I'm at the FD. With the exception of a very small amount of FoxNews (or, perhaps, Faux News, if you prefer) I watch no TV. Except here, where I tend to get exposed to a few hours of TV over the course of a 24-hour shift. In the past 30 minutes, I have been exposed to advertising utilizing music by Modern English, Bow Wow Wow, and Depeche Mode (and not even second generation Depeche Mode but actually something off of Speak and Spell; Vince Clark). These are songs that had significant importance to me as a young person; now they have been sold by the artists to sell crap that no one needs.
I feel sick.
'The repeater' is verbal shorthand for the regional fire/EMS dispatch radio channel. The dispatch channel coordinates operations for something like fourteen different agencies including all four of the departments that I run with. Most FFs and EMTs that I know listen to the repeater almost constantly; many people sleep with the repeater on. This behavior is not limited to public safety workers, either; many civilians listen to dispatch, as well. It is interesting to hear what is going on and many of the situations can be very exciting to listen to. One is cognizant when keying the radio that hundreds of people across the county may be listening to the repeater.
I was in an ambulance the other day returning from a call. A local fire department, Ascutney VFD, got toned to go to a burning utility pole someplace in their area. After a few minutes, their chief radioed to the dispatcher that he has arrived on scene. "It's not a utility pole, though," he said, "it's a big-ass tree".
There was silence on the radio for a few seconds. My partner and I looked at each other. Cursing on the repeater?
Finally, the dispatcher came on the radio. "Sir... Um... Can you confirm the type of tree?"
There were a few more moments of silence before the Ascutney chief replied.
"It's a big. Ash. Tree."
My partner and I joined hundreds of listeners across scannerland and laughed.
Yesterday, there was a radio announcement for all departments. I assumed that it was regarding the National Weather Service storm warning but it was not. It was for a pot luck supper at a local fire department.
"All agencies are invited to a holiday potluck supper at 1830 Friday at the Ash-cutney fire department. Repeat, all agencies are invited to a holiday potluck supper at 1830 Friday at the fire department in Ash-cutney."