Posted by: Daisy | December 22, 2008

Visiting Fire Fighters

On Saturday night with a few friends over at our house, my carbon monoxide detector started dinging and it wouldn’t stop.  We turned off the furnace, turned off the dryer, and then I called our neighbour who happens to be a firefighter to ask him what to do.  He happened to be at work, and was kind enough to talk me through the likely causes.  In short, he recommended that I call the fire department to have them check it out.  I asked him if there was a fire department number I could call – he said, just call 911 and they’ll direct your call.  I said “… but I don’t want all that attention!  Can’t I just get like one little truck with firefighters.. do I need the whole shebang?”  Sigh.  Silly ol’ me.

I called 911 and told them I needed the fire department.  They redirected the call and I explained the situation while they quickly and efficiently sent a truck my way.  They told me to get everyone out of the house (including the sleeping child) and wait outside.  I scooped up an extremely heavy sleeping child wrapped in a blanket and took him outside into a warming car while we waited. 

The firefighters arrived quickly and effortlessly with no lights or sirens.  It was a very stealth approach considering the size and colour of the truck on our quaint little street (think of the Transformers movie where they are trying to ‘hide’ in the backyard) and I breathed a sigh of relief.  I’m a wallflower, you know, and the last thing I need are trucks ablazing!

They were Fabulous with a capital F.  It turns out that these carbon monoxide detectors tend to misfire at a certain age and this one likely needed replacing.  The CO levels in our house were super low and nothing to worry about, and even the basement levels (where the furnace and drywer were) were lower than other levels of my house.  Our house is safe.

I carried the awake but still very heavy bundle back into the house and exclaimed to him that there were real firefighters in our house and that he could say hi!  He peaked out from the blanket and smiled his shy smile.  One firefighter said “Goodnight Spiderman” and I could see his grin from ear to ear as I carried him up the stairs.  He didn’t dare say anything to the firefighter, but clearly was tickled that these guys were in our house.  I tucked him back into bed and he fell asleep fast dreaming I’m sure of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles and personnel.

I hope I don’t ever need to call 911 again, but if I do, I know we’re in good hands.  Besides, it doesn’t hurt that these firefighters would have fit in super nicely in one of those firefighter calendars.  I just might have to check out the latest to see if our visitor’s in it….

– Daisy



  1. Out of interest, were you billed for their services? I recall as a student we had an incident where the calendar on the wall above the gas fridge fell down and caught fire. Very scary. The fire brigade came out, sorted it out, and charged as for the privilege!! This was in South Africa in 1986.

    No, we were not charged. I’m not exactly sure what the protocol is, however, it seemed that if it was a nuisance call (as in, we called them over and over again for the same thing in the same night) then they would have charged, but I don’t know what the rules are. Sidenote – I used to live near a building full of retired folks, and the firetrucks were always there. I later heard from firefighters that the elderly call 911 quite a bit for various reasons, but many times, elderly women just want some company.
    – Daisy

  2. I’m glad you all were okay. It would have been unnerving for me. My dad and sister are both volunteer firefighters, so firefighters hold a special place in my heart.

    It was a little unnerving, but everyone throughout the process were so wonderful that they made it that much easier. I could never be in that profession – I could not deal with the stress, so I leave it to the professionals! You must be so proud of your dad and sister!

  3. What, what excitement. I bet your little boy was over the moon. That really is worth missing a little shut eye for 🙂

    As MrsV says … I’m glad everyone was OK 🙂

    Yes, I could tell this was really cool for him.. even though he went right to sleep after. – Daisy

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