I got on a later date while in service on a company:

So, here is where "It" can get you sometimes.  While I'm trying to gain photos to educate firemen, I've forgotten my wife so now I'm rushing back to the front of the store where she is standing with a rapidly warming gallon of milk in her hand.  When I tried to explain myself, my plea for mercy was met with a roll of the eyes and a devilish grin.  While I may have "It", "It" sometimes annoys my wife.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Jason, I think that "it" factor dwells in all of us, even those who "don't give a darn". The question is; How deep is "it"? I find myself at times"burning structures down" in my head on my way to the big box hardware store, driving the downtown streets in my local, and even in my second due. Chauffering a limited staffed crew on our daily runs, I try to not go the same way twice just so the guys can see the district and hopefully find something that'll spark a topic; hose stretches, ladder placement-roof pitches, apparatus placement-1st in, 2nd, Ladder (is that even on the box?) I just try to keep myself ready for the unexpected and know that my crew shares the passion. "It" can be contagious just as its proven in your oldest (future truckie). Its our responsibility to share and pass "IT" on!!!!!

    Great stuff as always!!!!!!!!!

    1. Phillip, what I love the most about writing is that it connects me with more people than I ever would have had I simply sat on the couch and kept my mouth shut. I may start a theme called, "The It Chronicles" just talking about what "It" is to me, and to others, for that matter. Thanks so much for the input bro!

  2. Haha, I can see Amy standing there with the "I am going to hurt you look". Tell Luke, great job. We all ride with someone on our companies that would not have picked up on that or would even give a dang. I have "IT" too, just left the CVS in town and as I am walking in I am sizing up the door and noticing the sprinkler connection out front even though we don't respond there on mutual aid. "IT" even has me thinking about getting a smartphone (holy crap, did I say that?!)so I can take better pictures of my kid and things I find out in the streets. Another great topic and it is nice to know I have a place I can download "IT".

  3. I love how "it" is different for all of us. For myself escape routes and health/safety issues seem to stand out like someone is standing there shining a brilliant light on them. My husband is always mentioning truck placement and organization or command type things. Yeah road trips are really fun for our kids...

  4. Jason.........I know exactly what you are talking about. From the engine perspective, i cannot for the life of me turn off constantly thinking about how to get the line to the seat of the fire in most any building i go in now. Im always looking at stairwells and wellholes. We have been using the "cleveland load" on some of our lines.Now everthing seems to elvo or revolve around that. I guess "it" is a sickness that there is no cure for for those who have.

  5. This made me laugh, it is good to know I am not the only one losing my mind. I'm always making the driver leave the back way at buildings, or like you did driving the back of strip malls as I leave them. Boy am I thankful for it though, because if you do it enough you will be able to size those doors up before you ever get near them.