Bernie Block: Fireman

For the next few weeks, I am changing my blog routine. I’m starting off with short stories I wrote three years ago and included in my self-published “The Short, Short-Story Omnibus — 1.” This story features a twist ending similarly used by the famous short story writer, O. Henry, in the early 1900s.

This will be followed by senior news headlines from my website which appeared during the past week. The blog will conclude with a few senior jokes appearing on the Internet. This will give me a chance to start a new website — — which had been planned to begin in May 2016 and covers “WHAT’S UP” in this end of the business.

A Fireman is Not Always a Fireman

I just saw a city housing complex burn almost to the ground. The best thing I heard was that no one was killed or burned beyond recognition. The entire city block in my hometown was burning throughout the day, but not a single fire truck was spotted rushing to the scene.

That’s because more than 250 firefighters from across the country and one from overseas were already at the site setting blazes themselves!

The rescue workers were participating in a three-day fire training program hosted by the local Firefighters Benevolent Association to help raise funds for some of their programs.

I learned that this particular city housing complex was scheduled to be demolished later in the month, so it gave firemen a chance to go inside a real building that’s on fire for training, something that is usually very hard to find.
Officials spend nearly a week preparing the buildings that were built in the late 1950s, including removing asbestos and other material which may pose as a hazard during the fire-training.

Teams took turns igniting the 34-unit complex, crawling into the raging blazes and extinguishing them. Some practiced using industrial saws to crack open roofs, while others sharpened their skills on breaking down walls, doors and smashing in windows.

One of the participants and I had a long talk about this special operation. “More than anything, the real value is making new friends and learning from everyone else; we all share the same passion of the profession that calls for saving people’s lives.”

Participants pay to take part in the training and all proceeds benefit the local Firefighter’s Sick and Injured Fund. The training director told me that the complex should have been destroyed years ago.

I did find out, however, that a fireman is not always a “man” since women have joined many fire departments.
I also learned that the word “fireman” can be defined for other things than just an individual employed to extinguish fires and rescue people and animals, too.

A “fireman” can be employed to tend the fire for running a steam engine, either on a stationary engine, or a railway locomotive or a steamship.

The United States Navy has a rating for an enlisted seaman who works on a ship’s propulsion system, even though steamships are now history. Most naval ships use atomic power a lot and “firemen” use another way to move the ship.

A “fireman” can also be a baseball player who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed.
Also, a “fireman” can be a pyromaniac or arsonist. In the entertainment field, an individual employed to start the fire to burn books is called one in the novel, “Fahrenheit 451.” There have also been many motion pictures using the word too.

This word, “fireman” is known as a disambiguation, would you believe? A page in an encyclopedia lists articles associated with the same title, as we explained above.

Disambiguation. There’s a new twist to the English language! You’d better be sure that the link you are led to goes directly to the intended meaning you wanted. Otherwise, you have been disambiguated!

News Affecting Senior Lifestyles

  •  Is Dark Chocolate Really a Brain Food?
  • How To Stay Motivated to Exercise
  • Greenness Around Homes Linked to Lower Mortality
  • Look Kindly On Your Aging Body
  • Free Cell Phone Plan for Eligible Households

To see these articles, go to my website


Senior Jokes by the Line

  • Escalators don’t break down…they just turn into stairs.
  • I intend to live forever…or die trying.
  • I child-proofed my house…but they still get in.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • “I’m sorry” and “I apologize” mean the same thing…except when you’re at a funeral.

Bernie is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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