For the majority of us average human beings here on earth, work is something we have to do. It pays the bills, and it puts food on the table. Not many people have a job that they love, so once our shift is over, we rush home to take care of important things. Like eating Doritos and watching Duck Dynasty for 4 hours. We barely get through the 9-5, so when it comes to working overtime, our boss better not even think about asking. It's just not gonna happen.
"Sure boss, I can come in at Never o'clock. Does Never o'clock sound good to you?"
But when it comes to being a firefighter, there is no 9-5. It is a 24/7 death-dodging profession. And while most of us would try to pepper spray Overtime in the face if we could, firefighters jump into beast mode even when they're off the clock. There are countless acts of heroism performed by firefighters every day around the world, so naturally we can't showcase them all.
But below are just a few...
3. Robert Puttick Gets Electrocuted, Simply Doesn't Care
Imagine you have just smashed your vehicle into a pole on the side of a county road. You try to get out, but every time you touch the car's frame, you are shocked. That's because the hydro lines from the pole you decided to chop down with your crossover are now laying underneath your car, sending electricity coursing through the vehicle. This was the scene in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada in August 2010.
But then help arrived by the form of off-duty firefighter Robert Puttick.
Otherwise known as Captain Awesome.
Robert sprang into action right away. Wearing just his casual clothes, he ran to the car, grabbed the driver's door... and was instantly shocked by about 115,000 volts. He hadn't noticed the wires underneath, and the lady inside was apparently to busy to inform him. But Robert didn't volunteer for 10 years just to let a little electric tickle stop him. He ran to the passenger side, where the door had swung open after the crash, had the driver kneel on the seat, and scooped her up and ran from the car... seconds before it burst into flames.
The woman sustained no injuries, and Robert Puttick went home a hero, with the satisfaction of knowing he no longer needs to fear lightning storms.
2. Firefighters Save Guy From Fire... 3 Times
Daniel DiRobbio of Warwick, Rhode Island, USA decided to go for a nice off-duty drive one night in January 2010.
"Yeppers, just going for a nice off-duty drive. No duties to worry about tonight. I would, if I was on-duty.
But I'm not. I'm off-duty. Zero duties to worry about."
But life for a firefighter just isn't that relaxing. As he was driving he saw heavy smoke pouring out of a two-floor house. He phoned in the fire (after jumping out of his moving vehicle, probably), and began banging on the door, waking up the two residents and their children, and getting them out safe and sound. The end! Not. As the other firefighters arrived, Daniel turned around and realized the father had run back inside to try to put out the fire himself. Because what do firefighters know about fighting fires.
So they marched up there and dragged him back outside to safety. The end! Oh if only. As they tried to do their job of putting out the dang fire, the man ran inside the house again! They then muttered something like "Strike three", left the property, and went back to the station to watch Backdraft on loop. No, because they're good people, the firefighters grabbed him yet again, and brought him out of the burning building. Hopefully, they followed this up by giving him a thorough rinse with their fire hoses.
Like this, but with more lesson-teaching velocity.
So please, if you are ever in a burning building and firefighters decide to save you and your family in their spare time, just do them a favour and stay saved.
1. Michael Marino Dives Into Flooded Tunnel
Lauren Ostberg, via The Somerville Times
In July 2010, the greater Boston area was hit by flash floods, including nearby Somerville. Christine Broderick was in the Fellsway Tunnel at the time, and had nowhere to go as the waters picked up her car and spun it in circles. The tunnel filled up with 18 feet of water and went pitch black as she managed to climb onto the roof of her car. Being unable to swim, she began screaming for help. And that's when off-duty firefighter Michael Marino "dove" into action.
"Ohh, I see what you did there, James!"
See, while most of us in this scenario might just point at the tunnel and cry, hoping the situation would just resolve itself, Michael is better than us. Michael Marino, a former US Navy rescue diver, jumped in without hesitation. He swam into the dark tunnel with a life-ring, located Christine, and pulled her to safety, strictly because he is the coolest cat around.
It's possible that the tunnel wasn't dark, but that she just had her eyes closed the entire time.
So thank you, Heroes Of Overtime! Thank you for working around the clock to save our butts whenever we get ourselves into crazy situations.
Excuses can be a beautiful thing. When used in the right way, they can get us out of all sorts of trouble, like doing our chores, or getting us out of jury duty. And they are a real wingman when it comes to the sweet, sweet practice of procrastination.
"I would love to feed the dog... but this Ferrari isn't gonna drive itself."
However, sometimes we take advantage of our friend, The Excuse, and we use him in vile ways. Like for instance, if you play hockey, you know that your gear can really start to reak after just a few games. And over the course of a few years --maybe even a couple decades of no treatment -- it transitions to smelling like the shorts of Andre the Giant after he's gone for a jog through the Mojave desert.
Perhaps there are a few excuses you've used to defend your stance of preserving the unholy state of your hockey gear. I'm here to tell you your excuses are bad. Below are just a few...
4. It's Part Of the Game
This is probably the one excuse that is used most often. At first it's annoying to hear, but then you think about it and you can see where the person is coming from. For decades, Eau de Chat Urine has been the signature scent of hockey gear.
