Monthly Archives: December 2015

Structure Fire – Heavy Damage – VIDEO

XMAS7A fire in a home on E. 29th Street caused extensive damage this morning.

The occupant awakened to heavy smoke.  She made her way into the living room area and found a large amount of fire in the corner of the room where a Christmas tree was located.

Firefighters made a quick stop of the fire, but the living room was a total loss.  Likewise, the entire home suffered smoke and heat damage.

The fire cause is undetermined at this time.  However, the seat of the fire was in the vicinity of the Christmas tree.

There was just the one person home and she escaped without injury.

The Little Red Book

Little Red  BookBy Steve Moody

My grandfather had an eye for the ladies – ladies other than my grandmother. So, after a few years Grandma gave him his walking papers. Unfortunately, Gramps was a virile fellow too. He produced three children before his quick departure – two boys (one my father)and one girl. The girl’s name was Elizabeth. I called her Aunt Lizzie.

Lizzie worked her way through college – a feat made easier from watching her single mother successfully raise three children on a nursing home aide salary. Lizzie learned another lesson from her mother – the lesson of giving small gifts.

Every Christmas as a child I received a little red book from Aunt Lizzie. The stories were short and the theme was always about adventure. Subsequently, I developed a love of reading that has lasted a life time. However, at the time I failed to realize the sacrifice Lizzie was making to buy me that book, or the impact of the gift.

The light finally came on when I was reading a newly purchased book. The name of the book was “The World According to Mister Rogers.” It was little. It was red.

I was ashamed that I had never told Lizzie what her gifts meant to me. So, I bought another copy of Mister Rogers and sent it to Lizzie – along with a note. Three days later she called. Lizzie’s speech is like a roller coaster – the tone goes up and down with great excitement. She loved her little red book.

Six months later I received another telephone call. This one was different. It was more like a roller coaster stalled at the top of the tracks – idle and tense. Lizzie didn’t mince words. She explained that she had been to the doctor because of back pain. The doctor diagnosed late stage pancreatic cancer.

With the strength of a field general she said, “I have a great team of doctors and I’m going to fight this enemy with all my might. But, we need to be realistic too. The doctors have given me 3-6 months and few people beat pancreatic cancer.”

Almost six months to the day of her phone call, Lizzie died.

Before her death Lizzie developed a financial education program for high school students. She traveled the United States teaching teachers how to deliver the program. The training and all the materials were provided free of charge through a wealthy gentleman.

Lizzie’s overall legacy was the impact she had with thousands of high school students.

Her legacy with me was “The Little Red Book.”

p.s. Have a Merry, Safe, Christmas and New Year. 

Freddie the Firefighter

firefighterFreddie the firefighter is a little bit of you, and a little bit of me, a little bit of all us, you know?

He’s found out what courage means.

He knows the value of time.

He knows that our time can end in a moment. We say we don’t have time to do this or that.  There’s plenty of time.  The trick is not to waste what we’ve been given.

And Freddie knows all these things. And so do you.

He doesn’t ask anybody for a big salary, because it would be taken from you.

He doesn’t ask for a medal or flowering recognition and he knows one more thing…that the kind things he does today may be forgotten by many tomorrow, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.

He’s nice to everybody because he was taught that man is made in God’s image. He’s never met God in person and the next fella just might be him.

I would say that Freddie is a little bit of all of us.

*Adaptation from Red Skelton

K-12 SAW – A Benevolent Businessman

K12His name is Robbie Pollard.  Pollard is a self-employed electrician and a benevolent one too.

He came into the fire station a week or so ago – said he had a very good year of business and wanted to give back to the community.   What he proposed was to donate a K-12 Saw to the department.  He knew the department didn’t own one.

Pollard has a special knowledge of the fire department because his son is an El Dorado Fire Department firefighter.

Donating a saw is pretty special. The K12 saw can cut just about anything including concrete.  It could some day mean the difference between life and death.

If you see Mr. Pollard, be sure and thank him.

 

A Christmas Trip Cut Short

SamSamuel and Shirley were taking a train trip to visit a sister – a long, long train trip. It started in New Orleans and would end in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve, but it wasn’t to be.

Shirley thinks it could’ve been the constant clack, clack, clack of the railroad tracks. Samuel mentioned it as they were rolling through the Chicago area, but Shirley thought sleep would make things better. It didn’t.

She awakened the next morning and Samuel was now more than ever not himself. Nothing he was saying was making much sense. So, Shirley alerted train officials.

The train had just passed a station in Hutchinson, Kansas. They decided the next stop would be too far. If they could get a medical team to meet them, they would stop at the very next town – a little Kansas town called Stafford, population one thousand.

staffordtraindepotThe dispatcher informed the train representative that an ambulance crew could meet them. They would meet on Main Street on the north edge of town, yards away from the long ago closed train station. The dispatcher paged out the medical team – a volunteer crew.

The ambulance pulled up perpendicular to the tracks with the head lights shining through the light snow towards the faintly visible abandoned Stafford train station. Seconds later the first sign of the approaching train arrived – the bellowing blast of a horn. The conductor kept the blare going until the train itself arrived.

The engine passed the ambulance and continued onward for what seemed like about seven cars. Then, it came to an easy stop. How the conductor stopped the right car with its doorway at the right point is a mystery.

A Porter in full dress with cap stepped through the opened door and gently placed a step stool on the cold snow-packed pavement. The medics found Samuel and Shirley standing right inside the doorway.

Samuel wasn’t much aware of what was going on, but because of his condition he wasn’t interested in interacting with the medical team. With a little determination the team was still able to coax him onto their cot, but treatment was another story.

A blood pressure cuff and some limb placed electrodes. That was the extent of allowed treatment, but that would be enough to identify the problem. The blood pressure was too high, way too high.

It was a short trip to the hospital on the other end of town – ten blocks straight south and a couple blocks to the east. The physician assistant came from his home, but was there about as quickly as the train had arrived.

Samuel received immediate treatment to lower his blood pressure, but he would need to be admitted. Later that day they discovered the stay would need to be longer. A total of 72 hours in the hospital is the Medicare requirement. December 23rd plus two additional days = December 25th = Christmas Day.

This could’ve been a problem for Shirley, because there’s no motel in Stafford. But, rural caregivers know how to care for people, even if they don’t have all the big city equipment. Samuel and Shirley were given a room for two.

The question now was, “How to get home?” Because of Samuel’s medical condition the doctor ruled out the train. An airplane was the choice. All that was needed was tickets and an early Christmas morning ride – a one hundred mile trip to Wichita, Kansas.

A local Stafford citizen and his wife came to the rescue.

The wife made the arrangements and early Christmas morning Samuel and Shirley were given a ride to Wichita. They arrived home in New Orleans in time for dinner with their children. It was a Christmas trip cut short, but one that will surely be a Christmas to remember.