Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Christmas Alert

We have a radio scanner in the living room that has the local railroad and emergency services dispatch frequencies on it. As we're having a (by local standards) pretty fierce rain storm move through tonight, there have been a number of call-outs. For example, while our local fire station was investigating a possible house fire (it turned out to be smoke from their fireplace setting off the home's smoke alarms), out came a call for a motor vehicle accident on I-80 at exit 46 (West Fernley) for a car that had spun out in the wet conditions. Mixed in with the usual assortment of calls (mostly medical), and it's a busy evening on the radio. Our fire/EMS people (all four of them on duty at any given time; there are only 12 total paid people plus a handful of volunteers to serve our city of 20,000) are working hard on this Christmas Eve.

You can usually tell which station is going to get called by the tones that play before the dispatcher calls the station and details. So a few minutes ago, both Lisa and I looked up when an out of the ordinary alert tone played, followed by a call to "prepare to copy an Attempt to Locate." That's unusual. Also, it wasn't the same tone that they play when they call out the Search & Rescue teams.

(And oboy, that would be a right pain on a cold wet night like tonight. Lisa understands, having been a search and rescue volunteer down in northern New Mexico years ago. As she put it, spending all night out on Wolf Creek Pass in mid-winter is No Fun.)

The tone repeated, and the dispatcher announced (and I'm paraphrasing), "Attempting to locate a suspect last seen leaving the Tahoe area. Suspect was driving a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, and was described as a 'jolly old elf' wearing a red suit with white fur trim. If spotted, do not attempt to intercept, as he is very busy tonight. Merry Christmas."

We then heard our local fire station, the crew of which had returned to base after the spinout and the possible chimney fire, acknowledge the call with "Station 61, acknowledged. Merry Christmas."

I do wish I'd known they were going to do that so that I could have recorded it.
Tags: fernely

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