me2009

My work as a fireman

I became a fireman at the age of 21 untill the age of 55, so there are here some stories to tell. Here i write the stories i remember from my days as a professional rescue diver and fireman. I was rescue diver  the first 18 years of my career. I loved every day of it. Each day of my shift was like a challence and i remember the winters where the hardest jobs for me. When a call came in you had to leave your warm bed and just minutes after i searched the ice cold water of the rivers and canals of Amsterdam, trying to find a person or car with my colleague diver. It was always a nasty moment when the old dive suits those days  filled  with the ice cold water and it took some minutes before this water warmed by your body temparture. This where the moments i thought every time: 'Is this what i like? Why did i choose for this work? Seconds later there was no more time to think and you went to the bottom of the ice cold canal. One of the details we learned if we had to dive in cold water. Just urinate in your suit to have a warm moment below the surface. Fighting a fire is more easy mentally as Diver.

As a diver your work was alone in the dark water with only the sound of your breath and bubbles, the only connection for orientation is a rope from your standby diver on the shore of the canal. Fireman in general work in teams of 5 or 7 man. Good communication, mostly outside, but there are always risks. I lost 2  friends in a fire. Lost one of my dive mates in my career. Lost myself almost. But this are different stories. What i can say is that the job i choose when i was 21 years old, made me the man i am now.  On the picture i am 52 it was 2009 and i had trouble getting old. Painted my hair, shaved my body and did my workout every day. Even asked a colleague once in a while to shave my back. Almost lost everything! It looks like i am a macho man, but i am the opposite, it was just my late midlife crisis. If you see me now you can't believe it's just 5 years ago. In my humble opinion i am the example of how life can affect a human being, and if you take some time to read more of my stories i hope you get the whole picture. Talk to you later.