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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rock Star Status

Ok, not quite rock stars. But there are few professions where people everywhere wave at you. Kids are super excited to see you and will stop their parents if they think they can get a closer look and random people on the street will offer to buy you dinner. All this and they don't even know your name.

The tones sounded around 7 in the evening, just as dinner was being served. We responded for a smell of natural gas outside a local pizza shop. The pizza place was one of several restaurants on the far end of the parking lot for a grocery store.

Once on scene we were able to locate the source of the smell. One of the gas meters, was leaking. We determined that none of the restaurants needed to close. We blocked off the area so that no one would be able to get close to the hazard and waited for the gas company guy to show up.

So there we were in our turnouts, in a parking lot standing guard at dinner time. At first the people eating in the restaurants would see us and wave. They could see the lights on the engine flashing so they knew something was up. They were trying to rubber neck only there was nothing to see. Next a family walked up close to rig. The two kids, around 5 and 6, were wide eyed with excitement.

My engineer and I headed toward them, after all, guard duty was boring and we had a chance to brighten some kids day. I passed out junior firefighter badge stickers while my engineer grabbed some plastic helmets and divided them up. We also gave them a closer peek at the engine. We repeated that process a couple of times more before the gas guy showed. One of the parents even tried to buy us dinner. The generosity of the public toward us sometimes amazes me.

A little after 8 the tech from the gas company arrived. He confirmed what we had reported (that the gas meter was leaking) and ordered up another truck to repair it. Thankfully he was now in charge of the leak and we were released.

As we pulled out the kids in the restaurant that were wearing our helmets and badges waved. We smiled and waved back.

Rock star status.

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