Recently, I took advantage of the Hays Fire Department community ride-along program. It might have been the most eye-opening day of my life. I live close to the fire station, and I hear how often they go out on calls. I spent seven hours there for my day, and there was not a single call. Kind of disappointing for me, because I always wanted to feel the adrenaline rush of riding in a fire truck with lights and sirens, racing to help someone.
Trust me, after spending a day in this program, you learn it's not all about the "rush" to get to an emergency. These brave individuals spend hours testing equipment, training and doing inspections of different things in the city to ensure if there is an emergency, they are prepared.
I was "lucky" enough to be able to "hump hose" with them that day. They unloaded 1,000 feet of 5-inch hose, pressured it up, then had to drain it and restack it on the truck. I joined in and helped them reload the 1,000 feet of hose. Not an easy task. I thought, "Yeah, we just lay it down." Nope, you must lay it a certain way to make sure the couplers can pull off easy. You always see in the movies how easy that hose line pulls off the truck. There is a reason for that.
Needless to say, it was a workout, then they did another 1,200 feet of smaller hose, that was all between 9 a.m. and noon.
I would encourage others to take part in this program. It is an amazing experience.