The Police and Fire Departments in the city I work for get along pretty well, for the most part. We have our squabbles here and there, but those (as far as I know) always take part "out of action" so to speak. I've never been on a scene and had a problem with one of our cops.
In fact, some of them are what I would consider friends. Long before I came here to be a fireman, I was in Boy Scouts with one of them. A couple of them I went to school with, give or take a years difference in graduation years.
And I will say that there have been a few times that we have been damn glad to see each other.
Of course, sometimes things happen that just beg to be re-told, over and over.
One holiday night a few hears ago, my station gets turned out for a "Possible house fire". The address is only a few blocks from the station. As we check en route with dispatch, they tell us to stage (standby, do not proceed) at a nearby intersection. Dispatch tells us that PD has requested us.
Turns out that PD is out on a "barricaded subject" at this location. After whatever started tonight's activity, the center of attention decides to take a gallon of gas and threaten to pour it on himself and light it. Of course he is inside his house, hence our call for the possible house fire- future tense.
We are invited to attend the festivities and park where we can see the goings on. The ambulance arrives, and we all climb up into the cab of the fire truck to watch and enjoy the show.
One of the policemen comes over to the truck to give us an update. My Captain rolls down the window enough to hear, but not enough to let all of our warm air out (it's snowing outside) and gets the update. Seems they are not sure if there is someone else in the house or not. Possibly a wife or other family might be in there, so they are trying to lure him out.
Right. Nobody is that stupid. Or so we think. We would be wrong.
The negotiator is talking to him, telling him about all the trouble he's causing the poor cops in the cold and snow/sleet. He begins to feel bad.
The negotiator isn't asking for much, could ya just maybe make us some coffee? It is awfully cold outside.
No problemo. Our friendly felon/would-be-arsonist brews a hot pot of java for the boys in blue.
While he's brewing the Maxwell House, our buddies in blue are getting what we have come to call the "rubber bullet gun"(RBG) ready. I'm sure it has a name, and I bet it involves the word Tactical somehow. But we get to know it for what it does; shoot rubber slugs about the size of a 12 gauge. I've seen the thing, it has a multi chamber cylinder much like an over sized revolver, and is short barrelled. It's black. I want one.
So now the gun is ready, the coffee is ready, and the shooter is..................not ready. The target de jure brings the coffee out, all the way to the curb, just feet from where the cop with the RBG is waiting in ambush. He deposits the coffee and calmly walks back inside and locks the door.
Damn, how stupid can you be to do that we ask each other in the firetruck. You've got to have a single digit IQ to just walk out to the cops who want to arrest you. They missed their chance we say. Look at how cold those cops look in the snow. Hey, can you turn down the heater? It's burning us up back here. Yeah, poor cops. We feel bad for them.
We are sure they will have to storm the house now. No way they can ever get him back out.
And yet again, we were wrong.
Negotiator calls again, and thanks him for the coffee. Really a nice thing to do for us she says. But, well, could ya bring us some sugar, maybe a little creamer? Some of the boys like to fix theirs up a bit. Would ya mind?
And the IQ takes a dip toward the negative. Einstein gathers some sugar, some creamer, spoons and such, puts them all on a tray and starts back outside to the curb.
This time, the shooter is ready. As the mental giant gets to the curb, our shooter pulls the trigger. He is aiming for somewhere in the midsection we are told later. But, it's a looooonnnnnggggg trigger pull. Finally, the gun fires the rubber bullet, just as the guy bends over to put down the tray of coffee fixings. The rubber bullet strikes him in the center of the forehead.
WHAM! he falls backwards, and a swarm of previously unseen Ninja warriors descends up on him. Much yelling and very little resistance later, we get him in the ambulance.
Other than a hell of a headache, and some missing skin, he is fine. He is very depressed about being arrested. He is crying. He turns to us and asks "Why did they have to shoot me in the head? Why? Couldn't they just shoot me in the stomach like last time?"
What? "You mean they shot you before with that rubber thing?"
"Yeah, about a year ago. Over on the other side of town."
As we examine the half-dollar size plug of missing skin on his forehead, we also re-evaluate our earlier estimation of the single digit IQ.
We quickly get him out of the ambulance. We realize that his negative intelligence is lowering ours just from being in his vicinity. We give him back to the cops, just in time to hear:
"That really hurt. You guys shouldn't do that."
"We promise not to do it again."
"Yeah, that's what you said last time too."