Written & Published to raise funds for the UK’s FIRE FIGHTERS’ CHARITY.
“What the hell have you just done? I’ve got every table booked for Sunday lunches in an hour and now look at the state of the place! You’ve ruined it! Just look! It’s totally black everywhere!”…
We had noticed that our dear old Sub Officer, whom we called ‘Barry’, hadn’t been feeling himself recently and we’d just put it down to the fact that he was getting on a bit in years and slowly approaching the-then compulsory retirement age of fifty-five. And, as well as appearing increasingly more vague in his decision-making – one firefighter had mentioned to me that he’d seen Barry getting off the ‘pump’ as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) wearing his helmet the wrong way round on a couple of ‘shouts’. I must admit, though, that, before this incident, I hadn’t noticed too much of a difference in his behaviour. But Barry did appear to be a little more glassy-eyed and had refused to wear Breathing Apparatus (BA) with me the previous year when we were on a simulated ship fire exercise – although, in truth, during that era, it was not unusual for Officers who were over fifty to ‘opt out’ of much of the arduous work. So, even his outright refusal to carry out a left-hand search in a smoke-logged kitchen galley didn’t arouse any major suspicions that, possibly, things were not quite right ‘behind the eyes’, so to speak! (Full story available for 99p using PayPal)