Day

Why am I always so tired after a shift at the firehouse? This is not a complaint just a notation of an average day of work for me:

04:04 -Wake Up (if I choose to skip morning workout I wake at 05:02)
05:15 – Workout at Louisville Athletic Club
06:30 – Arrive at Worthington Fire Station 3
Change into uniform and eat breakfast
Exchange info with 1st Platoon (what’s broken etc.)

07:00-09:00 We do our “Daily Routine” which includes clean bathrooms (we have 3); Check duty trucks (Engine 1831 & rescue 1881) and run all equipment on duty trucks; Empty Trash; Scrub bay floors (M,W,F), Check emergency equipment and engine/pump operations on other apparatus (Quint 1857 & Tanker 1869); On Saturday we buff the waxed floors; Review apparatus maintenance requests (my platoon is responsable for apparatus maintenance and we have to either repair the truck or shuttle the apparatus to the appropriate maintenance facility) Weekly apparatus checks (every day we have an apparatus that we check all the fluids, inventory the apparatus, clean the tools, check tire pressure, and we perform monthly checks on ladders and SCBA)

09:00 – 11:30 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we have weekly training. Friday Saturday and Sunday we have monthly Special teams training (confined space resuce, rope rescue, hazmat, water rescue). If we do not have any training we continue the weekly apparatus check (takes three personnel approximatly two hours to complete these checks). Begin our Fire inspections, Hydrant testing, hose testing, truck visits (where we go to a location that has requested a fire apparatus to visit; birthday parties, community events, schools, events the Community Risk department have set up), Station visits (where a group has arranged to come to the fire station for a tour), Target Hazards (AKA pre-plans). We do not have all these each day but we usually have one or two of these events every day. Work on Cost Recovery forms (we bill non-residents for MVa’s).

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch (usually moving more apparatus around to repair facilities)

12:30 – 15:00 Finish any weekly or monthly checks of apparatus; after lunch is kind of project time. Some people have tasks that they are assigned by the chief or the battalion chief. I am kind of the database management person, where I spend time writting reports in our DBMS (and I have three reports I am working on at the moment). We also use this time to prepare for classes we are teaching to either our recruit class or the department (each fire service instructor has to teach a certain amount of huors every year). We will also repair apparatus when we get parts in from supply stores. Continue the hydrant testing, fire inspections et al. Oh yeah and we have to respond to Fire & EMS runs during the entire 24 hour period.

15:00 – 16:00 Crew goes to workout (either at the gym or other outdoor activity)

16:00 – 17:00 Try to catch up on paper work. Although we try to enter runs after we get them. We also have to enter the truck check sheets, training activities, community risk activities, inspections (lots of compute work during this time). One person cooks dinner during this time also.

17:00 – 18:00 Dinner

18:00 – 19:00 evening cleaning. we empty the kitchen trash, mop the floors, empty the trash in the administrative offices.

Usually after the evening duties we can have our own time however we still have to finish all paperwork before our shift ends at 07:00 so the the officers are finishing their paper work. We average 3-5 runs per shift. Some days these are easy runs and other days they require a mountain of paperwork. Recently my shift has had most runs between 19:00 – 23:00.

I don’t normally get to sleep until 00:00 (thats midnight). Sometimes we get more runs during the night. On average I am awake for twenty (20) hours when I am at work before I get the chance to sleep. Occasionally we have easy days (Sundays are good days). I have left out the quarterly training for special teams that a few of us attend. I am on the Hazmat Team, Trench Team and Water Rescue team. Once a quarter each of these teams have training that I am required to attend.

No wonder I am so tired when I get home.

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About Joel

I am a paramedic, firefighter and I work for an organ procurement organization. All stories related to work have been altered to HIPPA standards and for the protection of those involved. The personal stories are different. Photography, flying, aviation, hiking, camping, travel, geocaching, amateur radio are a few of my hobbies.
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