Saturday night I went snowboarding, got home late and fell asleep around 1 AM. About 5 Am, dispatch requested our engine to Woodridge to stand by at their firehouse for a working house fire. As I'm running down the stairs without my car keys, I stop short and run back up to grab them when dispatch states Woodridge now wants us to the scene to go to work.
Running into headquarters, 3 guys were there ahead of me so the Chief told them to go ahead in the Rescue Truck since Woodridge "needed" manpower asap, so I waited a few more minutes for a couple of guys, then we started off.
When we got to the scene, we staged around the block but it was still dark out and I could see flames blowing out a window and a plume of smoke. I helped the Chief gear up and we walked to the scene with our SCBA, axes and halligans and flashlights.
We were told to stand by as a F.A.S.T. Team, and we basically watched them fight the fire for an hour. Woodridge has 60 minute air bottles, and they must have did a solid interior attack for 3/4 of that limited time, I was impressed. I know how exhausting it is and 45 minutes of solid firefighting is enough to knock anyone on his / her ass.
Basically all we were useful for that night was to pack up their hose, which was rough since in the 9 degree weather, everything that had even gotten misted was now a sheet of ice. We helped pack up 5-inch line that, with the solid, frozen contents, probably weighed 200lbs per length. I've never seen inch 3/4 line freeze SOLID before, making rolling and folding impossible. The sub-pumps we were using to pump out the basement after a long fire attack were hosing down nearby trucks, people and EMS gurneys, turning them almost instantly into ice sculptures.
This reminds me of the fire on December 9, 2006 where my wet jacket froze solid and I had icy water in my boots after the water-main in the basement fire broke.