Going to the Dogs

The Detroit Fire Department has a geographical division. A street named Woodward Avenue bisects the city so you are either an eastsider or a westsider. There are even greater distinctions. The westside Firefighters tend to be cottage owners and the eastsiders own boats because they live close to Lake St Clair. Firefighters have a natural competitive nature so the argument as to who is the best, the smartest, or the richest goes on all the time.

One day an east sider brought in some wild mushrooms he picked the day before. He claimed they were a gourmet’s delight. The men decided to have them for lunch with the t-bones steaks the cook was preparing. Some of the men were worried that the mushrooms might be poisonous. No problem the cook announced. Let’s let spot the company guard dog try them first. Spot was served a big helping of the cooked mushrooms. He gobbled them down and sat wagging his tail waiting for more. About a half hour later the men sat down and enjoyed a fabulous meal. As they were eating desert the alert came in. They had a run. Out the door they went and arriving on the scene they found a working fire.

Hours later, tired and dirty, they came back to quarters. When they started to back the rig into the engine house they found, to their horror, that Spot lay dead near the front door. Suddenly one of the men complained of nausea. Soon everyone was feeling bad. It was contagious. The Captain called for squad three to take them to the hospital. He had central office alert the hospital that eight men were coming in to have their stomachs pumped. The poison mushrooms had killed spot and it would soon start killing the men. The men were at the hospital when a call came in from the Chief. He stopped by the quarters to say goodbye to poor old spot when the lady who lived next door to the engine house came over and said, “Chief when your men were at the fire your dog got hit by a car. He had no marks on him but was dead as a door nail. I dragged him up by the door so you guys could give him a proper burial.” Luckily the chief was able to call the hospital before the stomach pumping started. The dumbbells award for that year went to the east side. If any eastsider can one up that story I will make it my next post.

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"Fire Horses" book authored by firefighter R.J. Haig.


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