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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

TAKE OFF WITH A PLANE

In this weekend I will not forget nine-eleven where almost 3000 people lost their lives.
Only fitting to give attention to one of the many divisions who try to protect our lives when danger is near.

Fire, like water, air and earth as elements in Plato's concepts., are not only elements, but in my view mesmerizing ......to think about FIRE...
particularly in more recent years. Since I've been living in California, I have seen more closely what fire can do.  
We lived an hour away when the fires burned 60 % of the big homes in Laguna Beach areas, and hubby got to see it up close when rebuilding some of these big homes. In the fall of 2006 (hope this is the right year) about 15 fires (yes, fifteen) were burning in the Los Angeles area!


Being the mother in law of a firefighter gives privileges:)

On my trip in August with our son having come home from China for a visit, we all went to the airbase of a team of firefighters who bring the flame retardant fluids to the fire. I didn't know that a whole team worked together to make this happen.

When we arrived two of them were BBQ-ing meat. There are famous firefighters recipes that are doing its rounds. When son in law prepares himself for work, he takes food with him for the entire amount of days he is going to work.

They work closely together in small buildings, so they get to know each other very well. The ones on the bottom of the totem pole stay there 24/7 and do not go home after their shift.They become a small world of their own, like the armed forces, where generation upon generation follow in the same profession.

Right now, it is very competitive to get any job as a firefighter in California. Out of three thousand applications with various levels of experience and rank, 300 were chosen to come for the interview. And only a handful were chosen for a site like this.
Son in law  became a fire fighter only a year ago, and does not have relatives who are in the same profession to put in a good word for him. There are families with several generations of firefighting (that's new to me)!
He did not expect to be chosen, but probably his resume with management skills got the job!


 three guesses who the real firefighter is

There are the firefighters on the radio who keep everyone abreast of what's happening . Then there is the one who they call  "the engineer ", who coordinates all the efforts.


An air tactical plane is the first one to take off to spot where the planes are mostly needed.


Then 6 small airplanes travel to the fire. But before that, the plane gets filled up with  the flame retardant fluid. Two huge tanks with flame retardant fluid are mixed by a specific person of the team.  Then there are the people who get the plane off the ground (like at a normal airport, but they are also firefighters),



and the pilots who fly the planes. I could have taken more interesting pics than this, but since a blog is a public place, my name is Wisdom!


If the planes are not enough, than helicopters get involved and dump a big bucket of the fluid. I'm sure you've seen that at some time on the news.  Then other bases are called in to help with bigger fires too.
And if all of these cannot handle it, then the army is called in to help.
Just a few days after we visited, a big fire of 500 acres needed to be extinguished.


It was really neat to get the VIP treatment, and being introduced to everyone there with a handshake. Everyone was very thoughtful to answer and elaborate on all of our questions!
A very welcoming bunch!

8 comments:

Linda Higgins said...

WoW! that is so awesome! I think we all take for granted what actually goes on in the air as well as on the ground during those horrible fires! Many times I have see helicopters going from a reservoir filling their bucket with water and then dumping it but never a plane. I think having the VIP treatment is thrilling!

jeannette said...

Hi Linda,
In California we are more aware of fires because they happen so often! Was really neat to get first hand info. instead of getting the media version LOL

Pietro said...

This is an interesting post, Jeannette. I like all these pictures of planes!
Happy weekend!

jeannette said...

Pietro,
Does Italy have a department for the firefighters with planes?

Since the skeleton of most buildings here are made of wood, there are many firefighters and is a big organization here in California.

Rebecca said...

Thank God for these brave souls!

jeannette said...

Rebecca,
So true! And if you know what they'll have in their training, you know that they're prepared!

susanna said...

What an interesting visit - that makes for this interesting post. Congratulations to your son-in-law in being chosen as a fire fighter. He's making a direct difference in people's lives.

jeannette said...

Susanna,
He's very motivated, wanting to do this - that probably shines through:) Thanks, I'll pass on the congrats to him!