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Grim's Tales: My first fire as a Backus firefighter and more

I’ve appreciated the work done by the members of the Backus Fire Department for a while, so when some of my friends suggested that I should join the department, I said yes.

This has been a little of a nuisance to my fellow workers, as training, meetings and other responsibilities have demanded my absence on days when my fellow workers are working late or covering city council meetings in my area. Thankfully, they are all very understanding.

By the time the Scamp welding shop started on fire I had completed two months of Fire Fighter I training. Imagine my surprise when my pager went off and said there was a fire in a building behind the Backus Corner Store.

I was lying on a couch in front of our living room bay window. I stood up and looked out that window. Smoke was billowing out of the building just past our driveway!

I lived so close to the fire that I had to drive past the fire to get to the fire hall and then come back with the water tanker. My former neighbor, photographer Richard Marquardt, was at the fire snapping photos as we fought the fire, and he was kind enough to give us permission to use those photos. If you were curious, I’m the one in the fire jacket without “BACKUS” printed on it.

For most of the time there I helped hold a ladder while two people with hoses sprayed water into the attic vent openings above me. I got soaked. By the end of the night my bunker gear was covered in a layer of ice.

It was my first fire, I’m just happy nobody got hurt.

I still remember many of the firefighters who are no longer on the crew. Pat Borman is one who held a very special place in the hearts of almost everyone in town. I know from personal experience (as a patient and an observer) that Pat was a great first responder. He knew how to provide a great deal of comfort and care, and he is sorely missed

A short while ago I got to see his son, Ross, (and other first responders) basically save a woman’s life. It was a little sad, but also inspiring. I know Pat and Patty would be proud.

I know I’m pretty proud to be working with this group.