I have authored a column called: “Can You Believe This?” for more than 18 months. . Basically, the premise is that real news is ALWAYS stranger than fiction. Moreover, in my job as a journalist, I’ve covered cops/criminals—always fodder for general insanity of humans against humans. If I used every article I came across, I would be dead for decades before I’d run out of stories to print. Some of the articles are happy, some sad. Most are simply inane and leave you shaking your head. These are stories you could live without…but you won’t want to! Here’s the latest, an exclusive to Associated Content.
The story I decided to lead with involves firefighters. Then I found another. So, it seemed like an interesting thought to dedicate this one to firefighters. As you’ll see, so much of this goes above and beyond what anyone would consider above and beyond.
Firefighters Rescue Donkey
If you watch Rescue Me, you’ll get one view of life as a firefighter, but firefighters will give tell you the adrenalin rush coupled with the need to make a difference drives them. The old scenario you’ve seen with firefighters grabbing cats out of trees isn’t as far fetched as it may sound. And now there’s a bit of a twist on that old scene.
In Minnesota, a donkey wandered away from its home and ended up atop the boards covering an old well. The boards gave way, and the donkey went down the well.
The local fire department responded. Animal up a tree…animal down a well. It’s all in a day’s work.
Needless to say, it became more complicated. The firefighters had to pull apart the wall using a tractor. It’s not all about shiny red fire trucks and ladders. The farmer whose land held the abandoned well, didn’t balk at letting the firefighters do whatever it would take to rescue the animal.
According to the local fire chief, although they’ve rescued cows that had fallen through the ice, this was their first donkey.
Sometimes the Firefighters Aren’t So Lucky
An Albanian soccer enthusiast set fire to his own van to show his disgust as his team lost against a visiting Dutch team. Local firefighters responded. The outcome wasn’t as good as that of the Minnesota firefighters with the donkey.
The Albanian firefighters arrived on the scene in proper time, unfurled the hose and proceeded to put out the fire. Nothing happened. It’s difficult to put out a fire if your fire hose has no water running through it.
Albania has been undergoing a water shortage, and it seems residents near that fire truck had drained the water for their own use. Maybe the soccer nut will think twice before torching his own property next time.
The donkey story is certainly laudable. And equal are the cow rescues, but the Minnesota firefighters would have to go a long way to top an Edinburgh, Scotland firefighter. Brian Todd joined with his firefighter brothers to put out a house fire that had already gutted a living room. Then Todd went into rescue mode. On a goldfish. Successfully.
Todd saw a goldfish moving about in sooty water, trying to move its gills. Luckily, Todd is a fisherman as well as a firefighter, so he sprang into action. The water had evaporated from the fish tank, so Todd moved onto the kitchen, filled up the sink and put the struggling goldfish into the water. The firefighter swished the little fish’s tail about a bit, until finally, it started moving about on its own.
Firefighters Aren’t the Best Listeners…and It’s a Good Thing
In Perth, another Scottish firefighter was under investigation for breaking protocol and saving a woman’s life. The woman was in the River Tay, as the firefighter found her, struggling. According to the rules, poles and proper apparatus should have been used. As is often the case, there just wasn’t time, according to the firefighter who took swift action, diving into the water to rescue the water. Rescuers are not permitted to enter the water. He spent 8 minutes in the water as he brought the woman to safety, breaking the rules. Firefighter Brown said simply that as a father and a caring human being he wouldn’t stand by and watch the young woman die. For his compassion, he could face disciplinary action.
Firefighters Do the Darndest Things
In April, a Dayton volunteer firefighter had a lot of ‘splaining to do. He was picked up for drunk driving, public indecency and disorderly conduct. And he was picked up wearing a blond wig, flip flops and a halter top filled out with water balloons. He said he was going to a Dayton bar to compete for $10,000 for his performance in drag.