We have all been there, sitting around in our bus at 200 hours waiting for the hand of the clock to click a second closer to the end of our shift. Surrounded by the darkness of the night, our partner snoring away and the soft gentle glow of a street light far off in the distance. We spend countless moments Stumbling through the vast emotional emptiness of the Internet, grinning at the occasional viral video of a hit in the junk while listening to the chirp of the occasional radio transmission. Watching urban nomads settle in for the night on their park bench bed's and the ladies of the night turning tricks a corner away. Maybe we sit in the confines of a station, flipping channels because we have seen the oxyclean infomercial enough to recite it by heart. Listening as the Fire Ambulance signs off yet another assault victim, we pace to the vending machines to tame a late night hunger. The hum of the air conditioner like a lullaby we fight the need to sleep some of us give in to this desire while others review yet another pile of charts.
When we are left to our own devises and are feeling rather creative we can truly come up with some great and memorable time killers. An impromptu snow ball fight employees V.S Supervisor (which I was on the receiving end of) or sledding down a hill with the backboards at the park. In the summer months we kick back and cast our lines in the river and wait for the bass to bite, or maybe work on our drive with a bucket of balls on the range. Grab a Ball and head down to the courts to play a quick two-on-two game of basketball or even a game of horse. Creating a dance atmosphere with the rigs lights and a radio station. Creating an ambulance dance which much like it sounds reenacts the unloading and reloading of the stretcher.
When it comes to the best down time I have ever had; it is hands down the simplest yet most gratifying moments of sitting around the kitchen table in the station late at night telling stories and rolling off each others jokes. Standing in the kitchen reenacting the story of "The Ambulance Chaser" or chuckling over our Brit and his love of Quiche and meat pie's. Laughing at NH's cat book page only to have NH unable to sarcastically defend his love of cats/ Reminiscing about old school toys like lawn darts, Pogs, and intellivision and than having to explain to the nineteen and twenty somethings what they are. Explaining how it really was a lady on a horse we got directions from, and how much better things really are on this side of the river.
The kitchen table talks have to be the greatest time to bond amongst the crews in the station. Interweaving our personal humors and sarcasms into a gut wrenching conversations. Only to be interrupted by the inevitable squawk of the radio...County: "Have a rig for the city"....Dispatch: "That's affirmative"....County: "stand by one"