Sunday, June 17, 2012

Block Party Heroes

If your Pasadena neighborhood or block organization meets certain simple criteria, you can barricade your street for your block party. The kids love the wild freedom it gives them to ride their bikes in the street. Did you also know that members of the Pasadena Fire Department will come to your block party and mesmerize your children? That is, if they have time.

When the big truck pulled onto our block, the firefighters got a call and immediately had to leave.

A bit later the truck returned, greeted by cheering fans. The men of Station 33 were able to stop long enough to give most of the kids a tour of their gleaming truck but not long enough to get a plate of potluck before another call came in.

Our street was barricaded for the party, as I mentioned, so each time the men came and went they had to stop at the end of the block and move the barricades.

I didn't think they'd come back a third time but they did, this time with a rescue ambulance and a two-man crew. (There are female firefighters in Los Angeles County. Perhaps yesterday's visits inspired more.) The kids (all ages) were thrilled. The smallest ones got to visit inside the ambulance, and afterwards they tried on the firefighters' heavy coats.

Firefighter Paramedic Bondarczuk demonstrated the hood and mask to his rapt audience. He said the hood keeps sparks from getting inside his coat and going down his back. I don't have to tell you what the mask is for.

These guys are amazing enough just doing their jobs. When they take time to come out and talk to families, and wow the children like they did yesterday between emergency calls, one gets a sense of the meaning of the word "hero."

Immediately after I took this picture the paramedics got another call. Off they went, stopping to move the barricades at the end of the street and missing out entirely on hot dogs, brownies and Michelle's famous bruschetta.


dive said...

Hoorah for real heroes! What an inspiration to the kids, and a splendid day all round.
I thought for a split second that you'd had an outbreak of toxic children in Pasadena but was relieved to read otherwise.

Susan Campisi said...

Heroes, indeed. I bet those kids want to grow up to be firemen now. Or should I say firepeople?

BaysideLife said...

Yes, there are still heroes among us. The children look completely engaged. I'm truly impressed that they kept coming back. I love that.

Petrea Burchard said...

We've had an outbreak of children on the block this year, Dive. Babies galore! One hopes they're not toxic, but I suppose that's yet to be seen.

We have firepeople living on the block, Susan, and they were at the party. Also three of the children have a retired fireman for a grandfather, so this was all very exciting.

Not only did they come back, Bayside, but they entertained and answered questions before they got their potluck dinner--which means they never got it. And we had some pretty good stuff.

These are big, handsome guys who could be out picking up women (and if they're smart they do that when they're off duty). But they were charming with the kids.

altadenahiker said...

Never met a firefighter I didn't like. We're having our first block party evah this July and I'm looking forward to it.

Bellis said...

Dive's comment is hilarious. The firefighters of Pasadena are amazing. I once sat next to a handsome young cop on a flight who told me ruefully that while everyone regards firemen as heroes, they're not that warm toward the cops, whose work is just as risky. I guess when you hand out driving tickets, people don't like you as much.

Love the bright clothes the girls are wearing.

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't think I have either, Hiker, but let me think about it.

Bellis, we love our PPD and wave at them when they drive down our block. If you notice, although I didn't mention police in the post, I included Pasadena Police in my tags here. That's because our local PPD rep came to the party, too. She had a cold. She may not want her name mentioned but we all know her and like her and when you have a block party, your PPD rep will come, too, if you invite him/her.

Anonymous said...

I must give a grateful shout-out to the firefighters at Station 32 on East Villa Street who have watched over my family, my home, and me for many years. And they did this with unfailing courtesy, professionalism, and grace.

Thank you all!


Anonymous said...

Uh-oh. Forgot our wonderful Police Department. All heroes with the exception of one bad apple, who coerced me into doing an illegal move - then ticketed me for following his instructions.

Over time, conversations around town established that he had a reputation that was not admirable. But he was only one guy among many wonderful public servants.

Many thanks to all but Officer (blank)....


Petrea Burchard said...

Betsy, I hope you reported the bad apple to his superiors. A guy like that could do serious damage to an otherwise fine department. We do love us our finest.

Virginia said...

What a great bunch of firefighters you have there in the Big P!!! I'm sure it made a lot of kiddos very happy.

Patricia said...

Hi Petrea,
I haven't come here in awhile, so I have spent the last couple of hours looking back through your posts for the last few months. With a yummy cup of coffee and a muffin,it's been a lovely way to spend my time.
Love today's post, and the one on Bungalow Heaven. I love your view of life in Pasadena, thanks so much.

Petrea Burchard said...

We really do have an amazing bunch of firefighters throughout southern California, Virginia. We call on them for so much, not just with the huge metro Los Angeles Area and all its needs, but with our wildfire season as well.

Hi Patricia, how nice of you to spend time on the blog! I'm glad you've enjoyed it.

Ms M said...

Wonderful story! And glad they got a little bit of good potluck in between the calls. Impressed by their outreach to the kids and your neighborhood.
Marvelous photo, too :)

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you very much, Ms. M.