Tag Archives: fire

X is for eXit

When my daughter was three and four, she used to watch this video called – well, actually I don’t remember. What I do recall is there was this cartoon dog character giving suggestions on how to get out of the house in case of fire. It had some good advice on knowing where all the available eXits are, making sure there is no clutter on the stairs that could hinder escape, checking to see if the door is warm to find out whether an eXit might be blocked, staying low when there is smoke because the air’s better closer to the ground, and identifying a meeting place to gather when everyone has gotten out.

Recently, she was required at school to go through this drill put on by the local fire department, which involved climbing out a window. She NOW wants us to practice the drill I had been showing her on TV five or six years earlier.

I’m supposed to be in charge of our department’s eXit strategy at work in case of fire or other emergency. The current building owners are not very helpful with feedback, but I do know: the nearest eXit may not be the most obvious, and to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

One of the most distracting part of flying is that pitch about the best way to get OUT of the plane, should one need to do so. Certainly, it is not what I most like to think about, but when the flight attendant says, “Know where your nearest exit is, making note that it may be behind you,” I ALWAYS look for it, whereas, it appears, most people keep reading their magazines.
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Gary David Goldberg, ‘Family Ties’ and ‘Spin City’ creator, dies at 68, My favorite of his credits was the short-lived TV series Brooklyn Bridge.

ABC Wednesday – Round 12

Too close to exploding manhole covers

For about four days, it started hurting when I would eat while using tooth 19. So this past Wednesday morning, I finally called my dentist’s office. Amazingly, I got an appointment that day at 2 p.m. (if not that day, then it would not have until tomoorow). From my symptoms , he believes I need a root canal. The tooth had been capped many years ago, not by him, and it’s a good chance that it has an infection, though nothing ominous is on the X-ray.

He referred me to an endodontist who has done work on his teeth, who can take me in a week. The bad news is that the specialist doesn’t take my insurance, which means that I’ll have an outlay of $1000 to $1500. The semi-good news is that my insurance company will reimburse me about 50% after the fact. Continue reading Too close to exploding manhole covers

F is for Fire

Here’s another look at a word that has, either alone or in combition with other words, has several meanings.

The most common meaning of fire, of course, is that chemical change that creates heat and light, and usually smoke, which can evolve into a “destructive conflagration”. It was one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the universe, along with earth, air, and water; five, if you count spirit.

But fire also means: Continue reading F is for Fire

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


On March 25, 1911, 146 young immigrant workers, mostly female, died in a tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Within 18 minutes, the fire spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue those workers trapped inside because the doors were locked and their ladders could not reach the factory floor. This tragedy galvanized a city and state to fight for labor reform and safety in the workplace.

And now a century later, it’s clear that organized labor is under attack. You may have seen the cookie joke. “You know: a CEO, a tea party member, and a union worker are all sitting at a table when a plate with a dozen cookies arrives. Before anyone else can make a move, the CEO reaches out to rake in eleven of the cookies. When the other two look at him in surprise, the CEO locks eyes with the tea party member. ‘You better watch him,’ the executive says with a nod toward the union worker. ‘He wants a piece of your cookie.'”

Just because I haven’t spoken much here about the attacks on labor, in the US and elsewhere, Continue reading Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

F is for Firefighters


One of the most riveting events in my early life was the massive fire that took place at an apartment complex known as the Rogers block, four wooden structures just down the street from my grandmother’s house. While the building were a total loss, I don’t recall any casualties. Moreover, the firemen – they were all men in those days – managed to contain the fire to those buildings, not allowing it to reach the nearby homes.

So fires have long fascinated me. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the The 2009 U.S. fire loss clock
•A fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds.
•One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.
•One home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds
•One civilian fire injury was reported every 31 minutes.
•One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 55 minutes.
•One outside fire was reported every 49 seconds.
•One vehicle fire was reported every 146 seconds.

I have always lived in locations with paid firefighters. Yet, “volunteers comprise 71% of firefighters in the United States. Of the total estimated 1,148,100 volunteer and paid firefighters across the country, 812,150 are volunteer.” Moreover, “the majority of fire departments in the United States are volunteer. Of the total 30,165 fire departments in the country, 20,857 are all volunteer; 5,099 are mostly volunteer; 1,752 are mostly career; and 2,457 are all career.”

In 2009, US firefighter fatalities included 47 volunteer firefighters, 36 career firefighters, and 7 part-time or full-time members of wildland or wildland contract fire agencies.

Is the fire protection in your locale career or voluntary firefighters?

How Do I Become A Volunteer Firefighter?

US Fire Administration

ABC Wednesday – Round 8