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My name is Suzanne Brady
and I started this site.|
This site was created using MyHeritage.com. This is a great system that allows anyone like you and me to create a private site for their family, build their family tree and share family photos. If you have any comments or feedback about this site, please click here to contact me.
Our family tree is posted online on this site! There are 1036 names in our family site. The earliest event is the birth of <Private> Hartley, Mrs (born Brady)
(Nov 11 51). The most recent event is the birth of <Private> Drozdzewski
(Dec 7 2013).
The site was last updated on Apr 22 2014, and it currently has 66 registered member(s). If you wish to become a member too, please click here. Enjoy!
Feb 24, 2014
| Marie Lynette Schafer
commented on the photo rappel 2: |
I have three brothers, all older than me. When I was little I always wanted to go where they went and do what they did but I was pretty much forbidden, I was a very little girl. Occasionally they would play with me, we'd wrestle or play games like stretch (like twister on you play only we played with a big butcher knife), Any game you could devise with a cardboard box, like all crawling inside a big one and rolling it around like a tank or using it like a sled on the stairs. They used to hike out miles from home and play on the railroad tracks, I wasn't even allowed to cross 32nd Ave. I Wanted to do what "The Brothers" did and rarely got the chance, but when I did, I had to be willing to give it a try. So, I managed to grow up alittle rough and tumble, willing to give just about anything a go and I played very hard.
I was never very good at anything and all the things I wanted to do occupationally either required some sort of college education (I hated school) or that you be a guy. In my early 30's I got a job as a Port of Entry Officer, these are the guys who weigh and enforce the regulations for big trucks. The Port I worked at was 40 miles west of Denver and that was a nasty little commute after a graveyard shift, so I moved to a little town, Lawson, just a mile from work in Dumont. I didn't know anybody but the people I worked with.
Dumont, Downieville, Lawson, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Empire and Silver Plume are the seven towns in Clear Creek County. All but Empire sit at the bottom of a canyon along Clear Creek and an Interstate Highway (I70) runs right through them. My house in Lawson was at 8,068 (2459 m) in elevation. The surrounding mountains ranged from 10000 - 14000 (3048 - 4200 m) odd feet in elevation. There were subdivision up in these hills like Saint Mary's Glacier and Mill Creek Park. Only Dumont, Downieville, Georgetown and Idaho Springs have water and sewage. The County is 396.46 sq mi (1,027 km2) with a population (as of 2010) of 9,088 and is heavily forested below 10,500 feet.
One day at the Dumont Post Office I read a notice on the bulletin board (yes I read bulletin boards, post office, laundramat..). It said that they were having a chile dinner. Ok, I have no American rellies here, chile in the U.S. can be a sauce but it is also a one pot dinner that is made with beef (ground or chunked), kidney and/or pinto beans, tomatoes, garlic, chile powder (red, hot, capsicum dried and ground), onions, jalapenos or serrano peppers(capsicum) and sometimes green (sweet capsicum) peppers. Actually there are all kinds of ways to make it, but I digress.
Chile dinner, at the fire department and everybody was welcome. I figured this would be a great way to meet some people who lived nearby (I wasn't quite as anit-social back then). The chile dinner was a way for the Volunteer Fire Department to talk to community members and recruit new firemen. You can only imagine how happy I was when they let me join.
They gave me a pager and some bunker gear, I got a scanner and BAM, I was a fireman. We had a full day of training every couple of weeks and fortunately we didn't have any fires before I learned to used the pumps and hoses. The Chief made me a Lieutenant. I got to drive firetrucks and put out fires. Pump trucks, a big water tanker, little pickup sized trucks, an old forest service truck that was geared so low you could jump out and it would drive it self. Forest Fires, house fires, grass fires, car fires and a bridge. We were working a grass fire in Lawson one day with about three of us on the hose. Grass fires move fast and we had to pull back and change positions. We were backing up and I stumbled and got knocked over by the hose. I came up covered in soot and they had to hose me off when we were done.
We responded to accidents on the highway as well. One cold windy, (it's always windy there in the winter) like 80 - 90 mph (124 - 144 km) windy, winter afternoon we were at an accident above Silver Plume where a car had spun out on the ice and crashed into a cliff. I was doing traffic control. Ha, God forbid you should slow down when it's glare ice. I was standing firmly planted on the ice in full bunker gear and pretty soon I noticed I was moving. The wind just pushing me along like a sail boat.
We got called out one night, it was really cold, really. I didn't have time to scrap the ice from my truck windshield so I drove to the fire station with my head out the window. I remember thinking, that either I was getting old or it was really frigging cold out. We kept the fire trucks on trickle chargers so they wouldn't get to cold to start, but my little ol' truck was still really tough to start. This was one of those really old truck with an open passenger compartment and I was not looking forward to driving it down the interstate that night. We got lucky and wound up not having to go out. When I got home, I found out the temperature was -40.
Our Chief knew guys in Jefferson County down by Denver and he got them to let us train with Professionals at their training facility. We learned all kinds of techniques and played in their Burn House. The one that really sticks with me to this day, is how to put out a propane fire. Put the hose on wide spray and move in slow. They also afforded us the chance to learn Rescue Rappel. Rescue Rappel is widely used in the Western US because everything is so remote. Skiiers and Hikers get hurt and have to be air lifted out. The responders Rappel out of a helicopter on a rope, render aid, load up the victim in a stretcher basket, hook back on to the rope and fly out with the basket dangling (most helicopters do not have a way to pull you back up) from the helicopter all the way. When we trained we rappeled off all kinds of stuff, a 10 story metal tower, a 13 story building and helicopters. This was all great fun, but I never got to put that training to any use. I got pregnant with my son and stopped fire fighting.
I loved fire fighting, it was the hardest, the funnest, most rewarding work I have ever done. Alex used to ask me why I didn't go back after he was born. It was tough, Kim and I both worked odd shifts and Kim was already on call (for those of you who don't know, he was a State Trooper). Finding a babysitter for scheduled hours was hard enough. Just about the time I went to straight Swing Shifts and might have had a chance, Alex was diagnosed with Wilm's (tumor, stage 4 cancer).
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