Firefighting is hard work, but there's occasional downtime. Maybe you're waiting for a helicopter, for overhead to show up, or for a new assignment. Maybe you haven't seen smoke for days, but are still out there, just in case. While there's still plenty of areas without cell phone coverage, it's becoming more rare. What did we do before we had these devices to stare at?
Everyone carried a book in his or her line gear, despite the weight, and traded them when finished. One of the smokejumpers toted a small NOAA weather radio and would listen intently to the forecast. When a Game Boy made an appearance in Tammy's pack in 1992, everyone was fascinated and had to borrow it to play Tetris. Lively food bartering went on. Whittling and hacky sack were common.
|"Moose Horn Lounge," tripod for coffee, and people making things out of parachute cord|
|Russ and his beloved bike|
|Note the amazing couch.|
Those days are gone, and it's almost time for me to hang up my boots as well. The new people I hire now grew up with technology, so they don't miss the old days when we didn't sit in individual bubbles looking at our phones. But I remember, and sometimes I really miss it.