Yesterday Travis and I went and got a tour of the West Stafford Fire Department. Brenda Bednar is a firefighter in that department and was happy to take us on a tour. It was an amazing and all-inclusive tour!
She asked Travis if he wanted to get in the truck and he gave us a resounding yes! We had to tell him a couple of times it was OK to touch the steering wheel. He was keeping his hands in his lap before that. I couldn't decide which picture I liked best, so even though these are all the same truck...
I just had to use this one...
and this one...
and this one. It was clear to Brenda and I that Travis really liked the fire truck! This is Squad 144 which is a rescue truck
He also got to get up in this one and "drive" it. This truck is ET 244 and is an engine tanker. I don't remember how much water it holds, just that it is a lot!
Next Brenda asked Travis if he wanted to dress like a firefighter and there was an excited yes to that as well. If was quite clear, even without a lot of words, that Travis was very into this part of the tour.
He got right into the gear...
and did a bit of strutting around. He looked pretty proud.
I have to say, I was pretty proud of my handsome firefighter as well.
I told him to stand there and look tough. And he did. What a cool experience.
Brenda said I should try on the helmet too. Those things are heavy! I thought my backpack for school was bad. I can't imagine that firefighters don't have headaches and neck aches for at least a while when they start out.
I really can't remember all the different types of trucks we saw. Brenda gave us a very detailed tour and told us about the different types. I was just having so much fun photographing Travis that I forgot a lot. I am hoping she can fill me in a bit and I can update this post.
Not every photo I got was a masterpiece but I definitely wanted to include some with Brenda. She was so fantastic! She has always been very welcoming to Travis. Brenda hosts a 2-day model horse show (SNEWRU) and often has Travis sit at the host table with her. She is an amazing person.
This all looked fancy and impressive. I do remember Brenda told me that the driver of the truck (called a chauffeur by the department) when out on a call has the job of driving and then when on site this impressive looking panel of gauges and switches is their job. It looks intimidating to me. I never really thought about the individual jobs involved in fighting a fire. It makes sense that someone would need to make sure that everything on the truck was doing what it is supposed to.
And speaking of the individual jobs at an emergency site, it was cool to look into the inside of the trucks and see how roomy they are. But they need to be, firefighting equipment is bulky!
I do remember that this is called a ladder truck. I made a comment that it was very cleverly named. Basically this truck is all ladders. And they are huge! It's not in the photo but this also has the bucket (which probably has a different name) on the end. Just looking at it, and thinking how high up all those ladders go, is fear inducing for me. I am so afraid of heights! Brenda also taught us that the letters and numbers on the side of the truck all mean something. Which of course makes sense but I never really thought about it. I can't remember what the letters stand for (I think Brenda will fill me in, again, on that part) but the number 1 means they have one of that type of truck. And the 44 is their station number. Which is pretty cool to know!
This truck... (which is Special Hazards 144)
pulls this trailer. They are for decontamination (as the trailer clearly says) and have decontamination showers and whatever else is needed for hazmat situations. That is very impressive stuff!
This truck is mostly retired because of it's cool open back seating. This is the type of truck where the firefighters would jump up and hang onto the sides and the back, just like you see in the movies! But sadly, these types of trucks are being phased out because the government doesn't think they are safe. This truck is now only used for very large emergencies when they need just about all the equipment. It does look like it would be fun to ride in the open back. Like riding in the back of a pickup truck!
Brenda was a wonderful tour guide and taught us so much about her fire department, the different types of trucks and answered all the questions I had. Because I get curious about odd things like, how long does it take to drain and roll up the hoses after a fire. Apparently only about 20 minutes if you have 4 or 5 people working at it. They hoses break down into 50 foot sections and you just walk them out over your shoulder and the water will drain out (I hope I got that right). I just know how hard it is to drain a garden hose for winter storage!
The tour was not over just yet. Brenda showed us the comfy chair room (which is actually called the rec room, though I like calling it the comfy chair room). My comment was that THIS looks just like you see on TV! This was about the only part that was just like on TV. An alarm came through and it was basically just a calm radio call. But the room full of big comfy chairs is accurate!
Travis settled right in to try out this part of being a firefighter.
That smile says he was into it.
This bit of silliness just shows some more of Travis's personality.
Thank you so much to Brenda Bednar and the West Stafford Fire Department. The tour that Travis got is not the only thing they do for kids, people with special needs or the general public. They will do fire safety classes for any age group and are incredibly inclusive to everyone. I, and Travis, had a very nice time at the fire station and learned a lot.