Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why My Father is Still My Hero

Almost every young boy's father is his hero. For some, it sadly wears off when they learn to think for themselves. Not for me. And it probably won't for Demitri's son either. I'll offer two videos on this theme today.

House on Fire

The older I get, the more amazed I am by my Dad. The first video comes from an unfortunate structure fire that happened in my home town back in February. The video is long and probably not something you want to sit all the way through, but if you do, notice this: the house is only burning at one end--the fire, if I remember correctly, began in the garage. Wouldn't it have been nice if the firefighters had gone in the house from the end that wasn't on fire and pushed the fire back toward its source? That's what they used to do back in the 1960s and 70s, back when my father was chief of the department he helped create and make one of the very best in the state, probably the country.

But no, in this case, they don't do that. They do two things I used to hear my dad lament so many other departments did back then. First, they start by setting up a stream of water onto the roof. Precious water. Dad learned to fight fire back when hydrants were rare. The water you brought was the water you had, and you certainly didn't waste that water by soaking down the one feature of every house dedicated to keeping water out--the roof. Secondly, they attack the fire from the burning end. That's intuitive. See fire, spray water on it! So the instinct goes. But wait. Imagine if they'd gone in from the other end, protecting what hadn't burned yet, and forcing the fire back whence it had come. Novel idea? Not during Dad's day. That's how they did it. That's how they saved more homes than some nearby paid departments. You'll find the video and article here. And you can watch and cringe as they herd the fire from the buring end right out the other side.

Lord of the Dance

The second video comes from Britain's Got Talent. It'll start your day with a smile. And the embedding was disabled for it, but you'll find it here. It's worth a watch. Enjoy.