Sunday, April 3, 2011

Asked For and Already Recieved

I pulled an overtime last week, a rarity for me. Even more rare, was that it was up in District #2, well outside the golden triangle, which is where I try to spend my time. I spent a lot of time at this particular station back in the day, in fact it is where I spent my fist year with the K.B.F.P.D. This station also serve's as District 3's HQ.

I hadn't been in the station five minutes when I was paged to the District Commander's office. "Schmoe, I need you to take the engine over to this address up in Hilldale," the D.C. said, "Arturo Villegas is coming home from the hospital this morning and we need to be there. Leave the squad here, I got 237 covering with an engine until we get back."

There was time for a quick shower, a cup of coffee and off to Hilldale we went.

Arturo is a firefighter/medic with the Hilldale fire dept. He lives just inside the Hilldale city limits, which also happens to be two blocks outside K.B.F.P.D.  jurisdiction. Arturo was grievously injured in an auto accident two months ago and had been recovering in a rehabilitation hospital for the last six weeks. The accident occurred within our jurisdiction and our people had rolled on the call. As Arturo lived so close, worked so close and had gone to classes with many of our people, he is widely known with the K.B.F.P.D. crews in District #2. I know Arturo, but not very well. I had heard about the accident and knew it was bad. Very bad. I had also heard through the grapevine that Arturo had made tremendous strides in his recovery, progressing from a semi-vegetative state to being able to walk (with assistance) and regaining some limited verbal abilities. Apparently, he was doing well enough to go come home.

We followed the D.C. up into Hilldale and found Arturo's house with no problem. It was the one with a Hilldale ladder truck, engine and ambulance parked in front. A Hilldale Chief's buggy was in the driveway and a "Welcome home Arturo" banner was draped across the front of the house.

As we had gotten a late start, Arturo was already home and seated in his favorite chair when we arrived. He looked good and was smiling as we came in. We greeted Arturo and met his family, then shook hands with the Hilldale crews. It was good to see Arturo home, petting his dog and laughing, as the K.B.F.P.D. guys and the Hilldale guys took turns busting each others chops.

After a while, we could tell Arturo was getting tired and that it was time to head back to the barn. As we were getting ready to leave, one of the Hilldale Captains asked that we join in prayer. Arturo, his family and the crews from both departments all joined hands and bowed our heads.

The Captain from Hilldale is a guy who I only see a few times a year. He seems like a thoughtful sort, one perfectly suited to lead this prayer. He thanked God for the opportunity to be together, members of Arturo's actual family and his professional one. He also thanked him for Arturo's recovery and asked that his mercy be shown to Arturo as he continues to recover. The prayer was closed with a request for our safety and then an Amen.

I was touched. I am not a real spiritual guy, yet I realized that to see Arturo sitting in his living room, laughing and playing catch with his beagle, was a miracle of sorts. His survival was evidence of prayers being answered even as they are asked.

Miracles are everywhere, we just have to recognize them.

Thanks for reading,


  1. I admit to goosebumps while reading this.... thanks Capt., and godspeed to Arturo.

  2. Thanks Grumpy, Arturo has a long row to hoe. He will going to rehab three times a week, a visit to a den of well meaning masochists.

    Those who know him well are confident that he will continue to recover, their optimism is based on the progress made so far. I will update when I can.