Man in Tub

By Diane Feldman

Man in tub

From Lieutenant Michael Ciampo, FDNY: We had a run one night and found a guy lying in the bathtub, wearing only his underwear, covered in plaster that apparently fell from the ceiling while he was taking a shower. Now, if he was showering, why he was in his underwear? Maybe saving on the cost of laundry? Then again, why was he perfectly dry if he was showering?

When we asked his name, no one in the apartment knew him. Then we were really confused: You have some strange guy lying on the floor of your tub, clad only in his underwear, and you don’t know him?

Lesson: Sometimes this job is stranger than fiction!

It’s not polite to point

From Training Coordinator Tom Kiurski, Livonia (MI) Fire Department: Fire crews responded to a report of a multivehicle accident in Livonia. A young mother was driving with her young child in the car when she hit several cars as well as a police car in the parking lot in front of the accident. After firefighters finished caring for a few minor scrapes and doing paperwork, a police officer on the scene asked the woman driver how she happened to run into the cars next to her. She explained that she was telling her child, while pointing to the police car (and not watching where she was headed), that the police give tickets to people who do stupid things. The child asked where the police car was and the mother turned her body and continued pointing for the benefit of the child. That’s when her moving vehicle hit the cars traveling beside her. The police officer tried not to laugh too hard as he handed her the ticket.

Water leak tales

From Lieutenant Mike Ciampo, FDNY: I’ve been to a few weird water leak calls. Once we went to a lady’s apartment for a complaint of water leaking from the bathtub in the apartment above. When we got upstairs and knocked, we found the door opened and the back bedroom on fire. Seems the tenants above tried to put out the fire themselves and left the tub on with the drain plug closed. Needless to say, the woman below ended up with more water once the engine arrived to extinguish the fire!
But my most memorable call was a lady who called for a water leak from an apartment above. When we arrived, the light bulbs in the light fixture were filled with a rust-colored water. We figured, No big deal, it probably was from a broken sewage pipe, but when we got upstairs and into the apartment, much to our surprise we found that a person had been shot a few days earlier. That brown liquid we thought was sewage water was really blood!
Quote of the week

From David McGrail, district chief, Denver (CO) Fire Department, writing on of his friend and mentor (ours, too!) Andy Fredericks from FDNY who was killed on 9/11: “It is not the one event of a day in history that defined who Andy Fredericks was. It was, in fact, his entire life, dedication to his family, and to our profession that made the man. He was a great firefighter not only by his heroic actions that terrible day but also by the contributions he made in his 20-plus years in the American fire service. You can carry on his message as one of Andy’s Ambassadors. Are you up to it?” 

Image found on Wikimedia Commons courtesy of Ytrottier.

The Yenta
Diane Feldman, a 22-year veteran of PennWell Corp., is executive editor of Fire Engineering and conference director of FDIC. She has a B.A. in English communications. She has been a yenta (look it up) for most of her life. If you have a story for the Yenta, e-mail

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