"You have my bladder to thank for your success."
You just got used to smelling it over and over, every time you walked into a dressing room. But that's only because there hasn't been a proper way to clean gear. Now the technology and methods exist to properly disinfect your gear, so there really is no reason to say it's part of the game.
That's like saying the smell of mold and mildew in your house is just part of living in a house. No, it's not. If you walked into your house and recieved a huge dose of moldy breeze to the nostrils, you would be speed-dialing the army to come over PRONTO to wipe it out before you'd even hit the floor. It's the result of water damage in your house, and you know it needs to be killed, otherwise it can cause severe damage to your health. Playing with gear that is moldy and full of bacteria is no different! It's dangerous to your health, and needs to be treated.
"Oh well," you say, "I'll just tough it out. Because..."
3. It's Part Of Being a Man
"It's called being a man! It's a manly scent!" This is one excuse that we've heard before and perhaps you've used it to. This is what you look like when you say that:
"It's a manly scent! I'm a man!"
What our friend Bozo up there is saying is that only men sweat and stink when they exert themselves. Isn't that a little silly, considering just how many women hockey players there are? I have a lot of women friends who play hockey, and they can tell you first hand, their dressing rooms smell just as nasty as the men's. Saying it's a man's smell is just as silly as saying it's a man's game.
She's laughing at you.
We don't live in the early 20th century anymore. Hockey is a sport played by men and women, so to call the smell manly is just untrue. And this is coming from me, a fellow man, just like Bozo. So fine, it's a smell shared by the citizens of Mars and Venus. But come on, the smell is harmless... right?
2. It's Harmless... Right?
Let's have an experiment: Why don't you go ask your wife to sniff your hockey gear, and then tell her to her face it's harmless.
Now enjoy your new accommodations.
As I'm sure your wife can attest to from her experience of every time she steps into the garage, your gear smells like a dead skunk stuffed with rotten garlic and denial. And there's a simple reason for that: it's filled with mold, mildew, and bacteria. Imagine going years wearing the same clothes over and over, and never washing them once. "Eww!" you say. "Don't say gross things like that." Well wearing your hockey gear for years on end without treating it is like doing the exact same thing. Over time, your hockey gear has become a luxury condominium for all kinds of microscopic nasties, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Like these guys:
Those microscopic death-grapes pictured above are known as MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. These fuzzy guys are resistant to many antibiotics and have all sorts of fun symptoms, such as spider bite-like bumps that can lead to deep pus-filled boils; toxic shock syndrome, which includes confusion, stupor, falling into a coma, and massive organ failure; and even necrotizing pneumonia. In other words, it eats your flesh.
"Om nom nom."
On top of that, MRSA can spread so rapidly, that within a few days the infected host can be killed. Or if the person is lucky, they can stop the infection -- by amputating the infected limb. And these kinds of infections aren't rare among athletes. In recent years, top athletes in the NHL such as Joe Thornton and Chris Higgins were diagnosed with MRSA infections. The NFL has faced several lawsuits from players who were infected with MRSA as well. They were fortunate enough to be able to treat these strains of MRSA, but other superbugs won't be as friendly.
"But it's ok," you say. "I do treat my gear." How?
1. I Air It Out and Spray It
Don't get me wrong, airing out your equipment is a good thing to do. It dries the gear quicker, and slows the growth of bacteria. But the bacteria will still grow. And although fragrance spray may mask the odor for a short time, it doesn't remove what's causing odor. So maybe you won't smell it as much, but the source is still there and still just as dangerous. It's kind of like covering your eyes when something bad is happening. Maybe you can't see it, but you're still definitely in danger.
"Well what if I use an antibacterial spray, smart alec?" Using an antibacterial spray will help slow bacterial growth, true. And it will even kill bacteria on the surface of your gear, so it's not a bad thing to use. However, most of the bacteria grows deep inside the gear, places where the antibacterial spray cannot reach. "Well then, how? HOW do we kill it?"
The best way to treat your gear is through an ozone treatment. Ozone is all-natural, 3,000 times more effective than bleach, and it kills MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant superbugs, bacterium that antibiotics can't kill.
"Gee, thanks for explaining what 'antibiotic-resistant' means, James. I get it now."
And the Fresh Gear system blasts ozone at high velocity so it gets through the dense padding of your gear, and into hard to reach places like the toes of skates or the fingertips of gloves. It only takes 30 minutes, and it costs less than your average cell phone bill too. So treat your gear! Do it for your own sake, your family's sake, and the sake of everyone who has to share a dressing room with you.
"Teenage Boy Playing With Joypad" courtesy of imagerymajestic // Freedigitalphotos.net
"Sofa in Living Room" courtesy of nuchylee // Freedigitalphotos.net
"Professional Showing Thumbs Up" courtesy of imagerymajestic // Freedigitalphotos.net
by James Antinozzi
James Antinozzi has been in the ozone sanitizing business since 2005, when Ozone Nation Inc. was founded and launched it's flagship product, Fresh Gear.