Okay I'm just going to say this… I know every one is thinking it secretly anyway, but I can't take it any longer: the fire department is blatantly fucking with the general public for their own sick, twisted personal amusement.

In Case of Fire, Do Not Use Elevator, Use WaterEven though I have spent a great deal of time as part of the rescue community through Search and Rescue and as a lifeguard, I just can't keep the silence any longer, it's killing me. I am aware that after the events of 9/11 a firefighter will shoot you on sight if you say anything negative about the practices of the fire department or any first responders, but I have always lived on the edge. In addition, I figure if a firefighter shoots me then I have a pretty good chance of survival, what with the instantaneous response time and all.

PANIC acronymFirst of all, have you ever noticed that all of the fire safety equipment is particularly perilous to obtain? The iconic fire safety devices such as an axe (enough said), a hose, or a fire extinguisher are always behind a big sheet of glass that you have to break to get to them. What the fuck is this about?! I would think that the fire department, being safety conscious and all, wouldn't make me break a sheet of glass to help out in a fiery type situation. I mean how do you go about doing that anyway? The most common thing seen in movies is to use your elbow to break the glass, but my idea, radical as it may seem, is to not include flying shards of glass in the rescue scenario, not to mention a giant axe.

Hammer and axe behind glass casesSo why store all this stuff behind glass that needs breaking if not to mess with us? Is it because they think it is a deterrent to would-be vandals or thieves that apparently are coveting fire safety equipment? I would argue that if you were a vandal or a thief, then breaking glass to reach your goal—glass that is meant to be broken—is just foreplay to your true prize of that oh so coveted fire safety equipment. The very nature of the glass goes against the fire safety organization's primary goal, which is to minimize response time. I can't imagine a better way to MAXIMIZE response time in the event of a fire than to put a sheet of glass (that I have to break with my own body!) between me and something that will help me.

Smurf with a hammerOh sure, someone out there is going to say that sometimes there is a hammer hanging next to the glass, and to that I respond: "That hammer is fucking tiny! That is like the hammer that Handy Smurf carried around! A hammer arguably designed to get your hand as close as physically possible to flying shards of broken glass!"

We know that decreased response times are important to the fire department, what with the whole slidey pole at the firehouse, but maybe that's just for their own amusement. In their workplace they get a freaking slidey pole to play on, and in my workplace I get glass in the eye!! Tell me that isn't deliberately messing with us!

Recently, in our building, the fire safety people installed defibrillator machines on every floor in little stands by the elevators. Now my first thought is, "That is just mean!" It has been drilled into our minds since grade school that in the event of a fire you absolutely DO NOT use the elevators! Yet this is where they always seem to store all the fire safety equipment!! Tell me that isn't a mind fuck right there! NEVER NEVER NEVER go to the elevators in the event of a fire… unless of course you need fire safety or rescue equipment?!

Heart defibrillator behind glass casingIn the event of someone having a heart attack I wouldn't even know how to use a freaking defibrillator machine anyway. So, since as a Boy Scout I was taught to always be prepared, I decided to check the thing out in case I ever needed it. I didn't get very far because an alarm sounded as soon as I opened the case. But I did notice that inside was a 300-page manual on how to use the device—very reassuring to the person who needs shocking back into existence I'm sure. "Hang on! Stay with me! I just have to read this handy 300-page book on how to help you!" Obviously they don't want you to learn ahead of time or else they wouldn't have installed an extremely loud alarm that goes off when you try. The whole thing is pointless and insulting since the firefighters are going to be bringing their own defibrillator machine to the scene anyway. I tell you they are all sitting around laughing at us at the firehouse over giant vats of chili.

Fire Door: Do Not BlockIf you're still a skeptic then I offer you the blatant proof they've left for us at every fire exit that they're messing with us. Every fire exit has a sign on it that says, "Do not block the fire exit. No standing or loitering." Okay fine, they don't want me to block a fire exit, that makes sense on first glance, especially if the sign was on the outside of a door that opened outward. However, I have seen these signs on the inside of a door that opens outward and that, upon further thought, is just blatantly calling me stupid! Who the fuck in the event of a fire would just be standing in front of the exit? Wouldn't they just run through it?! I mean I would think the fire department would want everyone as close to the fire exit as possible. The sign should read, "Stand as close as humanly possible to this exit and in the event that there is someone else there, calmly get in line. In case of a fire, if you can't figure it out, you probably deserve to be burned alive."

Now don't get me wrong, I think firefighters are wonderful heroes and all, but come on people, you have to admit, they are mocking us just a little don't you think?

Comic character pissing on an open fire