Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Looking for whoever used to live here.

I wouldn't want to lose any sport fans who might sometimes read this blog, but the best part of that last post that I lost today described me at Super Bowl parties in the past. I wrote about how usually by halftime I'd be bored and flicking peanuts at the toughest guy in the room to see if I could make anyone laugh without getting beat up.

Just wanted to get that in there and for the record, it's not that I don't like sports and competition. I just can't sit still that long.

Right. So that post is gone forever and I'm not going to dwell on it. I had a breaker and that's way more interesting to me. Yee-hah! It felt like I was back in the game.

Two firemen were injured while fighting an apartment fire near Alverado and 11th Street. I'm always ready, willing and able, but it was unexpected that I got sent out. My shift was 2:00pm to 10:00pm and I thought I'd be working with one of the SNG trainees. Oh well, someone needed to head out with a reporter and the station was hoping to get us into the 5:00pm show.

Traffic was backed up and it took a bit of maneuvering (mostly legal) to get to the scene. I wasn't in my regular truck and had to hunt like a blind man for everything. It cost us a few seconds, but not enough time to cause me to worry.

We had to park about half a block away to stay out of the way of the emergency vehicles coming and going on the scene. As we made our way to the main area of activity, two victims were being wheeled past us on stretchers. I rolled tape and we got a little sound from someone related to the victims.

Fires are pretty common news events and their really wasn't anything remarkable about this one. It was mostly over by the time we got there. I didn't care. We shot for ten or fifteen minutes and headed back to the truck to start setting up to go live.

Two other photogs from our station wound up on the scene and they dragged cables out while I established the microwave link and cut some sound together to go with the helicopter footage they were cutting for us back at the station.

We were the third story during the 5:00pm newscast and while nobody was going to be winning any awards for this bit of journalistic effort, we all felt pretty good about getting there and putting the story on TV.

We've still got a few weeks before our move to the new building. The Unit #19 conversion to XDCam is just about complete and I might be taking it out for a test drive today. The training schedule isn't going to let up on the new edit system and my time is already committed for that in the coming weeks. Hmm, I also should be wrapping up a report that the Chief has been waiting to see on his desk or in his email.

I'll be honest, it's always going to be part of my work ethic to support the folks on the job who have taken great care of me through the years, but nothing I do behind a desk or in a meeting is ever going compare to the thrill I get from being out in the field covering the news.

As far as I know, there weren't any serious injuries related to this fire. I'm sorry for anything lost by the residents of the building that burned. I wouldn't want anyone to think that I might place the enjoyment of my job over the suffering of victims of tragedy. I don't. If I had to sit behind a desk every day for the rest of my career, I would choose that over something bad happening for me to cover. If the choice were mine. It's not my call.

Life can be random, things happen and people suffer. In my mind, the thought is always there that we're supposed to make a difference. Well, sometimes just putting the story on TV does make a difference. With that being the case, I'm glad for the opportunity to do what I do. I'll just try to be sensible and sensitive to whoever is the focus of my attention.

Mostly, no matter how much fun I'm having, I'll just try to remember not to smile while someone's house is burning down.


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