Thursday, November 12, 2009

Respect, Join, Fight

Lots of people always say that everyone has their purpose and the one thing that they were meant for. Most of the time its finding that purpose that's the problem but then even after you find that finding what you're supposed to do with that is a whole different ball game. I've been alive for 29 years now and I still can't tell you what I'm meant for. I can tell you that I have been given clues and I have ideas and that every day that goes by I learn just a little bit more of who I am. It's a process -- and I don't think it ends until life it's self ends. Of course, a few weeks ago I went home to PA for my great grandmother's funeral and I have to wonder that in the 109 years that she lived if she knew what her purpose was or if she really just lived her purpose without even knowing it. Personally, I think most people do just that -- and there isn't anything wrong with that.

If you look at any sports team you'll see different players serving a different purpose. They all have their position or their task. The greatest football player may just be the one that never gets a touchdown. Actually, there is no such thing as the greatest football player which is why it wasn't Ben Roethlisberger that won the Lombardi but the Steelers. Sure we have MVPs and awards that honor individual players but I don't think anyone will argue that the greatest award in the NFL is winning the Super Bowl. In a player's life they will go through many different positions and sometimes it'll take years and years for them to find their place and it'll happen by their coaches and team mates seeing something in them that would be great for another position other than what they may be in at any given moment. In fact, it's rarely the person that finds their place in anything but those around them.

I just finished watching an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger -- specifically Evil in the Night -- which made me again realize one component of me that defines who I am and what it is that excites me. Quite simply it is multiple people and organizations joining together for a common fight. If you asked any person what the most exciting part of that episode was I can all but guarantee that not a single person would tell you the same answer as I would. The part of this episode that got me most excited is when Ranger Trivette decided that the elders of the tribe needed to have a ceremony over an ancient burial ground that was disturbed in order to help Ranger Walker. The next scene was a van with the elders following Ranger Trivette in his truck with his red light flashing -- it was that scene that excited me the most. There is a lot to be said about that scene and more than most people probably even thought of.

This episode started out with the talk of ghosts and demons and Ranger Trivette really didn't buy any of it. As time went on he started to warm up to the idea but I doubt that he ever really understood or possibly even fully believed that evil spirits were being used in the attacks that happened in this episode. In order for my favorite scene to happen there was a very serious thing that needed to take place and that was simply that Trivette needed to respect the beliefs of the native americans regardless of whether he believed them or not. Aside from the respect there was another major component that had to happen and that was two groups that really don't always see eye to eye needed to join together and totally cooperate. The Native Americans could have easily said "these are the people that took our land" or refused to take part in easing the spirits of the souls of those buried in the burial ground that was disturbed in order to build a new building that had nothing to do with them -- but they didn't. They realized that people were in danger and that there was something that needed to be done for the good of everyone and they gladly went with Trivette.

All of us have our enemies individually but then we have our enemies that oppose the groups that we are in. I know I personally have a hard time with some people at the fire hall and in many cases it's better to avoid those people but if the call comes in and its down to me and those people we all have to put things aside and realize that our enemy as a group at that moment in time is the fire or the mangled car holding someone inside and we need to defeat that enemy as our major priority. It may not always be easy but I try. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to put aside your seniority or your rank and realize that everyone needs to learn from everyone and join together for the common good. On a larger scale one thing that I think is awesome is that when we're driving our ambulance or engine out of town and a police cruiser is sitting waiting for speeders that officer will often flash their lights at us to say hi and we'll do the same -- despite all the talk about the police dept did this or the fire dept did this we realize and recognize in that moment that we are on the same team regardless of our differences. When Joey and I arrived first on the scene to the accident where the 16 year old girl got hit by the drunk driver we went to work and we did what we knew best to do and as more engines arrived each person took their part in doing what needed to be done. We also had sheriff's deputies and state troopers on the scene and there wasn't any fights about jurisdiction -- it was people getting done what needed to be done. The officers handled the issues with the drunk driver and the fire department was there to help while the firefighters handled the scene and officers were there to help and the EMTs did their part and I still held c-spine on the girl even tho I'm a firefighter and not an EMT. Everyone doing their part is what took care of that scared girl and got the guy in jail that needed to be in jail.

It's really sad that you don't hear about these things and mostly don't see them anymore. And I don't just mean in the fire service, the NFL, or any other organization but in each person's personal life. We see Virginia license plates that say "Fight Terrorism" on a car that cuts off numerous people in order to save a few seconds of their commute. Instead of joining together to be prepared for what may happen we disrespect others and ignore the fact that others could use our help and genuine advice until disaster strikes and, only then, do we pull together.

As humans we all need to realized that it is a crucial part of our survival to respect each person and let them do what they believe they are meant to do and to help them, and allow others to help us, realize what our place in life is. Once we start respecting each other and start learning about each other then we can join together and fight the common enemy rather than arguing amongst ourselves. Without respect we can't join and without joining we can't win.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My First Fire

Well, it finally happened. I caught my first fire. Even better, no one was hurt in it... but it was a good one.

Here's the story:
Saturday blaze displaces couple

Friday night I had been out drinking for the first time in 1 or 2 years and, of course, it was only natural that I'd get to my first fire the day after -- not only that but one of the hottest days of the year. We responded in Tanker 4 with 2+1 (which means 2 certified firefighters and 1 extra man). Ron (the driver) and Mike shuttled water in the tanker and I went up to interior attack. Sadly, I only lasted about 20 mins initially. The house didn't really look all that bad as I walked up the driveway but when I masked up and went inside, well.... I could see the sky. I put the attic ladder up into the rafters of what was the living room and had the nozzle for a while and also was attacking fires that popped up. After being in for about 20 mins I was already getting a low air indicator and I was definately in need of water so I went out and someone from Frederick county walked by and told me to take my gear off and get cooled down. Apparently I was beat red and had a slight case of heat exhaustion. I sat the rest of the fire out and then went back in for salvage and overhaul. Despite me not performing as well as I would have liked it was exciting and a great fire to get some experience on how Warren County operates on the fireground. While I was trained really well in Loudoun County, things are done a lot differently out here in Warren.

I took some pictures of the incident and you can check them out here:

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In honor of 2 Virginia firefighters

This past weekend Virginia lost two of their firefighters to two seperate incidents. Please keep that families of
Cecilia Turnbough
and Roy Smith, Jr. in your prayers. Roy, a member at McGaheysville Volunteer Fire Department, was 17 years old and was killed while responding to a structure fire in his personal vehicle. Cecilia had been an EMS technician for 8 years at the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department and had recently begun training to become a firefighter and became the victim of a heart attack during a routine training exercise.

Please remember all of the firefighters that gave their lives in serving their communities. There have been 99 firefighter deaths in the United States this year (2008).

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oh.... my.... God!

Verizon argues with fire chief that there was no fire

Ok, Verizon has become very good at pulling the wool over their customers' eyes. Our bills had never been changed and there have never been unneeded fees as well as other things that just plain never happened. They get away with this a lot......
..... but trying to cover up that there was a fire? Does anyone else think that thir ability to fool people has gone to their head?

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Barn fire in Salem Township - WPXI

Barn fire in Salem Township - Tribune Review

Barn fire in Salem Township - WTAE

Last night my great aunt and uncle's barn caught fire -- so large that it made top stories in Pittsburgh.

Please lift them up in your prayers

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

(C)2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
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