Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On Call
4 days - 40 hours

It was officially my turn. It comes around every few weeks. I was at the top of the list to be ready, 24 hours a day, for anything to happen that needs me there to document. To put it mildly, as I have before, I don't mind. I like being on call and besides, I have my gear all the time anyway, but callouts are usually reserved for the photog pulling the "official" rotating on call week. I

Last week was a good one if you think like me. Started Tuesday with a student hit by a car just 3/4 of a mile from my house and by Friday at Midnight I had 40 hours and 15 minutes on the clock. Oh, and I was out sick Monday.

Winn Dixie Fire (1)

I managed to pop off a few pix of my 3rd call of the week. An abandoned and vacant grocery store caught fire early in the morning on Thursday. At first it seemed like it might be suspicious but fire officials quickly found the smoldering electrical culprit.

But the fire I was awakened for 3 hours earlier would prove to be a bit harder to solve. The phone rang for me at 4am with an exited EP on the other line. He gave me directions, blurted out the words fully involved and roadblock and I was out the door. It wasn't far from my house, but the fire department had it knocked down by the time I got there. And to hear the cops and the fire chief tell it, it was a fire I should have seen.

It was just a 1000 square foot house, unoccupied, no electric, no gas, but somehow was fully emblazed, front to back, top to bottom by the time the first firetrucks arrived. I got there just in time to get some smokey, sillouhetted shots of firemen trying to piece together the puzzle, and a few flames rekindling every now and then.

I hopped over to the station and cut them a VO for the morning show and since it was still very dark out and the clock read 4:45 I went home and went back to sleep. That lasted about an hour and a half before the call came in about a grocery store on fire!

At the Grocery store fire, the real damage early that day was to the best laid plans of PGA tournament officials at the Greensboro Chrylser Classic Golf Tournament accross the street.

The Firemen, in their haste to save the old building, used their 4 inch water hose to block the main road into the golf course.

Winn Dixie Fire (3)

Radios crackled and detours were ordered as tour officials and country club commanders made sure the golf pros made their upcoming tee times. I'm told there is NO EXCUSE for a pro missing a tee time. They would simply be disqualified. So it was tense for a bit. Too bad I missed most of this drama with my video camera or it could have been a great little story. That and I was working on 3 hours sleep.

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