On Monday I attended the east side retirees’ breakfast and met a warm and inviting man named Wayne Isken. Wayne writes the Wayne’s Stuff articles you may have seen. His articles are geared toward stirring the memories of the department retirees with his “Do you remember….” questions, but for those of us who were not around during those days they hold a wealth of information about how things use to be. I strongly encourage you to take a look at his articles. They can be found at his website waynesstuff.weebly.com and on detroitfirefighters.net.
Prior to meeting Wayne I was under the impression he also had the facebook page “Old School Firefighting”. I mistakenly referred to this in a previous post It’s Hydrant Season. That post has been corrected to give the proper links to Wayne’s Stuff.
Wayne also emailed me the following additional information to add to It’s Hydrant Season :
Besides a regular pressure pump to pump out hydrants we had a suction pump. If the hydrant had a minimum air leak we kept on pumping until it felt like our arms would fall off. But if it was a bad leaker we went back to the engine house and got the suction pump. It had a black garden hose about three feet long that you stuck down the hydrant and you sucked the water on the upstroke of the pump. The water came out from a short 1 & 1/2 ft hose on the opposite side of the pump.
When we got the rigs with air breaks we couldn’t use them to pump out the hydrants as there wasn’t any fitting to hook up the hose to. It was a while before the apparatus division installed the fitting.
When we went on hydrants with the rigs and we had some young whippersnappers on the back end they, at times, ran from hydrant to hydrant ahead of their rig. This was to show that they were in good shape & also on some street it was hard to maneuver the rig due to blocked cars.
Wayne also let me know that Gary Lincoln was not the person who added the Mickey’s to the clocks. See Mickey Mouse – Watching Over Detroit Firehouses. He know’s who did and let me know that the man has passed away. Wayne, however, has a rule. He does not give names in any of his articles.
Finally, Wayne was also kind enough to send a picture of his 1986 Devil’s Night T-shirt to add to the gallery.
I want to thank Wayne for all the updates and for his kind offer of future help. I look forward to talking to and learning from him.
Be talking to you soon.
Sheryl Jayson(a.k.a. Sheryl Fox)
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