The Firehouse Foodie: Rude Awakening

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By Frank E. Vaerewijck

Maple Bacon Pancakes

Firefighters coming up in the new fire service will never know what it’s like to wet the ceiling at 2:00 a. m. What in the world is he talking about, you ask. Well, my friends, those of you that have been in the fire service for some time know what it’s like to be abruptly woken up for a call at any hour by the “Klaxon.”

This Fire Bell is a motorized bell designed for fire alarm applications, and its recognizable alarm sound emanates from its robust steel gong at a heart pumping audibility at 1m of Up to 95db (A). Inevitably, with the amount of available room in an ordinary bunk room, someone had to sleep directly under this device of reckoning. Thus, the previous quote “Firefighters coming up in the new fire service will never know the what it’s like to wet the ceiling at 2:00 a. m.,” because as you were snug in your rack, dreaming sweet dreams, when the dispatcher received the call for help, and rang your station, this dream killer would sound and scare the living bajeebies out of you, forcing you to pry yourself off of the ceiling. Oh, you were awake all right, and performing your job was not a problem, but as technology and studies have shown, there are better ways to awaken Firefighters and Medics, reducing the immediate stress focused on such a demanding job. It is much less stressful being woken up by gentle tones and a normal voice notifying which units need response.

Those of us that have been in the Fire Service for a while have adapted. I, for one, sleep very lightly when on shift, attempting to keep an ear out for the radio, whilst trying to get some rest. The future is here and now, lights automatically come on, those gentle tones and voices are much easier on the heart, and no one is wetting the ceiling anymore. The Fire Service is changing. The icons of the past are now great laughs that we share with the newbies around the kitchen table over coffee and some Maple Bacon Pancakes, and “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home!”

Maple Bacon Pancakes

Makes: 5 Servings


  • 4 ounces Bacon
  • 1 cup baking mix
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup
  • ½ cup Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together baking mix, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, milk, maple syrup, sugar and eggs until only small lumps of cheese remain. Pour into prepared pie plate.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pancake comes out clean. Sprinkle bacon and remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top of pancake. Bake until cheese melts, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. ENJOY those stories and good laughs!


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