Provided by Frank E. Vaerewijck, FF/EMT
November is here already. Where did the last 10 months go? It’s time for the holidays, family, travel, and the smells of Pumpkin Spice everywhere. The leaves are turning, the stores are starting to fill with Christmas and Holiday goods, and for those of us in the Fire Service, we have seen an increase in alarms.
Fire departments all over are running more and more calls to investigate home smoke detectors alarming, commercial fire alarms, and worst of all, to put out chimney fires. Far too many forget to clean their air ducts and the buildup of dust plays havoc on smoke detectors when the hot air from your newly fired up heating system, pardon the pun, hits that fine dust blowing it into the air and incinerating some, causing that burning smell when you first turn on your heat after a long cool summer, and setting of those touchy smoke detectors.
Creosote is a nightmare in the fire service. This byproduct of combustion builds up in the flue of the chimney, and when reheated, can be an independent fuel source and burn the lining of the chimney allowing the structure to ultimately catch fire. One of the only sure ways to fight such a fire is not totally with water. We have a unique assembly referred to as the chimney kit. This kit includes a bucket, a small shovel, a tarp, and a set of chimney chains, a unique tool in its own right. The chimney chains is a long chain, usually 15 to 20 feet long, with 4 or 5 three-foot long pieces of chain attached by a large ring at the bottom. After deploying the tarp to set everything on, and so that we don’t make any more of a mess, we ladder the structure, go to the roof and from the top of the chimney, drop the chain, short lengths to the bottom, down the chimney in a plunging manner, breaking the hot burning creosote loose, and into the pit of the fireplace. After shoveling the coals into the bucket, we take them outside to wash them down with a garden hose, or a water can from the fire engine. After advising the home’s occupants that the chimney needs to be inspected before use again, we get to go back and wait for the next call.
As simple as all of that sounds, problems do arise and we need to always watch out for each other. We are a band of brothers and sisters, a family among families. The holidays are a time for thanks, a time to reflect, a time to give more of ourselves, yes it’s that time of year. During all of the formal gatherings, the family get-togethers, and holiday parties, remember HAVE FUN! Don’t be afraid to wear the silly tie, or make people take a second look when carving into the bird. This year, same as years past, I have managed to find a recipe that will make someone in the family blush, and everyone else laugh so hard they cry and “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home!”
Sexy Topless Turkey
1 Turkey (any size)
1 stick butter
Stuffing of your choice, we like Turkey…
Slice the lemon in equal halves. With the turkey defrosted, separate the skin from the meat at the neck and carefully wedge the lemons into the breast position of the Turkey. Stuff the turkey, and grease it up with the butter. Cook the turkey as directed on the package and don’t forget, “It’s all about the baste, bout the baste, moist turkey”. This is sure to lighten up the mood at your Thanksgiving meal From all of us here at the Firehouse Foodie, Happy Thanksgiving!