Back in the mid 1980s, I got a fire assignment to take a strike team of type 1 engines (city fire engines) to southern California (from Arizona) for a large wildfire that was burning into a city. This was my dream. I always thought that southern California wildires were the most challenging and exciting to fight. Over the 45 years of my career I fought many fires in California and throughout the US but California fires are often very unique. Any large incident is going to have it’s complexities and the more influences on a fire, the more complex it gets. Politics, fire behavior, fuels, wildland-urban interface, etc etc. The complexities in southern California are endless. Fast foward about 20 years… Today’s story takes place in 2003 and I was involves a simple assignment I was given on another large California fire. I was told to take 6 bulldozers and build a fireline behind an affluent subdivision and prepare to burn out the fireline in preparation of the main fire coming down the mountain. Seems like a simple straightforward assignment. But nothing ever turns out to be that simple or straight forward. Listen to what happens but keep in mind what can happen to your at your job. Remember, have realistic expectations and be flexible at work. You just never know what might happen.
#44 – Bulldozer Pool Hopping
Bobbie Scopa Podcast, Uncategorized 1 Minute
Published by Bobbie Scopa
I've been a wildland and municipal firefighter for over 40 years. I've held positions from firefighter up through the ranks to Chief and above. Over the years I've gathered many surprising and funny stories. Most have a good leadership lesson for all of us. I hope you enjoy them. View all posts by Bobbie Scopa
3 thoughts on “#44 – Bulldozer Pool Hopping”
GREAT story, I could picture all of it. I think that was a trend in rental vehicles in 2003, was on my house-hunting trip in UT in 2003 and same thing happened with they keys. But we were alone and our wallets and cell phone were in the locked car. Long story. Anyway, great as always and I love hearing John and Ann laugh!
I have been listening to your stories now for a few weeks…playing major catch up! I found out about your website through a Facebook group I follow. Love the laughs!
I just got certified as a HEQB last year and thankfully so far haven’t had any equipment slide sideways off a lowboy but I felt like I was there with you in that moment.
While I was out as a trainee, my trainer was an old crusty firefighter (old hotshot foreman) and he lectured me one time about holding my door handle when getting in and out because it was a wicked windy day. Well no shit, 30 minutes after the lecture, he gets out of my passenger side door and doesn’t hold the handle. So of course my door swings open and bends beyond the hinges causing just alittle damage to my government vehicle thankfully. It took everything not to LMAO at him. Oh and the best part, he was in my truck, using my cell phone to call the vehicle rental company to come and unlock his truck because he had got locked out, with the truck running and everything inside. No two fire assignments are ever alike. Gotta love them 🙂
Thanks for sharing! Keep them coming.
Oh thanks for the comment Jenn. I love your story about your trainer. I laughed out loud. ❤️