Busy day for firefighters

Busy day for firefighters

CHAMPAIGN -- Seven calls from midnight until sunrise was just the beginning of an almost never-ending day for firefighters.
CHAMPAIGN -- Seven calls from midnight until sunrise was just the beginning of an almost never-ending day for firefighters. Shift change is about 7 am for the Champaign Fire Department and it was not long before the new crew got suited up for a busy day of its own.

The spot keeping them the busiest was in the 1100-block of Lincolnshire Drive. Just before noon, a fire broke out in this garage and spread to living room. It was at this point in the day when every truck and engine in the city was busy.

Washing off a hard days' work is a routine most of us have not seen. Lieutenant Dominic Pasquini makes sure the department is in good shape.

"Get it hung up to dry and then put fresh a hose on, that way you don't have contaminants on the hose. Clean up the tools so you don't start getting rust in weak spots, make sure everything's serviceable again."

At the rate things were going Tuesday, there was no time to waste. The crew just got back from a call, and here they go again, just minutes later. Pasquini says it happens quite a bit.

"But not always on a Tuesday afternoon, and that's kind of the rarity today. We had a couple big occurrences with the gas leak on the west side. Then, we had a working fire that came in at noon. You don't expect to have 12 calls before lunch."

But it does'nt mean Pasquini and his squad are not prepared.

"There's plenty of times you're just clearing or finishing up a call and dispatched to a different call."

All the alarms added up to one hectic day. Tuesdays at the department typically start with training. But instead, their training was put to the test.

"It's a good thing and a bad thing. You don't ever like to see anybody go through a traumatic occurence. But at the same time, it allows us to get out and do our jobs."

One firefighter even got hurt after tumbling down some stairs, but he's doing OK. Pasquini says he was back at the firehouse and on his feet, but he will miss a couple weeks of work.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus