Monday, October 10, 2005
It was the middle of the night. I'm sleeping so comfortably. Off in the distance I hear sirens, trying to disturb me from my dreams. Usually I can ignore them and stay tucked in my warm bed. These sirens were getting too close to ignore. Way too close. I could see the lights flashing on my ceiling. Of course by this time I have to get up and investigate. Gotta make sure it's not my building the sirens are coming for. I don't smell smoke. I look outside and parked in front of my building are 4 fire trucks, an ambulance and a couple of police cars. Oh no! Do I get out? Do I grab my keys and run? I don't hear the fire alarm going off in my building." Don't panic" I tell myself. I take another look out my window . The fire brigade are not coming to my building. They are heading across the street. I still dont see flames or smoke. Nobody seems to be in too much of a hurry. People are slowly filing out of the apartment building across from me. I continue to monitor the situation. After a few minutes one fire truck leaves, then another. Pretty soon, the ambulance takes off. I can safely assume it was a false alarm. This is where the rude awakening comes in to play. If it was a real emergency it would not be rude at all. It got me thinking. What causes a false alarm like that? Is it someone sleep walking ,dreaming there is a fire, and they pull the fire alarm? Is it someone coming home drunk and they think it would be funny to play a trick? Perhaps it's a malfunction in the electrical? I feel sorry for the men and women on emergency response teams. They have to jump to attention in a flash. Pull all their gear on in a moments notice. And in the middle of the wee hours to boot. Race at high speeds, only to find when they get to their destination, it's nothing. Don't get me wrong. I was very glad that it was nothing. I just don't get this false alarm stuff in the middle of the night. Perhaps fire fighter Paul Payette can shed some light on this subject for me. By the way Mr. Paul Payette my hats off to you. I'm sure you have had your share of false alarms in your career as a fire fighter. But I also appreciate you being on call for the real deal too. I did get back to sleep eventually. It did take awhile though.