11-26-2004, 05:24 PM #51
((This is LONG, sorry.....))
At the W.A. Meeting (Whackers Anonymous)....
(RLFD14 stands up)
RLFD14: "Hi, I'm RLFD14, and I used to be a whacker. I recovered, and you can, too."
I grew up next to a fire house, and as early as 12 years old I was hanging around there. Some of the shifts welcomed me (as I would take on any chore for the privilege of staying around), some merely tolerated me as long as I was out of the way, and a few made it clear I was not welcome. I often was slow to learn, but it never stopped me from trying - or trying too hard. In my heart, of course, I meant no harm. I worked my way up until I was entrusted with helping repack hose, inspecting non-critical equipment, etc. I remember the glorious day one of the guys let me slide the pole! I was probably one of the youngest customers Firehouse Magazine ever had. I'll always remember a recruit (today a Capt) who wouldn't let me stay around unless my nose was in an IFSTA manual, and would quiz me afterwards. He had the right idea!
During high school I got my license, and started buffing calls (OK more calls, I had been biking to them for YEARS). Horrors! I got myself an amber mag mount light and thought I was somebody. Of course I wasn't. Again, tolerance varied. Sometimes I helped by closing streets with my car (with the IC's permission) when cops were not in plentiful supply, but more often I was a pain in the arse. Eventually the fire buffs club decided I was too much a whacker even for them (THAT is scary!) and they even started filming me at fire scenes - ostensibly to prove I started them. That hurt.
I moved to a different state for school, and joined a combo paid/vol dept. Got my fire and EMS training and started getting the whacker exterior beat out of me slowly but surely. I made a LOT of dumb mistakes and frequently exhibited poor judgement, but they stayed with me. Some guys wanted me gone, no doubt. But I never gave up. At least they taunted me a lot.... MUCH worse if I had been ignored outright.
I moved a few years later, and the new all-vol dept I joined allowed lights and sirens. This brought out the whacker again. I had hidden color red wig wags, dashlight, flashers in rear window, strobes in corner markers, vanity FF plates, the works. I discovered that having lights/sirens on a POV brought out the worst judgement imaginable (at least for me). Scary stuff. Eventually the Chief asked me to take the stuff off, and he was absolutely correct to do so. I became a better driver again. Oddly enough I was a pretty good driver in the trucks (so I was told)... I was just overconfident in my own car. I am not saying that lights/sirens bring out the whacker in everyone, but it was undeniably true for me.
Fast forward several more years. I moved again and spent some years out of the service. And after one last move I am back in. I'm older (which no doubt helped me immensely). I'm no grizzled veteran but I am in my 8th year of firefighting. My current dept does not allow lights/sirens, but I do have an amber mini-lightbar on the roof of my little SUV. I use it only at a standstill with the parking brake set, for additional scene safety (especially if I arrive before any rigs), or to mark driveways for inbound units. I am also a NWS storm spotter and will use it to close a road for trees/wires down. It is not meant to imply authority or privilege, it's just that I don't want to get out and put it up when needed, because when I do need it, I have other immediate priorities. I have maltese stickers on the front and back windows in the corner - as someone said earlier it facilitates getting into scenes more easily. I put a little bit of half-width DOT reflective tape on parts of my roof rack and above my rear window (my SUV is black) because I want to be SEEN. I guess my ride looks like a minor whackermobile, but I know without getting into details that the way my current colleagues treat me is testimony that I have put the worst of my whackerhood behind me. If nothing else, we have a certified professional whacker on our dept who takes most of the heat (I looked around as instructed and it wasn't me!).
I guess my point is that while we cannot tolerate the dangers that whackers might pose to us, don't give up on them entirely if you don't have to. They usually mean well, and if their energies can be properly focused and they can stay disciplined, they will eventually be valuable contributors.
Sorry for the lengthy post.
Last edited by RLFD14; 11-26-2004 at 05:52 PM.
11-27-2004, 01:26 PM #52
Gee...Way to bring back a thread that had died 8 months ago...If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
11-27-2004, 06:25 PM #53Originally posted by ndvfdff33
Gee...Way to bring back a thread that had died 8 months ago...
Rolling eyes? Show some class.
11-27-2004, 08:02 PM #54
11-28-2004, 01:56 AM #55Originally posted by RLFD14
I'm not sure what was worse, the fact the I made a post (as if this was a problem) or that you thought it was worth criticizing? What gives? You might have noticed that I only have a handful of posts and just registered.... been reading a lot of old posts.
Rolling eyes? Show some class.
Well nobody said you can't read them...But if nobodys posted on them for 8 months chances are people don't give a crap about the subject and don't wanna talk about it....Go ahead and read them but leave em dead like they are...And trust me, this is a topic that isn't too well liked on these fourms...You'll figure that out as you read more posts on it..
And show some class?? Whatever man..Go onto other fourms and bring back dead topics,especially light ones..You'll find I'm not the only,as you call it,"unclassy" one
Last edited by ndvfdff33; 11-28-2004 at 01:59 AM.If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
11-28-2004, 12:37 PM #56
The anti-whacker...Get some balance in your life.
Date (or chase) girls. Get a gym membership and
get in shape for the job. (and meet girls)
Take up another hobby or travel some place with friends.
(and meet girls)
Save you money...Buy a house. Real Estate is the best
investment you can make. Go visit Las Vegas, Mexico or
San Francisco. There is so much like out there.
Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-28-2004 at 12:45 PM.
11-28-2004, 12:54 PM #57Well nobody said you can't read them...But if nobodys posted on them for 8 months chances are people don't give a crap about the subject and don't wanna talk about it....Go ahead and read them but leave em dead like they are...And trust me, this is a topic that isn't too well liked on these fourms...You'll figure that out as you read more posts on it..Steve Gallagher
"I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes
11-28-2004, 04:48 PM #58
If he didn't reply to this one, he would've started a new one and would've been told to use the search button. Is there anyway to win?
11-29-2004, 03:02 AM #59
I think RLFD14's post is a good one and all rookies, juniors, and whackers alike should read it.
If old posts weren't supposed to be replied too, they would be locked.
As ffexpCP stated, if he posted another thread, he would have been criticized.
12-01-2004, 05:39 AM #60Originally posted by ndvfdff33
if nobodys posted on them for 8 months chances are people don't give a crap about the subject and don't wanna talk about it
You'll find I'm not the only,as you call it,"unclassy" one
Stay low and be safe, all.
Thanks Steamer, ffexpCP and RescueMe7.
12-02-2004, 01:48 PM #61Gee...Way to bring back a thread that had died 8 months ago...I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
12-02-2004, 02:48 PM #62
I say re open the one that existed and thumbs up to that ! Now we are all together !IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
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