Thanks to the Fire Department!

Thanks to the Fire Department! by Debra H. Goldstein

The Irondale Fire Department – four strong and a truck – just left my street. The four firefighters previously had been in my home. They weren’t there because of a fire. Rather, as a community service, they’d responded to my request for help with an upstairs beeping alarm.

As many of you know, I’m recovering well from back surgery, but I’m not quite at the point that I can scramble up ladders to change the batteries in smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. A friend had tried to help me determine which of the two was the beeper, but she not only couldn’t ascertain the culprit, but she wasn’t able to figure out how to open either of them. Not being able to maneuver the steps, I was no help to her.

At that moment, while the chirping continued, I remembered reading that the fire department would help in a situation like the one I found myself in. I called the non-emergency number and explained my situation. Once they learned I had the batteries necessary for replacement, they asked if right now was a good time for them to come out to help me.


They arrived. While two went upstairs to determine the problematic alarm, one carried in a small ladder, and one kept me company downstairs. They quickly resolved the chirp, then waived off my thanks for their help. To them, it was all in a day’s work. To me, it was lifesaving or should I say sanity saving after two days of chirping.

When they pulled away, two neighbors, fearing I had fallen, texted to see if I was okay. I replied that I was more than okay. My problem was solved, and I was feeling grateful.

I have the same feeling when I interact with other writers. Whether we brainstorm, listen to each other’s tales of woe about our writing, or lament about something that has broken in our home that has distracted us from writing, we come through for each other. For that I am grateful.

Have you had a situation where a community service, like that provided by the fire department, or a personal connection with another author, has made you feel grateful?

7 replies
  1. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    Great tale of woe resolved, and hurray for first responders who have our backs 24/7. And I’m also thankful for other writers, including YOU!

  2. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    Back surgery? Yikes! Hope you’re healing well, Debra. As for feeling grateful, I am eternally grateful to the strangers who came to my husband’s rescue a couple of years ago when he was walking alone down an unfamiliar street, admiring a beautiful old house as he went. Eyes on the house, he failed to notice that one section of sidewalk in front of him had raised up three inches. I got a phone call from a young man who had been driving by and saw him fall. He stopped the car, ran to his aid. Seeing that he was slightly dazed and bleeding profusely, the man called an ambulance, took Don’s phone and call me to relate what happened and which emergency room he would be taken to. The young stranger refused to give me his name, but whoever he is, I am eternally grateful to him. After a few stitches and some pain meds, we were back home in a few hours with no permanent damage.

  3. Donnell Ann Bell
    Donnell Ann Bell says:

    Oh, Debra, what a nice way to start my day, reading about something wonderful instead of something tragic. Loved that not only the fire department responded but your neighbors as well. Lovely blog and I hope your back is healing wonderfully.

Comments are closed.