Well, hello there.
This is supposed to be Five Things Friday, but I’ll be honest – I just don’t have the energy for it right now. You see, I spent 12 straight hours at a mass casualty incident today and I’m a bit tired.
The day started with a disaster text and me thinking, “Meh, I’m tired; let someone else handle it.” But curiosity got the better of me and I looked up the incident within some Facebook groups… and saw that it was actually a pretty huge thing. I realized that we’d need all hands on deck, so then guilt got the better of me and I agreed to meet the team at a nearby church that we used as a shelter.
It was kind of mass chaos, and not the good kind. There were lots of people yelling when I got there, and there was zero sense of order. I wanted to take charge, but someone louder than me wouldn’t let me (and really, so much in life comes down to who can scream the loudest). Half our team was still en route; another half was there trying to help, and some people did a lot of “supervising” and not as much “working.” Admittedly, it was frustrating for a little while. But then the firefighters came and my day turned around for the better. 😉
The firefighters found me and asked if someone could drive them back to the scene; someone was blocking in their vehicle and they couldn’t get out (how ridiculous, right?). I, of course, wanted to get to a more quiet place since there was so much happening at the church, so I jumped at the chance to get away. Imagine that – a church being so loud that going to the scene of a huge fire is considered tamer. Anyway, I shuttled four firefighters back and forth and they let me tag along with them, running up and down seven flights of steps over and over, breaking into apartments, getting into fights with animals (true story, cats are the worst), and retrieving stuff for residents. We actually had a lot of fun, and they were trying to set me up with one of the guys. We joked, but I totally would have dated him – super-cute, good personality, and hello, firefighter. Yum.
At one point, one of the guys piped up from the back seat, “You know, in Allegheny County, the stop signs with a white border are considered optional and you don’t need to do a full stop if no one is coming.” Clearly, he was trying to mess with me, and I knew it… so I did a few “soft stops” on the way back to the church and nearly gave the oldest one a heart attack. “But I thought you said they were optional!” I said innocently. Muahahaha. 🙂
Eventually, we got everything situated and we found a place for all the people to stay tonight. It only took 12 hours… geez. But, it was a really good day because I got to hang with the guys and pretend to be one of them, and I also got to hang out with a female Lutheran vicar and we had a lot of things in common (including the books by Nadia Bolz-Weber – she loves them too!). I also had the opportunity to get to know the church’s secretary, Eleanor, and her husband, Jim – they’ve been married 59 years and they were both just about the most adorable and kind people I’ve ever met. No joke, I’m considering stopping in at a church service – between the vicar, Eleanor, Jim, and the other people in the community that stopped by to offer their help, they seem like a great group. The location isn’t too far… but maybe too far for me to make a regular weekly pilgrimage of it. Still, the people I met today were fantastic, and I’d like to get to know them better.
While I shouldn’t feel so content about what is actually a tragedy for a lot of people, I’m glad I was able to help and I’m glad there are so many good people in our communities that they made it easy for us to do our job. I think I’ve maybe kinda sorta earned a few hours of Netflix on the couch at this point, right?