Thank you for these noisy neighbors

Published 11:33 am Monday, August 20, 2012

Firefighter/paramedics are always on duty at Indian Springs’ Station No. 2. (contributed)

By DALE BRAKHAGE / Community Columnist

Who are the noisiest neighbors in Indian Springs?

There is absolutely no doubt about that when the sirens of Fire Engine No. 72 scream to life.

Those sirens mean a house is on fire, or perhaps a villager is having a heart attack. They always mean an emergency is happening right now!

Those sirens also mean the finest trained emergency responders with the best available equipment are on their way to help one of us.

Did you know that every firefighter in the North Shelby County Fire District is also a trained paramedic? It takes two years of training to become a paramedic.

They are equipped with the best emergency equipment, too.

“Some people may wonder why fire dues occasionally go up,” said firefighter/paramedic Robert Rainey. “We try to keep the best fire and medical equipment ready to help the residents we serve.”

Six firefighter/paramedics man Fire Station No. 2 near the corner of Caldwell Mill Road and U.S. 119. Two firefighter/paramedics stay alertly on duty at all times. They work 24-hour shifts. Then, they have 48 hours off to rest, but most work other jobs.

According to Station No. 2 firefighter/paramedic Jeff Hawkins, “I work here, and for the city of Birmingham. Most firefighters work for two different departments.”

Others might have landscaping or construction jobs that they work to make ends meet so they can serve us. That shows how dedicated they are to serving us in Indian Springs. We should thank them often.

They always respond as quickly as possible to emergencies.

We can help them. When you are driving, and you hear sirens and see their trucks, pull to the right and stop. That clears the middle of the road so their emergency vehicles can quickly pass. It makes it safe for all vehicles on the road.

“Another service we provide is free blood pressure checks. Come by the fire station anytime during normal business hours,“ said firefighter/paramedic Lt. Scott Swann. Then he smiles and adds, “Of course, if you are feeling poorly any time, remember, we make house calls!”

Just dial 911, and listen for sirens.


Dale Brakhage writes a weekly column about Indian Springs and its residents. You can reach him at