What to expect during the least expected

This is what life is like when you live with a volunteer firefighter.

Scene 1 – Int. In bed. 1:37 a.m.

bip bip bip bip beeeeeep

Me: Fuck, what’s that sound?

Pager: *static static garbled message I can’t understand but that gets the man lying next to me up and dressed in about 3 second.*

Me: Be careful! (To Travis’ departing back).

Me (thinking) : I hope the baby slept through that.

I am relieved the baby did sleep through that, but now am wide awake until Travis gets home 20 minutes to 2 hours later, depending on the severity of the call (wrong number, chimney fire, medical emergency, etc.)

Scene 2 – Int. Afternoon. Busy with childcare and domestic chores, etc.)

bip bip bip bip beeeeeep

Me: Fuck, what’s that sound?

Pager (voice of fire chief or deputy): *static static* This is not an emergency, this is a pager test. I repeat, this is not an emergency.

3 minutes later…

Pager: *static static* This is not an emergency, this is a pager test. I repeat, this is not an emergency.

6 minutes after that…

Pager: *static static* This is not an emergency, this is a pager test. I repeat, this is not an emergency.

25 minutes after THAT…

Pager: *static static* This is not an emergency, this is a pager test. I repeat, this is not an emergency.

etc…

Scene 3 – Ext. Afternoon. Boarding our vehicles

Travis: Meet you there! (pulling out of driveway)

I buckle the baby in her seat and following him to our destination… no Travis. No worries, I’ll get gas and come back. Driving to the pumps I pass the fire station. Doors open. Cars left haphazardly in the parking lot. Truck bay empty. Fire call. Plans delayed. Fire put out. No one hurt.


Scene 4 – Int. Evening. 9:30 p.m. Just put the baby to bed and set up the Scrabble board

bip bip bip bip beeeeeep

Pager: *static static garbled message neither of us can understand. Travis is out of the house in 15 seconds.*

Me: waiting…

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3 responses to “What to expect during the least expected

  1. Pingback: Of water and fire and why sometimes rural living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (But three cheers for volunteer fire departments!) | The Sheds Project

  2. Pingback: Always on call | Laura Bee Dot

  3. Pingback: Always on call | Laura Bee Dot

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