Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Rude Awakening

A somewhat groggy 'blogger this morning.

At 2:30 AM, the fire alarm in my apartment building sounded. Fortunately (?), my inner body clock awoke me just before it happened, so it wasn't as jarring as it could have been. Slipped on a warm-up suit, grabbed my keys, locked the door, and left the building.

Even more fortunately, it was a false alarm. I'm not sure what triggered it. I have lived in this complex for over 12 years, 10 of them in another building where this was an occasional occurrence. In most of those instances, somebody burned a late-night dinner to the point smoke dectectors were activated. This was the first time in quite a while since this has happened to me.

In about five minutes, the fire department arrived on the scene. I am very lucky; there is a station only about half a mile away and they respond very timely. The firefighters made their cursory sweep around the cluster of buildings to check for smoke and/or flames, then got down to the business of turning off the alarm. A maintenance worker arrived at about the same time the fire trucks and assisted them with that task.

It was a somewhat cool night; I would guess temps were in the low 50s. Better than standing outside on a cold winter's night (which has happened). While I was outside waiting for the "all clear", a patrol car drove past the scene. My thoughts then turned back to Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Remembering those of New York's Finest and Bravest who made the ultimate sacrifice that day, I was grateful that these people were here, going about their job in a professional manner. At 2:55, we were allowed back inside.

So, the next time you see a person who protects the public from harm, give them a word of appreciation. Let them know how proud you are of them.

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