Walk in my shoes: Part 4 - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Walk in my shoes: Part 4

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After several hours of no calls, we realized the day would probably be slow.

"Everyday differs and you never know what calls might come in," said Nicholas Hanetho, with the Hattiesburg Fire Department. "We could have to fires today, and then not have a fire for a month."

We were dispatched to a fire hydrant that was reportedly spewing water onto James Street.  The hydrant had a small leak from city workers who had opened it intentionally.

The job of a firefighter is one of uncertainty and one in which time can be your friend or enemy. 

"We just sit around, we'll talk about anything we have going on, a lot of family life, what's going on with other people's family life," said Lt. Tracy Montague.

Time began to pass and a storm began to brew.  We all went to The Bottling Company to have dinner.  On the way we realized there was a chance the storm might interrupt dinner.

The storms began to move closer and they interfered with the radios.

"We really need an update," said Hanetho. "I just saw a bolt of lightning.

Seconds later lighting struck and the speakers upstairs sparked.

A transformer caught fire on East Hardy Street. We raced through downtown and found flames shooting out of the transformer. The street was blocked off while the flames were put out. Mississippi Power was called to the scene.

We went back to the fire station and the firefighters began their evening chores. They washed the fire trucks and cleaned the kitchen. Their duties reflect a tremendous amount of discipline.

"It's pretty simple especially if you've cleaned up during the day and don't let dishes pile," said fireman Elliot Edwards

Landon Fordham is a new member with the Hattiesburg fire department. He previously worked for Petal's fire department. We asked him about his experience so far.

"They are not much different, we all cut up and play jokes with each other, but when it's time to be serious on calls we know when to turn the jokes off," said Fordham.

The day ended for my photographer and I, but the guys of station two had more time left on the clock.

"We're not even halfway through with our shift so we still got another hour before we're halfway through," said Montague.

©2009 WDAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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