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The other day I decided to pop-in and say hello, only to find so much has changed. Wow... SimHQ...

 

for those wondering or interested in knowing where I've been...

 

Several months ago, last summer to be exact, I decided it was time to make some personal changes.

Some call this the 'mid-life crisis'... I don't know... I don't believe that.

At a ripe 41, I joined my local Volunteer Fire Department. This life-style is not new to me, my father was a Chief, my Uncle (his brother) was a Captain, my cousin was and still is and active EMT in another district. So I basically grew-up in a Truck house, climbing all over the euipment, running around in Dad's boots... sitting behind his desk and drawing pictures.... and of course, being the Chief's son, operating the sirens while going on calls!!! ... so it was only a matter of time before I accepted my linage... and joined. I knew what I was getting in to, it was no suprise to me.

 

Needless to say, I really have little time for anything else... I've been through Fire School, which normally takes 9 months, I did it in 3. I am 20 years older than the next probie, and because of this, I am like Pappy Boyington of 'Black Sheep Squadron'. I keep the boys in line, and well 'groomed' for Fire Service, now and then I have to beat the crap out of one... you know... to keep the pecking order correct. I now conduct and orchestrate the 'Probie Drills' on Saturdays, which is funny because Probies (as I am) are not supposed to do that... but age is on my side, and with that wisdom and knowledge. I know to teach them what they need to pass school.... not to be better firemen, they'll learn that in school and from our officers. I'm in the gym constantly as every f'n tool and piece of equipment in the Fire Service weighs a ton! You HAVE to be in shape to do this job. My Scott pack and combat gear weigh 30lbs alone, tack on a Water can, and a 6' Halligan pole, or a set of Irons (Axe and Halligan) and man, I've got 60 lbs on me, climbing up a ladder to do a roof job, that's on fire. Whew!!! Not bad for an old guy!

 

I now drive the Ambulance on a regular basis, I am on the SCUBA Search and Recovery team... which is slowly picking up with Summer boat season coming, and intend on being a part of our Marine Team as well as we own a HoverCraft, and 2 Fire Boats. Our department is extremely busy with us rolling trucks at least twice a day, even for 'false alarms', the ambulance calls are insane.. we averge over 2000 calls a year!!! ... we also back-up 2 very large districts which have some of the worst low-income areas in Long Island (Brentwood/Bay Shore) so I've already seen my share of bad fires.. and will see more I am sure.

 

My OFFing days are few and far between... with little contact, and not much time, I don't promise anything to the Devs as it's only fair to them. I never know how long calls will be, or how often they come... but when they do, I drop everything and run. Not fair to folks that expect you to meet deadlines, but when Mrs. Jones needs help, I answer the call. But when they need something, I do it, no questions asked as I know it's important to them and the OFF Community.

 

Other than that, life is good... I'm of sane mind... well... really depends on how you look at it... ;) My Nova is STILL not completed.. I'm waiting forever for a friend to do the body-work so I can start putting it back together... My Harley is doing well... although LI is offering us crappy weather lately... seems like it rains every day... family is good as always.

 

All I can say... is I am really happy. Talk to you guys soon....

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Good to hear so many good news from you, OvS!

And: 42 isn't old - it's the answer to the universe, to everything (according to Douglas Adams).

I went to a Fitness Studio for the first time, when I was 42, and I grew quite some muscle

without any "medics". You're on the right course, skipper - duties keep us trimmed!

But come here a bit more often, man!

:good:

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Glad to see you're well and happy James!

 

I have actually just signed up as a member of our local Fire and Emergency Support Team...nothing too exciting unlike your job...We help people whose House has been involved in a Fire/Flood etc, supply them with Toilet facilities, Clothing, look after their pets, camera's for insurance, rehoming emergency cover etc etc.

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Hello! Yes, many things have changed, but basically this is still the same passionate OFF community it has always been. And we intend to keep things that way too.

 

42 is a good age. :grin:

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Glad to see you're well and happy James!

 

I have actually just signed up as a member of our local Fire and Emergency Support Team...nothing too exciting unlike your job...We help people whose House has been involved in a Fire/Flood etc, supply them with Toilet facilities, Clothing, look after their pets, camera's for insurance, rehoming emergency cover etc etc.

 

 

Widow, what you do is harder than my job. Comforting someone after a tramatic experience such as total loss, loss of life, property, heirlooms.. etc, is not easy work by any means. Any help and support you give to victums is as worthy as the work it takes to fight the fire.

