Sometimes all it takes is a little fire under the hood to change your perspective.
I felt rushed Saturday morning. Due to scheduling conflicts, I was running solo with my kids and planned to take photos at the pool, Kilby, and enjoy some festival fun in Harrison. I got my two children dressed, ready to go and all the necessities of outings with small children packed in the car.
As we turned left on Tuyttens Road, the car died and smoke poured from the hood.
I quickly pulled over, leapt out of the car and unbuckled their cumbersome carseat straps. Images of TV car explosions ran through my head as I grabbed my kids and ran across the road and as far up as I felt was safe before calling 9-1-1.
The Agassiz Fire Department was on scene within minutes. The crew was professional, quick and kind. They chatted to my kids and assured me I did the right thing by calling. (It was, after all, only a small fire).
A tow truck from Pioneer Motors picked it up and by Monday morning, it was ready to drive again.
I went from feeling rushed at wanting to cover all these events to having time to spare while we waited for a lift back home. My kids and I relaxed, played at the playground and spent time together. While it was frustrating not being able to do my job, I realized how much I had to be thankful for. The car didn’t catch on fire on the bridge. The fire crew came swiftly. And my kids looked at the whole incident with adventure, not fear.
It was strange being on the “other” side of a callout. When I do attend local emergencies, it’s as a reporter there to cover the event for the paper. To be the one sitting on the side of the road, worried for my children’s safety and the damage to my car, it felt very different. I have a renewed appreciation for the work our local emergency crews do. They not only put out fires, or transport injured people, or keep our communities safe. They are a calm presence in a time of crisis, or in my case, in a time of inconvenience mixed with a little unnecessary anxiety.