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Proper Application of Force

Given the proper fulcrum and lever I can move anything. I have been taught and have taught that there is a time for finesse and the same opportunity for a big hammer. Working in 2 fields of skill is normal for a mechanic. The analytical and the mechanical skills are required for a speedy conclusion and repair. You first try to visualize the rational for the system in jeopardy and take what the owner says and piece it with your experience. The next step is estimating time and costs and options for both. Then finally put the wrenches to work.
Wrenching is a whole skill set in itself. Proper sizing, knowledge of the manufacturer, and proper application of Force and torque are required. Using the wrong type of wrench, improper size, or wrong brand can cause failure of the nut or bolt or set up the next mechanic. Honda fasteners are super tight and once broken turn easily by hand. Flare nut fittings are easy to get misshapen and rounded if you do not use a flare nut wrench. Tight is measured in Ft/LBs of torque. All fasteners when properly seated and tightened have a torque amount to reach. Wrong or Gorilla work will cause distress to the fastener and seizing the next time.
Technique of the mechanic is imperative. Using the proper lever, good solid dependable tools and the muscle needed for a steady pull or snap pull is required. My Uncle Sam was a smart man with numerous patents. He had a series of strokes that wracked his body but his mind was sharp. He used to joke about the PT guy named Wedge. We didn’t find out that was not his real name until after Sam’s death. You see A wedge is the simplest tool known to man!
Applying the muscle is many time futile without a little assistance and a force multiplier. Pulling and pushing require body position and a firm foundation. Striking an object requires another learning curve. This usually requires sweat equity and a few bruises. I was taught by the great Marvin Wilson that to properly apply the hammer, ax, or sledge you must first have your Ass behind you. Position of Power is a term I use frequently. Using the large muscles and not damaging the others and varying the motion keeps working longer.
The wheel, the ramp or wedge, and the lever are the simple tools my Uncle Sam was referring to. I found in my work as a farm hand and yard man the use of these tools very important to actually be able to work. I have been blessed to be a mechanic,Fireman, wood butcher, and handyman. I have used the ramp , lever and wedge. I have driven a wedge for wood and in auto extrication. I use the lever for wrenched and bolts. A torque wrench and variations of the torque wrench are extremely critical in precise fastening of engine components and other automotive applications.
Using force and having leverage is applied to words and actions not using tools. The use of leverage can influence how and what gets done. Force and leverage can be misused or made to put someone in a bad light. Wise use of leverage helps overcome many roadblocks to positive movements.Good deeds are leverage and can be used for improving relationships. Living the life of good and moral character will prevent someone having leverage or force that can be used against you.
Proper application of force requires tools, knowledge and patience. Whether it is mechanical or medical or intellectual practice and training is required. A mentor that allows the student to try and fail is also required. Thanks to my mentors and family I have had the training and practice necessary to use my leverage and apply the proper amount of Force.

We Help

We Help!   Written in 2001

Emergency service workers respond to thousands of emergencies every day. Each response makes the responder form thousands of thoughts and opinions as well as make hundreds of decisions. The decision process causes choices affecting the outcome of the emergency that are good, bad and unchanged. Each choice or decision is retained in the memory(s) of all responders, communicators, administrators, Drs and Family and friends.
I will attempt to analyze and examine from the volunteer fireman and Emt’s perspective the cumulative effect of decisions that affect the community and friends of each firefighter. These decisions affect each firefighter differently. Some responders work tirelessly year after year while others “burn out” after a short period of time. Stress of the response is too much from the moral standpoint for some firefighters. The communities “needs” are greater than the time available for some firefighters and Emt’s. The firefighter picks and chooses the calls to respond to and sometimes quits as a defense. What are we doing to ourselves when WE HELP?

I joined the fire department in the 70’s as a teenager. It was a natural extension of my upbringing to do something for others. I had already been trained in the basics of my moral and formative character by my church, Boy Scouts, community and parents. My neighbors and peers fathers were firefighters. I never really thought about it as helping others until many years later. The Fire department was just that, a place where we could go and do something exciting and dangerous, but still just the local volunteer fire department. As the years went by and I thought about a career the volunteer job took on a new significance. Firefighting for me was exciting, special, and fulfilling in ways I did not even know at the time.

Looking back I found that many of my decisions I made in my life have revolved around the Vienna Fire Department. I chose my career, place of residence, and even vacation times and locations all to maximize the time or opportunities available to the fire department. I drove with care because of the wrecks we had responded to, and the possibility of losing my status in the fire department if word of a ticket or worse were to make it back to the Chief. We dated with one ear on the radio and then pager. We consumed less alcohol so we could be ready if a call came. I still carry my turnout gear everywhere in response radius. This has gone on for 30 + years. My wife became an EMT and my children want to volunteer when they grow up. How have I been able to absorb and even thrive on the stress and others fall by the wayside or worse consume drugs and alcohol, get divorces and generally get used up by the services?

