The seed for this series goes back to when I attended firefighting school in the maritime service. I got all dressed up in protective gear, strapped on a self-contained breathing apparatus, grabbed a charged 2 ½-inch line and then stepped into a simulated bilge.

On a ship, the bilge is the lowest compartment and located below the waterline. There’s usually a foot or more of water sloshing around mixed with other disgusting stuff. In this particular case the top layer of the bilge water consisted of something quite flammable.

So there I was, standing on a grated catwalk a foot above all this, when everything below me suddenly exploded into a roaring carpet of flame.

I stared at the fiery spectacle in stunned surprise until my mask sooted up and I remembered to open the hose.

Unless you use the correct technique, squirting water on a bilge fire just pushes the flames back and forth. In my case some of the flames snuck around behind me and made things much more exciting than expected.

My poor vision prevented me from following a career in firefighting, but I never stopped admiring the incredibly brave men and women who put their lives at risk every time they get kicked out on a call.

What many don’t know is just how large their hearts are. When they’re not volunteering their time for great charities they’re out raising money to help the less fortunate. Check out the Anja’s Kids link to see one of their favorite causes. Mine, too.

I hope you enjoy my books.

In the meantime stay safe, stay well, and pay a little something forward if you can.

 

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