Monday, April 11, 2011

What a District Commander Loves to See

Field-hands toiling in the field on a warm Sunday morning.

The healing place is absolutely the best designed fire station that I have ever seen, much less worked at. The upside is that I get to enjoy the benefits of an architect who accepted input from the agency and from the members.

The downside is that I have to tolerate the folly of a landscape architect whom I suspect has never performed maintenance on any landscape, much less anything that he/she designed. Our little piece of paradise has a relatively large lot, with allegedly drought tolerant, low maintenance landscaping. I don't know about the drought tolerant component, but I can tell you that we spend a lot of time each week doing yard work and that low maintenance isn't a term that comes to mind when bending over pulling weeds.  Low maintenance is a relative term, I guess.

Frankly, I prefer turf. It's easy to maintain - just mow, blow and go. While we have a lot of turf, we have even more bedding areas, some of which are planted with various grasses and plants from another planet.

If you don't keep up on it, it will get away from you and you will spend an entire week trying to get things back under control. As long as each shift makes a little extra effort, it's not too bad. I don't think Sloven's crew is doing anything other than mowing and edging and it shows.

Some stations have divided the lawn areas up into zones, with each shift responsible for a certain area. We have avoided doing that in the past, all the shifts have kept all of the areas in pretty good shape. Since Sloven doesn't really seem to care about the lawn, we may have to revisit this issue. The downside of that arrangement is that two zones will look great, but another will look terrible. The upside is that there is no doubt who is slacking in regards to lawn work. My guess is that Sloven busies himself on lawn days, doing desk work, and doesn't even look at the lawns, much less pick up a rake or a hoe.

Photo by Mr. Bill, lurking in the grass with my camera. Bastard, that is
my job.

I guess as long as the D.C. lets me wear my non-regulation hat while weeding, I can live with the landscaping. At least for another five months anyway.

Thanks for reading,


  1. So in 5 months, do we get the KBFPD'S real name?

  2. Hmmm... I'll have to think about that one. Maybe I'll have a contest or something.

    A bigger question is: What the heck am I going to write about?

  3. All those things you've been unable to write about in the past because you were worried about pissing people off...who cares after you've retired?

    I'm sure they'll make for some great stories!

    YYC (Flight) Dispatcher

  4. YYC - That might work, I have some other things in the works, more photo related. We'll just have to see how that works out.

    Thanks all for the comments.

  5. Cap,

    One of the best things our union ever did was get rid of outdoor maintenance. It kept us busy for hours and was regularly interrupted by calls. It was ridiculous getting a call and trying to chase down the guy on the riding mower. It frequently delayed our responses by 2-3 minutes.

    We still have to clear snow from the sidewalks in the winter. That sucks-spend an hour in the morning digging out the firehouse, then go home and dig out your house.

  6. John - The joy of digging out is one that I have never had to experience, I'll just have to take your word of what fun that it is.

    We used to have one station that had lawn maintenance contracted out, it was great. We still did heavy stuff like tree removal etc, but that was pretty rare. Now everybody does their own lawn and some of the stations have it just like you describe. No one has to shovel snow though.

    Thanks for the comment.