File this one under: “Life Training”
So I’m on shift the other day and my soon-to-be wife calls me up and announces: “I just got tazed!!” and she seems happy about this.
“Come again?” I asked. “I was down at the police department for training, and they asked if there were any more volunteers to get tazed and I did! Sheryl (our photographer for the FD) got it on video!”
So again I win the competition that I have going with my friends entitled “My wife is crazier than your wife”. My lovely future wife is a firefighter/EMT as well and is big on the idea that female firefighters have to be 25 times tougher than their male counterparts. Really. She is a tough little cookie. Around 5 feet of dynamite that can out run, out lift, out work, and generally out play most of the males on the department. Being that I am her fiancé, and I have to marry this crazy, crazy woman at the end of the month, I now find myself having to keep up with her as she sets off to conquer the world. It means that I have to pretend to be at least as tough as she is (because I’ve given up trying to be more tough than she is) or the guys on the department will tease me mercilessly about such themes as: 1. “G” wearing the pants in the family. 2. “G” being the one they want on the nozzle and I should engineer or something. 3. Things that I don’t want my mother reading about. 4. Etcetera, etc. This woman is trying to find a t-shirt that says “If I had balls, they’d be bigger than yours”.
I saw the video and I may post it if I can get permission, but it’s just… well, awesome. I recoiled in horror the first time I watched it, because hearing my beloved scream like that is painful, but after watching it repeatedly because I just couldn’t stop myself, I now want the scream as my ring tone. If I do get permission, I envision it being the top result on YouTube searches regarding “hot firefighter chick being tazed”. You can see her being shot (YES!! They ACTUALLY SHOT HER WITH THE BARBS!) and then screaming this horrible, horrible, awesome scream, and then falling down.
My first thought on this was “Dang, now I gotta do it”.
I couldn’t let her be the only one in the fire department and the family that has volunteered to let themselves experience horrible pain. If I did, then she would have something to hold over my head in the whole “Who’s tougher” competition and our fellow firefighters would have a reason to call me something like “Fifi” when compared to my loving bride to be. I couldn’t allow this and as unfortunate for me as it was, I had to be tazed.
I got off shift the next morning and went home and showered, cleaned up, and changed into civvies. Then because I have nothing better to do but volunteer my time to be a Medic/Firefighter instead of something cool like a mountain biker or something, I went down to the station to see my fiancé, who was working shift. Much to my chagrin, She and the rest of her crew had set up a physical firefighter obstacle course consisting of a 7in high step (3minutes), a line and pulley setup where you had to raise a 50′ roll of 1 ¾ hose 20′, a 165lb dummy drag for 100 feet, a run with a high rise pack 50′ with a set of stairs, and then to top it off, ten pushups at the end of it all. They were planning on doing this with full firefighting gear and an air pack on (which for those of you that don’t know, is about 70 extra pounds give or take). We all did it. I was pretty darn tired at the end of it too. I was happy that I showed up some of the young pups that had set it up as well. No biggie. I mean, I’m in reasonable shape, right?
Then they upped everything. 6 minutes on the stair stepper, two raises, two drags, two sets of stairs, and 20 pushups.
You guessed it, “Dang, now I gotta do it”. My fiancé did. ON AIR. I unfortunately, did not get to do this because I had an appointment and couldn’t be all sweaty, remember the shower? Yes, that’s the reason. Well, that, and I had to call the cop shop and ask to be tazed to prove I was a man. Who knew that relationships would be so complicated? Unfortunately, the cops said that they would be happy to taze me as they were conducting day two of their training exercise and needed a fresh victim. Crap. That meant that I couldn’t hide behind the fact that no sane police department would let somebody be tazed just because they asked. Maybe they would if you were “Askin’ for it” (sic) but not if you just called them and asked. Maybe they did it as a favor for me because I’m a firefighter and I said that I’d sign a waiver. Thanks!
