Sunday, January 11, 2009

What I also do. (In case you were wondering)

I believe three people actually know that my blog exists. I think most know that I am a firefighter/paramedic. But, did you know that I also am a small business owner? Yep. I have owned and operated a full line bakery for 22 years. I started working when I was but a lad of 15. (1979) I wanted to get my drivers license and my Father told me that I would have to get a job and earn enough money to purchase my own car and fuel. At that time the economy was much like it is now. I applied for a few jobs where 3 positions were available and 200 applied. At 15 my chances were not too good. I went to Wendys and they told me "You are too young, but if you come back next year.... " That is when I went across the street and applied for a job in a family owned bakery. 7 years later, and getting some college under my belt. I was earning $3.25 an hour and I had moved up as high as possible, short of marrying one of the owners daughters. Well she was not my type and I was already married. I began looking for something else. Through different channels, and a lot of talking, I was able to purchase my own bakery in Ohio. (1986) I was happy and making a lot more of the green stuff. Things went well the first few years with a lot of work and not much sleep. Then the unspeakable. My wife decided that she didn't want to be married any longer to a workaholic. (1990). After a couple years of single life, I took the dive again. Now married and still working a lot. I always dreamed of running the "shop" and not having to be there all the time. In the year 2000 I went to our local fire dept. for a benefit dinner and found out that they were going to have an EMT class starting in January. I thought that it would be interesting to learn some first-aid stuff and maybe a little more. I checked into the class with the Chief and found out that it cost nearly $500. I thought that was a lot of money and told him that I didn't think I would be doing it. He said that if I signed a contract to run with the dept. for 2 years that the dept. would pick up the tab. 2 years is not that long and they are going to pay for the class. Sign me up. At that time I told him that I didn't think I would be interested in the fire stuff. I passed the class and got my basic card, started making squad runs and enjoying them. Still working full time at the shop. He talked me into getting "just the 36 hour" fire card. Said it would be better for the dept. if I carried a fire card. Said that I wouldn't have to fight fires if I didn't want to. I got my 36 hour card. Then, you guessed it, a fire run came in and I was one of 3 at the station and they needed 3 on the engine. I went. I was the second guy on the hoseline into the burning house, I watched the flames roll across the ceiling and was hooked. Things were changing at the shop and I was able to spend more time away. My sister-in-law came to work at the shop and was doing more and more of my work. I began allowing her to do most of it and enjoying the time off. Our dept. was talking about putting on a paid day time shift. Was going to hire one full time Paramedic/Firefighter and have him work with a different part time person Monday through Friday. I was getting bored with so much time off. I talked to the Chief about the position and told him that I thought about applying but didn't want to be a Paramedic. He said to go ahead and apply and we could talk about the medic thing later. The state of Ohio requires that a full time firefighter have a 240 hour fire card. I got the full time spot and went back to fire school. My time off became non-existant and I got real busy again. I was going to fire school, working 7-4 at the station and still had a business to run. I began going to the shop at 3:30 am, back home at 6, and at the station at 7 till 4. Then working several hours at the shop on Saturday. I got my Professional fire card and the Chief said that now, I needed to think about Medic class. I thought about it and he said that a class is starting in April and that I should be in it. One year later after juggling my schedule at the shop, school, dept. along with clinicals and ride time. I passed my National Registry and became a Paramedic. My wife had to call me on my cell phone just to see if I was still alive. Today, I still go to the shop at 3:30 every morning and then at the station at 7 and some evenings back to the shop, if things get behind. I get to do most of my shop paperwork at the station. That helps a lot. The extra income from the dept. allowed me to purchase 20 acres of land and within the next few years, I am planning on building a new house on it to move into. I think I will try to be my own contractor and do a lot of the work my free time. And to think, my first wife called me a workaholic.


Firefighter said...

And you even cut your own fire wood!

M3 said...

Technical questions for you... I enjoy making pizza and I make the dough from scratch. In your opinion, what makes a good pizza crust? I've seen people say don't knead it, just stir until it is mixed together and then I've seen people say knead it because you need to be able to get it stretchy and thin. Thoughts? Also, I was watching a show on pizza yesterday and one shop made the dough such that it was so fragile, you couldn't toss it and it would tear easily. Do you suppose that's by adding more water to a regular dough? Have you ever made pizza crusts? Got a good recipe?