Promoted to Crazy Grandma

You might remember remember back to 2015.  I blogged and told you that I was helping out the firemen and first responders by being a victim in their Mock Disaster.  You can read about that HERE.

That was a pretty complex Mock Disaster.  We were big into makeup and went full out.  See??  Here I am.  No worries.  It was all fake blood.

accident-1
(My hair was short then too)  Seeing this confirms I prefer my long hair.

For that scenerio I was a crazy mom who wouldn’t stop screaming….A few years before that, our two oldest and I were in a “car accident” for different Mock Disaster.  Again…I was the crazy mom.

Trust me…in real life I don’t think anyone thinks I’m a crazy mom but it seems to be the role I am typecast into.  Maybe I play the part to well.

I love helping out when they do these events.  So when Craig and Kalissa were planning the training they needed actors…of course, they called their leading lady (ME) back to the stage only something different happened this time, I was cast as the crazy GRANDMA.  Oh my, my gray hair must be showing.  Karl got called in for a performance as well.  He was to be the news reporter.

The premise was that the house was on fire and I was to pretend that my grandchildren were in the fire.  Karl was a news reporter on the scene trying to get beyond the perimeter and get the scoop on the story.

My job is always to be a little vague or misleading…not to fully answer their questions and to make them dig for the right information.

They start out by starting a hay bale on fire in the house to simulate a fire.  Before long the fire trucks show up and the guys start piling out.


at first it doesn’t seem real serious.  But with me screaming and running around and Karl trying to probe for news and the fire starting to seriously burn, everyone steps up their game.

Through search and rescue they were able to find my “grandchild” (the bag you see below).


I think I played my part fairly well….I stayed calm…I burst out…I acted hysterical.  I cried…I begged…I’ll admit once or twice I broke character and laughed too.

Soon all of the “grandkids” were found but Buster my cat died in the fire.  From that point on, they were in fire mode.  They burned the house.  It was an old house here in town that needed to get gone.


It’s a great way to for the guys to practice their craft in a somewhat controlled environment.


Here they were cutting a hole in the roof for ventilation which is a common practice.


I so admire these guys…I surely can’t hang off a ladder with a chainsaw in hand.


and then…just like that, this happened….


The fire REALLY took and the men were scrambling to get on the ground to safety.

..and up the house went.


From there it was time to watch it burn.


My role was over and I was now a spectator.  I ran over to Kalissa’s and got Carver so he could take it all in.  Here he’s hanging with Uncle Karl (who by the way, “got arrested” because he was so pushy to get information)

Things for the 1st responders got busy as firemen needed to be tended to.  The Chief sent them over so they could get their practice in checking blood pressures and monitoring patients.  It’s important that the two groups have a good working relationship.

Right about at this point, the skies opened up and the rain started pouring.


But…there was still work to do.


..men to account for and hoses that need to be taken care of.  (That’s Craig!)


Carver got wet…Karl got wet.  All in all, a fun night.  Carver loved it.  We’re doing all we can to expose him to volunteerism.  We don’t care what path in life he takes for a career but we do care that is a part of his community and cares for the people in it.  It’s awesome that many of the firemen and first responders are the same way with their kids…in fact, many generations work and serve on the departments…many husband and wife teams too.


I think this is my favorite picture of the night.


This night was one when I missed Kramer.  I caught myself a couple times looking to see where he was.  Hanging with these guys made it all a little easier.  Many of them missed him too.

Our family sprung for pizza and beer for the guys after the event was over.  Kramer would have wanted me to….I wanted to.

There are many things you can do to help and support your local fire and Emergency Services Departments.  Many are looking for buildings to have practice burns in like this one.  Some are looking for quilts for families or stuffed animals to keep in rigs to give at accidents.  Many appreciate pop and bottled water to be delivered to the stations…especially if you live in small towns with volunteer departments.  Contact your local departments to see if there is anything you can do to help…Maybe you can get a chance to play the part of the crazy grandma.

8 thoughts on “Promoted to Crazy Grandma

  1. Toni Wood

    We had a “controlled” burn at a house on the main street in town a few months ago. Took several days to get it totally burned to the ground. We think they were practicing different kinds of fires. Our first responders carry stuffed animals and quilts which are donated by different groups and quilt guilds.

  2. Jeneta

    Love, love, love this post. Great photos and writing; I enjoyed the practical explanations and am grateful for your sharing of feelings. You are a wonderful mum, grandma, friend and community member. x

  3. Penny Holliday

    Jo ~Love your wonderful post and the pictures are the best! So inspiring, especially that many who read will now consider volunteering for their own town.

  4. Helen

    I played a grieving Mom at youngest son’s HS prom night mock crash. Son was the corpse. His friends “encouraged” me to keep grabbing his body in grief. Police Officer and I were cracking up because I kept tickling him through the sheet and our corpse kept “moving.” Our township did multiple burns on the farm house across the road where I grew up. Yes, they need the practice/training. My uncle was fire chief for many years. I was police dispatcher pre-children and married a cop. Raising my children to think of and care for others.

  5. Judith Fairchild

    Jo, what a great idea. It wouldn’t take much to be a crazy grandma. If things go wrong. Practicing with your children and grands is a good idea too. Do everyone knows what to do. Thanks for your post. It’s thought provoking.

  6. Donna T

    I grew up in a small town with an all volunteer fire department. I remember them burning houses or old businesses for practice. I also remember only one woman firefighter while I was growing up. She was more for comforting the victims as she wasn’t strong enough for a lot of the equipment. I remember her picture in our local paper comforting a family whose house was burning.

  7. Pat B

    Thank you so much for participating and showing your children and grandchildren the importance of community and volunteerism. The United States is the only country in the world founded on volunteerism and it is woven deeply into the fabric of our country. Big and little things alike when you volunteer, make a world of difference.

  8. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Oh Jo, how I enjoy your blog posts. You are so gifted and such a tender hearted person. I hope you get an Emmy for your performance! Kramer must surely be smiling. I think God let him peek in on you all.And I love Karl’s shirt!

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