I made a smart ass comment about his lack of an air pack. He tapped the front of my helmet.
“What does that say?”
“Lieutenant,” I answered.
He tapped the front of his helmet. “What does this say?”
“Chief,” I answered again.
“Go back and do your damn job,” he ordered. There wasn’t much to add, so I pulled up another five feet of hose and went back to Dennis. I never did understand how he could breathe smoke like that and not cough. I didn’t buy his desire for more information; he was checking up on how I was doing, but he would never admit it.
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