January 26, 2010

An Ending, A Beginning and a Near Death Experience.

What a cryptic headline....

Follow along and I hope to explain every aspect.

So posting has taken a huge hit lately, and no for those that know where I work, I am not in Haiti.

I am however, undergoing a huge transition in my life that has taken up a lot of my time....tonight I will be at my last Fire Department meeting. I'm done.

This is the Ending of that Era.

Since 1991 I have served my community as a Volunteer Fire Fighter/First Responder. Since 2003 I have been the Secretary of my Fire Department, and after many hours of discussion with my wife and an evaluation of what I am getting out of my service and the time constraints, she and I came to the conclusion that I would not seek another term of office. In fact I will not be taking on any obligations at the department, and short of taking some required training every three years to maintain my certifications, I will not be doing much of anything at the department.

Because of this change for the last three weeks I have spent pretty much every available moment, making sure that all of the company's paperwork is completed and organized so that I can transition it all to the next Secretary and Executive Committee.

This has been a big decision, and quite frankly even though I know it is the right one to make, I still feel as if I am leaving behind a big part of my life that really defined who I am, and because of that I have been feeling a little down in the dumps.

Which leads me to the Beginning.

For many years I have been the Cubmaster of my youngest son's Cub Scout Pack, as well as an Assistant Scoutmaster for my oldest son's Scout Troop. With my obligations ending with the Fire Department I am now available to become a fully trained Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster for the Troop. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, I just never had the time to fit in the training in my schedule. I am a fully trained Cubmaster / Committee Chair at the Cub Scout level and have my "Bachelor's Degree" in Cub Scouting but my youngest son will graduate from Cub Scouting in 2011 so Boy Scouting will become our entire focus at that point. Who knows with all this time available maybe I'll even get my Wood Badge.

And now the near death experience...

I'm torn if I should mention this event, or if it even truly was a near-death experience, but I'm going to go ahead and let you all know. I consider this experience a near-death experience based soley upon my medical training and nothing else.

Just this past weekend our Scout Troop went on our annual winter campout. Tubing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Sleeping outside in the cold, eating around a campfire...what more could one ask for? It's a rhetorical question people....

Our campsite is wonderful with a great fire pit and a flock of geese living nearby - you don't need an alarm clock when you have neighbors like them that come alive at the crack of dawn -and a stream that flows by the campsite.

Anyway Saturday afternoon, one of our scouts, my son infact, got a little too close to the waters edge, lost his footing and went in the drink. It was of course witnessed but it took a good minute to get him out of the water. Being soaking wet in 35 degree weather, and going into near freezing temperature water is not conducive to good health.

By the time we got him out of the water he couldn't speak he was so cold...so it was time to warm him up as best we could.

Our campsite butts up against a federal facilty and we have access to the showers/locker room there so I immediately grabbed up all of his clothes in his pack, clean or dirty it didn't matter he needed dry clothes at this point and force marched him the quarter mile to the locker room. I still debate in my mind if this was the best course of action, but driving him would have taken in all reality the same amount of time and the walk actually helped produce body warmth for him helping to stave off hypothermia.

An hour later after stripping him down and getting him into a progressively warmer shower, he was drying off and dressed in clean dry clothes and feeling much better. His vitals were good at that point but the wearing off of the adrenaline rush and shock of the situation was causing him to get very sleepy.

By morning he was back to his old self although he did confess he did not sleep very well...he kept dreaming he was back in the water. I'm sure its going to take a while to get over that experience for him.

Did it change him? I don't know, but yesterday after shcool, he grabbed a hammer and went around the house tapping back in every loose nail he could find on the deck and fence, and that was after he helped me clean out the gutters that were clogging up with leaves.

I'm just glad he is still with us.

The weekend worked out for our family...however for two families this weekend was one they would not want to wish upon anyone.

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