 

I've already seen my share of 'combat', and I can say, it's devistating to see someone loose everything they own... so much that a roll of toliet paper is worth crying for thanks. You stand in the chared remains as you rip down the sheet-rock off the walls, pictures falling... small stautes breaking, old furniture destroyed... etc... and think... wow... this is someone's life, all gone. How do you recover. The worst are the kid's rooms... like 4-9 years old. All the stuff that gives them security from the 'monsters' at night... favorite teddy bears, blankets, toys.... whatever... gone. Sucks balls. You just put your head down as you walk by the family, huddled by the neighbors house, and say 'sorry for the loss'... and then they thank you... kinda ironic.

 

We have a saying in the Fire Service... "I have met my enemy, and to my enemy, my name is Fuel and water is my weapon".

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@OvS

 

Its great to hear from the "Black Baron" again and that life is good. Fire Service is an outstanding and rewarding profession. Our Fire House and EMT Service here in our community are manned by a marvelous crew of dedicated men and women who service with distinction. I count firefighters as part of the "Elite". And I thank you for your decision to follow in the steps of Heros.

 

BTW, please drop by anytime your have a free moment. I really enjoyed your contributions to the OFF community. Gosh Darn, I actually missed you.

 

OlPaint

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OVS, good for you mate! You are young enough and fit enough to pursue something you seem to have a passion for. Serving the community at large is not something you will ever regret.

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The other day I decided to pop-in and say hello, only to find so much has changed. Wow... SimHQ...

 

Long time no see :drinks:

 

Last post I remember from you, you were asking who here was a fireman and for pics of our stuff. I posted some but never heard back from you.

 

Anyway, welcome to the insanity that is the fire service... probe-ee :). It's the next best thing to combat.

You HAVE to be in shape to do this job. My Scott pack and combat gear weigh 30lbs alone, tack on a Water can, and a 6' Halligan pole, or a set of Irons (Axe and Halligan) and man, I've got 60 lbs on me, climbing up a ladder to do a roof job, that's on fire. Whew!!! Not bad for an old guy!

 

Geez, I made 49 a couple months back. You kids have it so easy these days. :lol: When I started, we were using steel SCBA bottles that were friggin' huge because they were only 2500psi, so our armor alone was about 80 pounds. And the old bunker gear soaked up water like a sponge so in a few minutes your load about doubled. And this before you factor in doing very hard manual labor with very heavy tools in temperatures of several hundred degees F.

 

These days, armor is about 60 pounds and shed water so things are a lot easier, weight-wise. But it's never been the weight that's gotten to me, it's the heat. All the insulation that keeps external heat out also keeps internal heat in, so you very quickly start stewing in your own juices. It's thus all about hydration. This time of year, I drink about 2 gallons of water every day just so I'll be hydrated enough before the balloon goes up.

All I can say... is I am really happy. Talk to you guys soon....

 

Glad you're enjoying it. 3/4 of American firemen are volunteers, and there are never enough of them. Thanks for joining the fight.

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Life is a journey OVS, you my friend seem to have found the path that your journey was meant to take, you lucky SOB. So many people go through life and never realize what their journey was meant to accomplish, others do and are extremely fulfilled. So continue to enjoy yours and I know we all hope to see you around here from time to time..... when you can squeeze a minute or two.

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hi james,

 

great job you have, and it seems it's really fun. cool stuff :good: .

and that obviously shows that your skinning job is finished, a sign that WOOF is also not too far away of beeing ready. just two more weeks :grin: .

please pop in more often :drinks:

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Thanks fellas! I'll come by now and then a drop in. I'm as excited about the new release as all of us are. From what I can see on the website, and posted videos, it's going to be really special. :)

 

Finally, the game that will topple the great RB3D is upon us... but then again, we toppled it with Phase 3... LOL!

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JR - Great to hear from you.

 

>> family is good as always << >> All I can say.. is I am really happy. <<

 

 

What more can anyone wish for in this life?"

 

 

 

PS- Take care of that two wheeled 'baby' ;>)

 

Royce

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Finally, the game that will topple the great RB3D is upon us... but then again, we toppled it with Phase 3... LOL!

You did indeed!

So WOFF can only topple OFF - the triumph remains within the family again!

The long way you guys have come in the seven years - it is simply amazing!

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Hi there OVS,

 

Good to see you return, I have just done the same. Thanks in the past for your assistance with a few odds and sods!

 

Take care mate.

 

Cheers,

 

Britisheh

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