June 1, 2009

peace out.

Dan made the very difficult decision to leave the fire department that he has been member of for the last 21 years. He moved through the ranks and leaves the department having held the position of 1st assistance chief. As you might imagine, being part of an organization such as a fire department has its definite downfalls. The portrayal of them being a tight brotherhood of men is often exaggerated. Most of the time Dan's department could be defined as one big dysfunctional family. Greg has seen enough power and control exerted by the "higher ups" that he has vowed never to join. I believe that the fire department fills a void for certain types of people. It is a rare breed that will put their life on the line and on hold for the often thankless job of volunteer fireman. Unfortunately, the thanklessness sometimes comes from your own men forgetting that you are a volunteer. I just wish that the job could somehow, somewhat, come close to the idealized version. Nonetheless, our lives have also been positively affected by his involvement. Greg has enjoyed the camaraderie of the junior members. Dan was always so good to this up and coming group of young members. He made them feel important and useful. These young guys would help Dan with yard work at our own home in exchange for lunch at the nearby pizza place. No matter what, this was nice bonding time. Something that the older, more jaded members should have taken a lesson from. I recall the night that Dan joined the fire department. It was his 18th birthday, he was finally old enough to join. They voted him in immediately. I remember the first call he responded to. He just about broke his neck getting out of his house. I can proudly say that he answered most of the next 3,000 calls in the same enthusiastic manner. Even with all of us telling him from the dinner table to skip some of them. Reagan has responded to many a fire call in her day too. She has seen a lot from her position in the passenger seat of car 210. Of the two kids, she has the best memories of the fire department. She spent her whole 4th year of life hanging at the firehouse and lunching with different members. She could write her own version of Little Critter's Just me and my Dad. One year Dan checked a carbon monoxide detector on Christmas for people who were too embarrassed to have the whole company toned out. I have watched him come upon a fatal motorcycle accident scene and completely take over until the ambulance arrived. I know the department will have another 1st assistant chief in no time, but the commitment of that person will undoubtedly fall short as they have some big boots to fill. We are going to be on the move with baseball of course, but Dan has also had a rekindling (no pun intended) of his interest in hiking with me and being healthier. For sure, the fire department supplied our lives with a lot of stress. It was time to end the chapter and I am glad he recognized it. For the entire 15 years we have been married, there has not been a night that the fire scanner was not calling out to us every emergency in two counties. Tonight, it was quiet. And I have to say it was nice.....and maybe, just maybe, a tad bittersweet.






8 comments:

Cedar ... said...

I send a thank you to Dan for his service to the community.

DAD said...

I have always been extremely proud of the manner in which Dan has gone about his duties as a public servant. The consummate professional in a volunteer world. Greg and Reagan were at times too close to the firehouse to realize how important their father's dedication was. For all the people he served and all those he helped I say "Thank you ,Dan".

Davielle aka Princess Magpie said...

Corin, this made me cry. I was fine, I got through just fine, until the last sentence. Mark just asked me something and it was all I could do to choke out the answer. My heartfelt "thank you" to your Dan for his service -- we have friends who are with the FD here in San Diego, and it's a big job, it's a lot of sacrifice, and it sounds like there just comes a time when ... enough is enough.
So here's to your adventures together, hiking and getting healthier together (on many levels). xo - Davi

Allison said...

Does this mean you will be barrowing my camera again?
Just kidding.
It will be nice for you all to hear the fire whistle blow and not see dan fly out the door like lightning.....but the Fire department is definately losing a brave, dedicated and special fireman. Reagan will have a few less stories to tell as well.

smallpines said...

What a wonderful thing to have done for so long, and what a wonderful person - the whole family for that matter - for serving the community so wonderfully. Best wishes, and enjoy the freedom.

reneƩ said...

my grandfather was a volunteer firefighter.
indeed, it does take a special person to do what they do.
i know the kindness that the firefighters showed my family when our house burned...

chasing dreams said...

Insightful post from the spouse's point of view. A big THANK YOU to Dan for putting his life on the line for so many years...now enjoy him!

Matt said...

You piece about Dan was heatfelt and very moving. Make sure that you add another thank you to the long list Dan has received from someone who really appriciated what firemen do for the community.

Thank you for sharing.