Tuesday, March 18, 2008

McKinney Fire Station #4, Day 1

At 7:00 a.m. on February 26, I made my bleary-eyed way to the hotel room of my team leader to learn what my assignment would be for the next two days. As part of the Foundation Workshop, participants were given the chance to act as news photographers covering assignments, and, in true newspaper fashion, our team's assignments were handed out mere minutes before heading out the door.

When I was told I'd be covering a fire station, I was very very excited. I mean, how cool is that!! Fire trucks and FIRE! Excitement! Drama! Emotion! I won the jackpot of all assignments! I was stoked! I was going to go out there and nail me some raging infernos!

But what I learned that first day at McKinney Fire Station #4 is that firefighters don't want fire and excitement and drama and emotion. All those things mean that something bad has happened, so "no news is good news" is the news they hope for. And, on February 26, that's what we got. No news. Good for the citizens of McKinney; not so much for a brand new "news" photographer. Not that I wished any ill upon those good citizens, but still. A little fire would've been nice. (just kidding!!)

So, I spent my day getting to know the fine firefighting men of Shift A of McKinney Fire Station #4, the station that serves mainly the airport across the street. We were called out a couple times that day to situations that corrected themselves before we arrived, so it was back to the fire station, once without even leaving the truck. (I have to say though that riding in a fire truck is pretty darn fun. But actually, it was a fire ENGINE - I learned there is a difference between a fire ENGINE and a fire TRUCK - the truck is the one with the ladder!)

We also made a trip to the grocery store - in the fire engine! - as every shift goes to the grocery store every day. Each shift at this station has their own refrigerator too, which I thought was kind of funny. Steve Horton made stew and cornbread for everyone, including me, and it was quite delicious. I truly appreciated the hospitality and friendliness shown to me by everyone there, which included Captain John Wallace, Kelly Rollins and John Whitus. All of these fine men were nice as can be and were just a joy to be around, and I was very grateful that they allowed me to hang around with them all day and bug them with my cameras.

So, finally, here are some pictures from Day 1. Check back later for pictures from my second day, with Shift B.


chantal stone said...

Great series Karen....I especially love the portrait in the kitchen...well done! I can't wait to see the rest!

Jane said...

Hi Karen,

I,m a member of FWForum and I am having a blast checking out everyones posts from FW6. These are great shots, and my fav is the one where his shoes are up on the desk, love the angle! I'm sad I missed out on getting into #7. I feel like I'm learning just a little bit through everyone's images. Thanks for posting, look forward to more.