After skipping lunch so I wouldn’t have a full stomach to puke with, and after a haircut because I had a meeting later that afternoon, I walked over to the cop shop. To prep myself, I had um, peed first so I wouldn’t become incontinent (translation: Pee myself like a lil girl) and was practicing leaving my teeth together but not clenched and keeping my tongue away from my teeth. I didn’t want to bite my tongue off or something. Heck, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to, and all I could think about was my Fiance’s hauntingly awesome scream that I’d heard on the video. The fire department send over an ambulance (dual medic) and an engine company to “provide medical coverage” which means they wanted to see me fry and probably wet myself too. (That’s why I peed first, I sure showed them!). Since the PD is just across the street from our station, I walked over.
The cops were preparing before the class. The instructor was a certified taser instructor and had two-page waivers at the ready for any of us who wanted to be tazed to sign. I read it, and signed it. They decided to do the demonstration first, since so many of us had shown up to watch. There were three of us that volunteered: a new recruit for the PD that had to be, and another firefighter and myself that wanted to be… or in my case, didn’t want to be but had to anyway. I wanted to go first because I had a theory on this. I figured that I would go first, so that I wouldn’t see anyone else go through the tazing. I also figured that I wouldn’t let myself think about what was happening to me until after it had happened. I thought that if I just stood there, nonchalant like, and just waited until they shot me that I couldn’t chicken out once it was happening. As long as I didn’t chicken out and just let it happen, It’d be over before I could chicken out.
Awesome plan, right?
So I took my place in front of two mats, pretending to be nonchalant and also that I didn’t know what was about to happen. I did promise myself that I wouldn’t scream though. I promised myself this in the 7 or so freakin hours that they waited while the two gentlemen who were holding me up took their places under my arms to catch me and then everyone talked about what was going to happen. It took seriously like a freaking year for them to taze me. I wanted to yell out “Just taze me, bro!” but I didn’t. I just concentrated on keeping my tongue out of the way of my teeth and telling myself that I wouldn’t scream and pretending I didn’t know that I was about to be tazed and BZZZZZZZZZLGPHYKKAKAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
I did feel myself screaming, and everyone told me that I screamed really, really loudly. I also knew that I was standing until I fell. Thankfully the two gentlemen on my sides controlled my fall so I didn’t face plant on the pads. I remained conscious throughout and I didn’t pee myself (I’m proud of that). I can’t describe the pain with any justice but I can say that it hurt really, really bad. I remember feeling every muscle in my body contract hard. I remember feeling the alternating pulse of the taser unit making my muscles contract and relax a lot (They say it alternates like 20 times a second) and I remember my only conscious thought was that it was taking way longer than the supposed 5 seconds that it was supposed to. I estimate that it lasted 27.5 years. When it was o
ver, I was laying face down. My low back was killing me like I had just spent two hours doing back extensions. That, however, was the only pain I felt. Once the electricity was off, it was off. I could have popped back up and fought at that point, but I knew that the barbs were still in me and that they were attached to that hell with a trigger. I was in full compliance with the nice police officer and would not have dreamed of doing anything but laying there. The taser has the capability of delivering as many shocks as they want to give you, 5 seconds a pop, with just a pull of the trigger. I couldn’t dream of taking another five seconds. No way.
After they ripped those dang barbs out of me, and Gina ripped a chunk out of me with the first one, I was able to get up and function normally with no adverse effects from the taze. I felt good, solidly in the knowledge that my manhood was intact. Knowing that there is a video of it that is not yet available that probably shows me screaming like a school girl finding her first pimple is less comforting, but I haven’t seen it yet.
My vote on the whole tazer controversy is this: I support them. They really really hurt. It’s unimaginable that I’d ever want to take that again and I was scared to be in the same state as the taser when they shot the other two guys. However, if I was to really be resisting the cops and they exercised other options to control me such as their baton, pepper spray, or an elbow to the face I would still be injured and would have been in a lot more pain that would have lasted longer and required medical attention. I’ve been pepper sprayed before in a former job as a hospital security guard and I was able to keep fighting through it. This would not be possible with a taser. They offer immediate control and no real lasting effects. As I see it, the cops have two options if someone comes after them with a knife: Taze them or shoot them. I vote taser in that scenario.
Best advice ever: Just lie down and do whatever the nice officer tells you to. Well, that and… “Love Hurts”.
In probably my next post I’ll tell the story of the other firefighter that got tazed. We had some more fun and hooked him up to a lifepack 12 monitor while we were shocking the crap out of him. Hilarity ensued.