8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, October 12, 2000
The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Mag
(From left) Firefighters Scott Peterson, Tim Flack, Derrick Wisely and Ben Zahn practice fire fighting tech- Firefighter Derrick Wisely slides down the pole deftly balancing a cup of coffee in his hand.
niques. training is scheduled every weekday in order to maintain the fireighters readiness to respond to any Sliding poles are still a common siht in modern fire stations, and they allow firefighters the
form of ernegency. quickest access to their fire trucks from anywhere in the building.
(From left) Firefighters Derrick Wisely, Chris Noonan, Jim Adams and Don Fisher share a light moment
firefighters to entrust each other with iheir lives in crisis situations, and a strong sense of unity and cama
The 126 men and women who
work for the Ann Arbor Fire
Department are hardly ever seen but
are often the first ones to respond
to any emergency situation. They
are the life-savers behind the flash-
ing lights, wailing sirens and red
fire trucks that whiz by as we pull
over for them.
This is their story.
The Ann Arbor firefighters work
in 24 hour shifts, organized among
six fire stations located in Ann
Arbor. Besides fire hazards, they
respond to medical emergencies,
fire alarms and biochemical haz-
Life as a firefighter is best char-
acterized by long periods of waiting
punctuated by intense adrenaline
rushes. Emergency calls come
inconsistently and unexpectedly,
and when they do come the fire-
fighters drop whatever they are
doing and head straight to the slid-
ing poles. Training schedules and
routine maintenance take up the
bulk of the time between calls.
Mealtimes are moments when the
firefighters can relax and unwind
from the day's stresses and are usu-
ally full of casual banter and joyousa
laughter. And as a city of 100,000
sleeps, the Ann Arbor Fire
Department watches over them.
Firefighters re-enter a house after pulling a smoldering couch out of a
fire. The second floor windows have been knocked out to ventilate the
building, preventing smoke from accumulating on the lower levels.
Firefighter Ben Zahn works to remove flammable materials from a burnt out van to prevent further combustion. Zahn is a rookie in the Department, having
been i the team for less than a year. He is therefore often the one doing most of the grunt' work, in order to provide him with the most hands-on experience
as well as to prepare him for possible future leadership positions.
Firefighter Ben Zahn (right) assiste
a car accident victim onto a stretche
[Juron Valley Ambulance work togi
The target response time is four mir