Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dilbert and the Fire Department

The cartoon “Dilbert” wouldn’t be so funny if it weren’t so situationally accurate which long ago led me to develop one of “Ryman’s Rules” relating to the strip. This one is not a law of physics, but a sociological paradigm which states that: Morale of any organization is inversely proportional to the number of Dilbert cartoons hanging on the walls.  With that in mind, how many of these comic strip worthy situations have you seen or experienced?

Pulling into a fire scene with an assignment to lay a supply lie and finding the hose bed empty, the line having accidentally laid during the response.  Funny how that never happened when we rode the back step; oh well.
Watching a hose bed turn into silly string when the pump operator charges the wrong line—the one not pulled.
Getting ready to drain the drop tank and finding the drain placed on the uphill side. 
Extending the “blue line” with yellow hose and handing it to a new crew who then asks for the “yellow line” to be charged. The reason I hate color coded lines.
Scanning mobile and portable radios—the important information always gets cut off. Enough said.
Pump operators who think “100 pounds is good enough for everything.”
Did you ever notice the same five guys who always have to leave for work the minute it’s time to wash the rigs and hose after a run?
The company responding for RIT that calls out with five and shows up with a driver and four juniors. 
The officer, who when in charge of a training night, waits until everyone arrives and then says “so what do you guys want to do tonight?”
Fire Police who drive like Jeff Gordon for some reason assuming it is critical they be the first on scene—in order to direct traffic. 
The citizen who on an annual basis, waits for the windiest day of the year to burn trash, resulting in a 5 acre brush fire, and then acts surprised when he gets yelled at. 
Looking at the personal vehicles parked during the inevitable call on the afternoon of the first day of buck season and marveling that there is more firepower present than that possessed by the entire local police department. Actually true most any day for rural departments.
The local cop who on an automatic fire alarm offers to shoot the lock off the door instead of waiting for the apparatus or key holder.  His offer was turned down.
The guy with more state class patches on his sleeve than a Sergeant Major has stripes—who won’t go inside. 
The guy with the two door subcompact car and a blue light bar so big it extends feet beyond the sides of the car. So big you wonder if the car will rotate when the lights are turned on.
The guy who carries three pagers and two portable radios—all on his belt at the same time. Note: The three above are often the same guy. 
The brush fire in a two acre field with only a single solitary tree located right in the center—which the brush truck driver hits while backing up.  
You know you’re really in trouble when three pieces of apparatus, all responding to the same call, reach the same intersection; and one turns left, one goes straight, and the third turns right.
Last, but certainly not least, (insert favorite personal activity here) with your significant other is invariably interrupted by the pager.


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