Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Afraid of the unknown
I’m 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. I never really worry too much about personal safety. I’m not a tough guy; in fact my firefighter buddies tell me to get in the gym more and tighten up.
When I’m with my wife and kids, like most fathers and husbands, I am the protector of my family.
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I confess I may have obsessive tendencies when it comes to my family’s safety. Car seats, sunscreen and bike helmets are just the tip of the iceberg.
I don’t think I’m a helicopter parent because I let my kids explore and go out into the wilds of south Winnipeg quite often — tongue firmly planted in cheek. But I have lectured my five-year-old about situational awareness, my 10-year-old son knows it’s a privilege to be a school patrol, and my oldest can shut off the water and gas to the house. She’s 12.
CPR classes are this fall for everyone, and my oldest will be taking her lifeguarding swimming courses when she turns 13.
My wife, to my chagrin, just laughs and tells them daddy just wants us to be safe.
Today I am thinking of my safety, as well as the other two firefighters that will travel with me.
CNN has reported credible terrorist threats to New York and Washington, D.C., areas during the next few days; and now I’m thinking do I know where the exits out of Manhattan are? Where is the hospital? Should we try to outrun a massive debris cloud, or take refuge and shelter? What will the three of us do if we get separated in a panicked crowd?
Time to make a plan that addresses these concerns, and improves our preparedness level.
You probably do this every time you travel too, right? I know the guys going with me do -- we call it a pre-plan, a what-if scenario box of endless possibilities.
Not a bad idea when you’re travelling into a major event.
So next time you head out of town, take a second and think about your hazards and risk. It could be weather, pandemic, or even a possible terrorist threat.
Sorry for the lecture, it’s just the firefighter in me, now you kids go to bed!
My next post will be from Manhattan. I can’t wait to report back.
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