I have admired many members of my community and have asked for their input and ideas. Each member of emergency services has a perspective and outlook on life and this affects the effect of stress, grief, and shock on the member. Communication skills and social skills often seem to put the “outgoing” members in a better position than the membership that cannot talk or is ashamed of the feeling(s) they have. Sometimes we hesitate to talk about the bad calls when we need to open up. Other times we don’t need to expose too many of the responders to the gruesomeness of human nature.

How do we define the pressure that is applied to the emergency responder and what is the nature of the pressure. Pressure to perform is the first known stressor to the initial responder. Performance requirements are the training, response, and knowledge that are required to bring any emergency response to a safe and timely conclusion. This pressure is applied by the responder to themselves or by their officers if their performance is lower than expected. This pressure is totally stress if the knowledge or training is lacking and real world calls occur. This pressure can be completely removed through training and drills with confidence building techniques.

The next pressure is the pressure of duty to act and moral responsibilities. This can become a legal and moral quagmire. Clear standard procedures and knowledge of the current laws will help the responder to avoid the stress of making the decision dealing with resuscitation or not and the dilemma that comes with the odipus complex.
Making the responder realize the gravity of showing on a call that is beyond their capabilities is difficult in the early stages of the career. Overcoming the moral responsibilities and the letting go quandary is again training and clear procedures. The training required to become proficient can be time-consuming and longer than anticipated. Instant success and gratification are difficult to attain depending on the perspective of the outcome of the call. People die and lifesaving measures with advanced disease processes are not effective. This is a lifelong training process.

Heart Beats a Little Faster

When the air was still or the wind was in the right direction we could hear our neighborhood Fire siren and maybe just maybe the old Civil Defense siren at Mt Tabor. After I moved just a little west I could hear 3 sirens and if the air was just right: Like just before it started snowing , We could hear the train in Clemmons.
I was just about 10 when we moved to Vienna and could hear the Vienna Siren. Our neighbor Roy would come driving out of the neighborhood and disappear. We never knew if it was his truck cranking up or the Siren that would alert us to listen for that mournful windup and dropping tone from the Vienna Siren. We just knew that it would make us jump on our bikes and race for the highway to watch those Fire Trucks come rolling down the road.
If we were lucky we got to the intersection of Lake Forest and Old Hwy 421 before the trucks went past. It was a great day to hear those smaller sirens get louder and then pump our arms for the firemen to blow the horn at us. Many times we arrived after the Fire truck went past, hearts racing from the pedal up the hill, and we could hear that siren recede into nothing.
I don’t remember dreaming about being a Fireman but now I get to drive the truck and blow the horn.My heart still picks up the pace as the call comes in. Having been involved for more than 40 years I still love to drive the truck and blow the horn.I got to drive today for Fire Fighter appreciation day. I went to lunch and took the long way back to the station. The sounds of firefighting are so memorable.
Sirens, Engines, Exhaust, Bells, tire noise, and sooo many other noises bring back memories. We teach using all our senses and hearing is very important. The crackle of the fire above you and the creaks and groans of a structure being consumed by fire. The rescue tool motor up and down cadence and the strain of the metal bending from the pressure of the rescue tool. No matter the sounds Firefighters everywhere can be drawn back to any place and time they first heard or the sounds were made memorable.
We still stop what we are doing to listen for the old siren noise drifting in on the wind from the next county. It means someone need help and response is imminent. The shorter staccato beat of the Ambulance or the Sheriffs vehicles still draw our attention. It is almost like my dog of 20 years ago He would go to the door and wait while we heard the siren or recognize the pager was going off. BOO BOO heard the siren first and the pager too. He seemed to just be saying “come on Y’all”. I bet his heart was beating faster too. He got to ride the truck and did a little howling too along the way. Yes our hearts beat a little faster and well they still do.

