I was sitting at my dinner table and suddenly the TV program was erupted in with an irritating noise. An announcment ran across the bottom of the TV screen, "There will be a fire meeting tonight, 7:30." I quickly finish my supper and head into town.
I turn my engine off and got out of my car. I walk up the cement ramp towards the door of the metal-sided fire station. The steel door is cold and I carefully enter the door lock's code and turn the reluctant knob. The room is dark and I blindly reach around the corner and hit the light switch. Instantly the buzzing light of fluorescent bulbs fills the room. My nostrils also fill but with the smell of machines. Slowly as I walk further into the station, I can feel the loose grit and sand underneath my feet.
Directly in front of me is an undersized crimson fire truck. It is a Dodge pickup truck, fitted with a boxy accessory tool bed. The hood is ironically raised, as if being repaired. How strange that an emergency vehicle appears broken down. On the end of the truck, a trailer is attached, which stows a six-wheeler. The truck and trailer, inconveniently, cuts access to the rest of the station. Along the wall, yellow firefighter uniforms hang beneath their wearer's name. An ash smell radiates from the fibers. There is a narrow passageway between the racks of protective clothing and the aft of the trailer. This serves as not only a hallway but also a fitting area. My uniform, technically called "bunker gear," is on the rack closest to the entrance door. Located at the entrance of the station, I manage only to be a burden to people entering, unlike the firefighters who have to dress in the tight passageway. Once through the small walkway between the trailer and wall, there are two more vehicles. An older, convertible fire truck and a massive metal water tanker are both impressive in make, as well as age. On the other side of the tanker there is a part of the station that is yet dark.
Once again, I reach around blindly to shed light on this darkness. This part of the station is comprised of four sections: a parking area, a tool room, a desk area, and another area where more uniforms hang. There is a bright yellow rig with a boxlike tank on the back. Between the cab and the tank is a confusing network of pipes and tubes. Accessing the next bay door, a long classic style fire truck is parked. Overshadowing it is a larger square faced, personnel carrying, water-pumping truck. Not only great in size, this monster is beautifully designed. The tool room, at the opposing side of the large bay doors, consists of a workbench covered with assorted tools, fire extinguishers, and rags. Along the same end of the station, there is a lone desk. A large radio and fax machine takes up most of its space, but odd papers and equipment fill the rest. It serves little function other than a table to place clutter and make the person seated there feel important. Behind the desk chair there is a seating area, a black...