FireWire Top 5: Most Embarrassing Things to Happen in the Fire Service

In this segment of FireWire Top 5 we’ll discuss some of the most embarrassing things that can happen to you as a firefighter. Sure, embarrassing things happen all the time, but when it happens in front of your peers at the firehouse, it can become something you’ll hear about for the rest of your career. Let’s rank some awful moments!

5. Tool stuck in the truck

This one isn’t all that bad, but it’s annoying. You pull up to the scene, get out of the rig, and you’re trying to get a tool out of the compartment, but the last guy jammed them in there so good that you’re fighting to get them out. On top of that, your crew is waiting for you and there’s a crowd of people watching. Eventually one of your peers comes over and seamlessly gets the tool out no problem. They’ll break your chops for a bit, but you’ll get over it. More of a nuisance than anything else.

4. Driving with sirens and no lights

Most of the time this doesn’t happen, but when it does you can be sure the guys are going to give you a hard time about it. You may be on your way to an alarm and you have the sirens going, but you forgot to turn the lights on. Some people might say they’ve never seen that happen before, but in my experience I’ve seen it a few times. Not just dopey, but it can also be dangerous. Make sure you check your lights!

3. Leaning on the siren when you’re already on scene

This one is tough. You get to the scene of whatever emergency you’re responding to and you’re ready to rock and roll. As you’re trying to pull your SCBA out of the rig, you accidentally step on the siren, blowing out everyone’s eardrums that are standing right there. The crowd outside watches you as you step off the truck looking like a mess. Again, not anything too serious, but enough to make your face red with embarrassment.

2. Charging a hose bed

Yea this one sucks. It doesn’t matter if it happens in training, or at a scene, or if you’re a new or experienced engine chauffeur, it’s something you’ll never stop hearing about. I’ve seen it happen a few times. We all know there’s immense pressure on engine chauffeurs when it comes to getting the guys their water. You’ve got your primary water source secured, the crew has the hose flaked out, and the officer is asking for water. For some reason you wind up pulling the wrong lever and BOOM! You watch the hose bed spring up like one of those car dealership inflatables, and your crew is waiting on the front lawn with a limp hose. Take the extra second to make sure you’re charging the right line!

1. Dropping hose on the highway

This by far may be one of the most embarrassing moments. You’re returning from an alarm or drill, and the last guy packing the hose forgot to secure it, or it wasn’t packed properly. You’re driving down a busy road, having typical conversation, and you think all the cars beeping at you are just being friendly. That is until you look in the side view mirror and see hundreds of feet of hose being dragged behind you. You now have to stop the truck, stop traffic, and everyone has to get out of the rig and pack the hose back up, correctly, and at lightning speed. On top of that, now every passing motorist has their camera phone out taking videos of the circus. Again, take the extra minute to make sure everything is secured before you head back to HQ.

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