Visionary or Ordinary with Vision

A shakeup happens periodically in every organization. Sometimes it divides and splits the group. Sometimes it unites not only the group but a community or State and Nation.
The EMS services in rural areas is new compared to other Emergency Services.Vienna Volunteer Fire Department formed the Rescue Squad portion of the department and this became the Vienna Fire Department. One mission for all members: Protect Life and Property. No matter the situation or the incident Vienna can respond and be of assistance.
The very act of suggesting medical and rescue response caused some shakeup. It also brought women into the department in roles other than Auxiliary. The next year they brought Cadets in to the department. Man was this the royal shakeup or What. Medical, Youth and Women all in an 18 month period.
This also came with the Chief change of 1974. Supported by many but not without some push back. Youth were treated as Adults and tightly controlled. Rescue met on a different night and ideas were hatched without some of the “pressure” that may have been applied otherwise.Traditions were challenged and many upheld but the changes would resonate for a quarter century and beyond.
The Vienna department was blessed to have hard working members and attracted many members of the community that had education and vision. Men mentored each other and pushed each other to learn and perform. They also pushed the youth of the department to learn the craft but also to live a descent honest life of service and do it with a zest for life. Those men taught us to join, save, and purchase a house and land and raise families. We learned savings including the retirement for Firefighters in NC. We learned to compare and get the best products to make us perform. Motorola,Waterous, Akron, Servus were names we depended on sometimes with our lives.
When it came to Rescue equipment and training we turned to the NC Department of Insurance. New training for the whole department. Ropes, rescue and extrication, and fire attack were requested and taught by State certified instructors. When it came time to purchase a Rescue Tool we learned about a spreadsheet and tables. Our Rescue membership were highly educated and needed to test and compare many tools. WE did demo for several manufacturers and chose Holmatro Rescue Tools. We then embarked on training for extrications by using the hand tools and power equipment in concert.
We started with a spreader. cutter, and rams, with air bags ,and come a longs. This was a great start but we chose ropes and hardware and lots of cribbing.

Cutter

Cutter

Spreaders

Spreaders

We kept training and Vienna had some automobile, and truck, and farm machinery extrications. We went to classes all over Forsyth county and State and even to the Georgia Extrication School! All around us we had departments buying Hurst. Our tools performed and rarely failed. Vienna members became some of the first to attend and attain the ART and BRT certifications. We started teaching the county schools for FF1&2 and Rescue. Several members team taught and we used the Holmatro Rescue tools. Conservatively since Vienna and Mt. Tabor merged in the 90′s and the call volume quadrupled the Holmatro cutter and spreader have responded to 2000  or more accidents andhave been used in over  200 exrications. Those same tools wee used to train members of the Vienna and Mt Tabor departments more than 100 times. The Forsyth County Certification School  rescue portion was taught by members of Vienna Mt. Tabor and Lewisville departments and that same Vienna spreader and cutters were used for more that 30 years. The spreader may have trained over a thousand students in extrication.
The membership and visionaries may never have realized the incredible impact of the decision to bring medical and rescue to Vienna. They certainly made a positive impact in my life and the safety of the motoring public. The decision to purchase the Holmatro tools  was huge. The incredible impact of one set of spreaders being used for training and extrication for such a long lifetime is magnificent. We have upgraded many times and still have our original representative. Steve Idol and Jane continue to bring safety and Extrication Excellence to departments all over North Carolina. Thanks All Y’all

Taking the Pulse

Travel is necessary and always amusing. Two trips over successive weekends and I am ready to stay home some. Can I? Noooo I am Campmaster for CRK and then we launch into outdoor food cooking for the masses.
My family and friends from Brookstown UMC, Vienna Civic Club, and Vienna Fire Department will be cooking fish, steaks, chicken, chicken stew, and BBQ. Man get the grills, cookers, smokers, roasters and ovens ready! We will slide into winter with full bellies at least.
The trip to Las Vegas was business and pleasure. I should have extended for a couple of days but the money needed for food drove me home. WE normally go conventions and have food provided for 3-4 days. We provided our own eats except for one Magnificent meal with Auto Supply Co. Thanks to Charlie and Co. we had a great meal and evening.
Mandalay Bay was the headquarters for Barrett-Jackson. We arrived on Thu. and went over to the arena and watched “a few” cars roll across the stage and get sold for thousands of dollars. We then went Sat to the Chevrolet fan experience- Test drove, Rode in a New Corvette, drifted in same, and wore ourselves out in row after row of the most beautiful vehicles in the world. Then we watched the auctions and a few cars go for over 100,000$.
Vienna Fd had Open House and launches into the fall and winter fire season with over a hundred hours of Public Education. Fire Danger is real and being fire safe and Alerted is Very Important. Vienna installs smoke detectors and teaches about EDITH. Each FF preaches and practices the Exit plan and works to teach family and friends. We then pick the FF, Rescue, Rookie, and Cadet of the Year. We get honored and Honor ourselves. We eat Steak and Party for fellowship and Celebration. We play hard because we work hard keeping our community safe.
Brookstown UMC kicked off the 1st annual Fish Fry using Roy Lewis frying machine… A 3×4 ft fish frying setup. We can keep up frying to the largest crowd. Tested and found magnificent. Frys and Hushpuppies and Fish.. Brookstown has a good fund raiser…Thanks for Bill and Jeffery, We kept 130 folks in fish n fixins… Chip Webb Served it all and washed it all and blistered up chopping slaw. Great job!
Chicken is the meat of choice for Late October… First a 100 half chicken and hotdog lunch. Then a Trunk or Treat at Brookstown UMC with a chicken stew…Gonna bone some Chicken… Yeah
Last we will cook BBQ and Fry some more Fish. Christmas time is coming an We may cook some Shoulders? who knows?
Service to others and Serving ourselves… Aprons or Bibs… We are feeding and being fed. Thanks for the Servers and those needing served.

