So for those of you who don't know, Antarctica is the driest continent on this happy little planet, and that means my long thick hair air dries in minutes, and my skin is nice and scaly, and my mucous membranes are dry, and my fingernails crack ... and if anything were to catch fire down here, it would burn, baby, burn in a sobering amount of time. Since I could only survive so long without actual buildings down here, that would pretty much suck.
But guess, what? We're in good hands, because this tiny little town has it's very own McMurdo Fire Department!
Here's the station -- Station One, they call it, because they actually post firefighters out on the sea ice runway from time to time also, and that's Station Two. Wisconsinites, take a close look at that fire truck .... that's right! It's a Pierce fire truck, made in the USA by the good Pierce truck folks in Appleton, WI. I thought that was pretty cool.
Anyway, the nice folks over at MFD allow some civies like me to come in from time to time, so last month, I got to suit up and spend some time as an Antarctica Firefighter (for a day!) Here I am with the coolest chick I know here, my new roommate, Lizzie! Yay! We love Lizzie! She is an ACTUAL firefighter from New Zealand, employed here at MacTown. She is also way cooler than me!
Not only did I get to help do some fire inspections, check out the trucks, go along on a fire alarm call and hang out in dispatch, they were also crazy enough to let me drive.
Check out the tires on this thing! It's called a Mat Track, and steers, oh, not as well as tires. But totally fun to drive. Plus, as one of the guys explained to me, it's like a giant fire extinguisher on wheels. Basically, you could use this remote control (where the gear shift is on manual transmission cars) to control a nozzle mounted outside the truck, and the back is filled with the chemical. Pretty cool.
I got to drive the truck up and down the ice runway outside of town. I also had to help shovel out Station Two! Look at how deep the snow is! Look at my bulging muscles!
So anyway, it was a great day, and thanks to all the cool guys and gals for making it happen. Love the fire department here! Good fun!