By Frank E. Vaerewijck
“911, What’s your Emergency?” “Yeah, we need the Fire Department for (fill in the blank).”
That is the reality of the job. Who do you call when you’re not sure who to call? You call the Fire Department! Cat stuck in a tree? Call the Fire Department! Car in a ditch? Call the Fire Department! Toothache at 3:00 a. m.? Call the Fire Department! House on fire? Definitely call the Fire Department!
Now I’m not being salty. It’s just something I was told a long time ago, by a very wise officer. He said “Kid”, (that’s what he used to call me) “Kid, never forget, you will need to learn as much as you can about everything, because one day you might need to know something about something.” At the time I thought maybe he missed his meds that day. But as I grew in my career, I realized what the old man was talking about. You can take as many training and certification classes as you want, but sometimes you don’t learn what you need to know for your current situation in any of those classes.
It’s been asked why we are even called the Fire Department, or Firefighters, when so little of what we do involves actual fire? That’s a pretty good question. It would make more sense to call us just the “Everything and EMS Department.” We are a very versatile profession made up of a wide array of people, steeped deep in our roots and traditions. My best answer is, back when a majority of what we did was fire, that’s what we were called, and the name stuck.
Though actual fire may only be a small part of what we do, Fire Prevention, along with other tasks that we perform, essentially is fighting fires that haven’t happened yet, and never will, due to our efforts. Nonetheless, “Fire-putter-outer, car-crash-get-you-outer, animal untangler, hazardous chemical containment, EMS, and everything the Police Department doesn’t want to deal with” won’t fit on the side of the trucks. We’ll just keep it at Fire or Fire Rescue Department, include EMS and everybody’s happy.
Besides, have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree? They will come down, eventually, and “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home!”
There aren’t a lot of meals out there where you add just about anything in the fridge and it comes out amazing. Pizza is a great go-to that reflects the everything concept. Often called a supreme, I like to call it an Everything Pizza. The best part, it’s ready in under 15 minutes!
- 1 13.8 oz canned pizza dough
- 2 tablespoons pizza sauce
- 10 slices pepperoni
- 1 cup cooked and crumbled sausage
- ½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- 2 large mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 onion sliced
- 1/4 bell pepper sliced
- 1 tablespoon sliced black olives
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- Pizza seasoning to taste
- Anything, and I mean anything else you like. If you like pineapple, put it on there. Avocado? Pile it on. Anchovies? No, don’t ruin it. Just kidding, load it up, whatever makes you happy.
- Preheat the oven to 475°.
- Spray pizza pan with nonstick cooking or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out dough and place on the pizza pan.
- Spread pizza sauce over the dough
- Layer the toppings over the dough in the order listed
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the cheese melted and lightly browned.
Be mindful of the amount of veggies you add. Fresh veggies give off water when cooked. Too many will make your pizza soggy and affect the texture of the finished pizza. You can offset this a bit if you top your pizza with sautéed vegetables from which the water has already been cooked off.
Top your pie off with some crushed red pepper and don’t forget to share your creation. Who are we kidding, eat up, and enjoy every crumb.