Last night after the kids were (finally) asleep and while I was giving thoughts to lights out myself, and while a typhoon was doing its level best to either blow the house down or at least drown it, my smartphone got a Gmail alert from the city.
A quick read and I was out of the futon and into the closet shucking off my PJs and getting into a t-shirt and my uniform.
A minute or so later, while I could hear the truck sirens approaching, the firehouse just down the street set off its "Call" siren, asking for the members of its company to come. Two second later the city radio went off calling in 3 different companies, including my own. By that time, I had fully dressed and was just waiting to hear if I was being called out and Beloved had crawled out of bed due to the noise and lights.
Once I heard my company, it was a very quick "I love you, be well" and a fleeting kiss as I grabbed my helmet, stomped into my boots, and ran out into the pouring rain (Typhoon, remember?) to drive like crazy to the location and then run around a bit until I found my company.
Thankfully, it was a false alarm, while we had gotten suited, tooled, and hooked up, the actual firefighters did a quick check and noted an extreme lack of fire in that general location. It took them about an hour to make this check, with all of us standing in the middle of a typhoon downpour, but given the house owner came to thank us for turning out and he was a very old man, I didn't mind too much.
I did pass on the suggestion of an after party though, 11:20 pm is a bit late when one has to be up at 5 to go teach.
Still, it was a waterlogged Dad who came back to the house to find Beloved waiting to make sure I was alright an hour after I left. It was also a very tired Daddy who went back to his futon after getting out of his uniform and boots to see the most welcome site for any fireman, volunteer or not, his family safely asleep.
And I felt that way too, until Makoto decided to kick me out of my futon sometime around 4:30 in the morning. Fires I can fight, four-year-olds...