This past week has been a bit stressful around the firehouse. Six weeks into the actual winter season and we’ve had a medevac. Hopefully our only one this winter. For the fire department, medevacs mean that we have to have our ARFF vehicles taken back out to the airfield, and since they were “winterized” it meant a lot of work for the guys here and the workers at the VMF. *The VMF is the vehicle maintenance facility*. It also meant that every other department was busy with various tasks getting ready to safely get the patient out of Antarctica.
The big stress for the fire department also came with the abrupt departure of two of our firefighters. This means that we are down to 1 captain, 1 lieutenant and 2 firefighters for the foreseeable future.
Also, another stressor that occurred this week, was that it appears that staffing levels for the fire department for next winter may be changing. The big change for me, is that the number of dispatch positions may be cut from three to one. No final word on this, but it’s something that is now a reality that we are going to have to face and decisions must be made.
We’ve all been a bit stressed out. Understandably, in my opinion.
And what do you do in Antarctica when you’re stressed out? You find the closest slope and go play in the snow/ice. Luckily we have a nice little snow/ice hill right outside of the firehouse. We’ve all been eyeing it for a few weeks now, and yesterday was the day we decided to tackle it. After brunch, I ran to my room, switched out of my lightweight jacket to my big red, grabbed my wind pants and camera, and went back to the firehouse. Marsha was working in dispatch, so Raymond and I decided to attempt to slide down the hill. At first, we didn’t use anything extra (if you watch the video, the outtakes portion shows us attempting to slide without the plastic sheet). Then we discovered that it was SO MUCH BETTER with the lack of friction that the plastic sheet provided on the ice. So myself, Raymond, Marsha and Wes all took turns sliding down the hill. After a while, we started doing fancy slides (head first), but of course my camera froze right before we attempted those.
Next time, I’ll bring my bigger camera since the battery lasts longer.