Jubilant In Jeapordy

Fighting fires is actually a very small part of my life. I enjoy dealing with the unexpected. That may have something to do with why I chose an image of the Mandelbrot Set, a chaotic system. Some say I'm jubilant in jeapordy.

I'm a volunteer firefighter, whose has his red card (Federal certification). Since I've felled trees in the mountains for over twenty years, I took the five-day course to be Federally certified as a "feller" on firelines (I HATE that term). As the instructor said at the beginning of the course, logging and firefighting are two of the most dangerous professions, and we learned to do both at once. It's not really that dangerous. You have to use your head, and stay very aware of your surroundings.

I live on top of a foothill (8,300'), on fourteen forested acres. I'm definitely libertarian, and don't think a lot of the Federal government. Because my property has USFS on two sides, I chose to take the certs, so that they couldn't throw me off a fireline 60' from my living room. About five years ago, before I joined the fire department, I was thrown off a fire line a half mile upwind and downhill from my house. A classic example of Federal foolishness. While I carried an injured firefighter up the hillside to a truck, the USFS man in charge, poured the gas/oil mix out of my chainsaw, into the ground. I know a mining company in Alaska that was fined a million dollars by the Feds for burning the waste oil from one truck in a hole in the ground. The worst part is that one of the biggest reasons that they didn't want my help (to protect my own property) is that they might have finished before midnight. If they work past midnight, they get another day of "hazard pay".

We don't get that many actual fire calls, of either a structure or wildland variety. Mostly we respond to medical calls and motor vehicle accidents. It's remote enough up here that ambulances can take half an hour to arrive, so we typically are there 20 minutes before them. Also, because it's so remote, we often have to put the patient on a helicopter to be transported to the hospital. I think we did that 35 times last year.

I haven't even mentioned my work, hobbies, etc., but I suspect you're getting the idea that I wear a lot of hats.

chartguy chartguy
51-55, M
Oct 6, 2006