Monday, November 19, 2007

John Bain, this one's for you!!

You can move far away, but no matter how much things might change they also stay the same.

This photo was taken in the men's firehouse bathroom.

I thought you might appreciate that one, JohnBain. I hope Osceola is still treating you, Cecilia, Tim (?), and Nala well. By the way, I met a Cecelia down here who spells her name differently. She taught my Happy Camper school and guided my last Cape Evans trip.

The firefighters either have the best or worst schedule on base. They work 72 hours a week. Almost everyone else works 54. However, they are on duty at the firehouse for 24 hours straight and then have a day off. I'm not sure if this schedule is different from in the states. Because of the number of days off, then often get labeled as rabble rousers because they can go out and play (i.e. drink) a lot more than others. I'm sure it is just a few who give the rest a bad name.

As I understand it, when they are working 24 hours straight, they aren't always working. They are sometimes just on duty at the firehouse in case something happens. I'm not sure when our last major fire was, but because it is such a dry continent when things go they go up in a hurry. To keep things from going up in a hurry, they have two or three full size fire engines which must have come down on the yearly resupply vessel. We always have at least 100,000 gallons of water for them to use in a fire. We use about 72,000 gallons a day on base. Our holding tanks carry around 205,000 gallons.

One last thing. I didn't do a good job of getting contact information from people before I left. Please e-mail me your addresses and phone numbers.


  1. That kind of a fireman's schedule is standard for professionals, but volunteers are different. At least where my stepfather worked, they're always "on call," but they don't have to stay at the station. They do need to show at a certain percentage of each month's calls though.

  2. Where does the water come from?

    Is it melted ice, sea water or ? And while I'm thinking about it, where does the fresh water come from? Is there some sort of water reclimation plant on site?

  3. The water comes from the water plant.

    The water plants pulls salt water out of McMurdo Sound and then filters it, desalinates it, and adjusts everything else including the PH. When it is done, it is fresh water. I'm not sure why firefighters couldn't use salt water.

  4. I think the salt water would be bad for and corrode their equipment.