Tales of the 7th Battalion 3

Engine 27

One of the joys of being a Firefighter is the family atmosphere of the working environment. The 24 hour shift includes almost everything you would do in your own home. At the Engine House you do the morning paper work, clean the quarters, wash and service the apparatus, and participate in training sessions. While these chores are being done the cook is preparing the noon meal. After eating the department allows for an afternoon rest time.

Most of the Firefighters will take a 1 PM to 4PM nap. This is quiet time in the Fire Hall. There will be one more meal in the evening then the men on duty can pursue personnel activities. Engine 27 had a handball court. Other companies had activities like weight lifting or other interesting things happening in the basement. Hobbies and crafts were the main course for the evening at Engine 27. When I was running there it was not uncommon to walk into the large kitchen area and find people tying fishing flies or doing leather crafts. We had an engineer who repaired watches at a side table near the back door. It was a lucrative small business for him. He was always working on orders. On occasion he would leap up and yell,” Don’t move.”

Whoever was in the kitchen would freeze. Leo would then lay prone on the floor putting his cheek on the concrete to scan the surface for a small spring or part of a watch he had dropped. He found his item 99 percent of the time. Every quarters has a TV room. Whenever a big sports event is being televised the room will be crowded with Firefighters and our brothers in blue, the cops. Patrol cars would park behind the Engine house and the TV room would crackle with the sound of police portable radios on standby for a run. Before the new society took over the City of Detroit there would be the company dog stretched out among the men snoring away. It was a comfortable family scene. The tranquility of our home away from home could be broken in an instant by a run to the dangers of a fire call. We could be watching the Red Wings playing hockey and two minutes later be desperately trying to reach victims trapped in a fire.

A day in the Fire House was always exciting and the challenges of fire fighting were a constant threat. We all loved it.

Any of you old 7th Battalion guys out there with a story please contact me at .

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


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