One Church

I have been involved in many organizations in our community and across the state in my lifetime. The lifeblood of any large organization is the small group or groups. These groups provide the needed intimacy and closeness most desire. The large group provides the structure {often time-honored} , the funding vehicle , and Admin duties.
A disconnect between groups, or between the larger organization can change the direction and focus or just stagnate or destroy the group. Strong willed and strong-minded individuals can create change in the small groups and bring unity or anarchy.
I have been involved in several groups and received corporate level training. Vienna Fire Department, Brookstown UMC, Scout Troop 919, Wahissa Lodge #118, and ACDELCO and Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina all have provided, some with great cost and others with OJT, superb level of training.
Every organization I have been involved with have had recruitment and retention issues. Societal changes have changed the numbers and commitment for each in many different ways. Fire Departments across the country are looking for volunteers and career members.The training required and commitment needed has lowered the numbers we choose from . Those that can attain the hours and pass the tests have dropped. Added duties have added new small groups to the paradigm changing the hierarchy.
My Scout organization is under social pressure to include all and bowing to some changes both externally and internally. Managing the small groups called patrols are youth and Adults lead by example and give responsibility as they learn. Group dynamics change the week to week activities but the Larger group continues to provide the Focus and the Direction.
My church has struggled with community changes, aging , and small group dynamics. We worked ourselves into a caring, vibrant, and older church group. We added Sunday School classes, Youth leaders, and Church services. We have had to pay people to help keep up with the daily activities as our congregation gets more involved in other life’s challenges.
Advertising is now common to get membership and amenities to keep members will be the norm. The church used to be the community focus. Although the Church is not the Focus for some it is a very necessary group.
We added a Morning service and the traditional service lost a few and adding another small group changed the dynamics just by being formed. Subtle changes in group dynamics and changes in the economy forced some administrative changes and cutbacks.
The larger group The United Methodist Church was also struggling with membership and funding issues.
Excellent study and training allowed us to modify and adjust for some and see the others coming. The small groups of the church stepped up and began to drive the larger organization forward and as we worked together we were less separate.
Our focus has never diminished.. Bringing others to the Saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ. We had to change both the big group and the small groups. All groups working together and having the same goals is the key. Transition leadership with mentors and give the responsibility and have Faith and the power of Prayer. We are blessed to be led by a trained pastoral minister. Motivation and Scripture coupled with communication for the new millennium will give us success

Brotherhood , Cheerfulness, Service

Wahissa Lodge #118 does the Vigil nomination, Candidate period, and Vigil weekend differently than many other Lodges in not just the SR-7B but nationally as well. Or so I have been told! I have only been in #118.
Honored to have the SR-7B Section Chief participate in the Vigil this Year. We met as I was leaving to get the required sleeping before driving when up overnight. I recognized the cheerfulness of service and zeal to enjoy our Vigil weekend. Honored to have The Chief visit and give his 110%.
Head Guides and Vigil Chief culminate the candidates experience in one long night. Brothers in service participate both in service and honor to the individual but also to the Lodge, and Camp, and Council.
The Vigil honor means so much to the individual that many really look forward to Vigil night again by helping or honoring candidates. As anything in Life you get out what you put into each and every opportunity and experience. Most come and give 110%. It is not unusual to see Members driven to exhaustion participating in the Vigil night.
A tremendous effort by all Lodge leadership and members is required to create the Vigil weekend. Documented and timed down to the minute and still there are very little details quietly handled to make each weekend a success. Individuals giving the most to make Wahissa’s Vigil as special and meaningful as it can be. The Brotherhood coming together to Honor a candidate and giving of themselves is Service.
When in positions of responsibility for events eventually you realize the Event is going according to plans and you can actually begin to enjoy and relax a bit. I saw our Vigil Chief do just that about 10pm. Whatever happened we had a contingency and we had already taken the worst and everyone was still moving forward safely to the required destiny.
I saw the same look of relief and happiness as our Section Chief began to really get into the Wahissa Vigil.I really did not know but when rain moved the first ceremony He sprang into action and became the thoughtful guide. I watched the smile on his face never diminish even as dark of night and physical exertion brought sweat and exhaustion.
Thanks yous and platitudes are not enough for all each of the individuals put into this weekend. Our candidates will never find out until they Give that 110% for a Brother.
Thanks for those just doing their jobs. Thanks for the extra responsibilities shouldered without question. Thanks for the extraordinary efforts many gave for our Newest Vigil Honor Members.Thanks for the leadership our Section has;and the Cheerful Service given to our Lodge and Newest Members.

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