Structure Fire

“The building collapsed with four firefighters inside!”  Our customer, Travis, called to tell us how well his fire company’s accountability system worked.

There were 27 volunteer fire companies at the working structure fire.  I’m sure you can imagine how easily a fire scene can become confusing.  The trucks are loud, there are fire fighters from different companies and the adrenaline is running high.    Four fire fighters, including Travis, were inside the building and the building collapsed, thankfully, all four men were able to escape unharmed.  A firefighter from one of the other companies was shouting that there was still a man inside.  The safety officer assured him that everyone was out.  He was correct and all of the firefighters were out of the building. 

The fire company in charge of the fire scene has established an accountability system.  Travis is our contact and he orders the 421-FF accountability tags from us. They use a two tag system, one tag stays on the fire fighter’s gear and the second tag is given to the safety officer when the fire fighter enters the building and is retrieved when he exits the building.

We are very proud to have our tags involved in programs to keep our firefighters safe.  The design, implementation and consistent use of the accountability system is very important.  The team needs to understand the routine and to use it every time at every scene.

Travis has had three of the volunteer companies that were at the structure fire contact him to help with the design of their accountability programs.  He assures us they will be ordering their accountability tags from Ketchum! 

Thank you, Travis, and all your fellow firefighters, for the dedication and time you spend training so that when we call, you are able to come to our rescue.

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Color Coding Chickens

These free range hens are easy to tell apart and possibly all have names.  On a larger farm identification bands are helpful in keeping track of the flock.  Our poultry leg bands are available in a variety of colors to help track hatch dates and breeding pedigrees.

We also have customers that use these bands as tamper evident container seals and law enforcement agencies are using them as evidence tags.

Our 3 hole adjustable poultry leg band, catalog number 346, is available in plain aluminum, colored aluminum and brass.  The overall band is 3-1/4″ long, the three holes provide three sizes in one band.

The leg band material arrives is thin coils.  The colored aluminum is painted on both sides, we get a different color on each side, increasing the color choices available.  When we get an order, the requested metal coil is placed on a large turntable and the material is threaded into the press.

Our customers can have up to three lines of custom information stamped onto the leg bands.  The press operator selects the required pieces of metal type, which are very small, and sets them into the type holder.  The type holder is then securely bolted into the top of the press bed.  The automated number head is also mounted into the top of the press bed, the requested start number is selected.

The safety gate closes and the press is started.  The material goes through several station in the press, transforming coils of aluminum or brass into customized poultry identification bands.

  • The personalized information is stamped into the metal
  • The required serial number is embossed
  • The sealing button is drawn up
  • The holes are punched out
  • The band is trimmed to length

Our leg bands do require the use of our sealing plier, catalog number 347, to get a proper seal.

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Yikes! Spiders

The picture of the giraffe up a tree cracked me up!  I can definitely relate.  My whole family has a fear of or at least a  strong dislike of spiders.  I know it’s not rational, that humans are much bigger and smarter and can usually move faster, but spiders give me a chill down my spine.

When we were kids my sisters and I always called on our Dad to solve our spider problems.  We would yell to him and like our hero he would come to our rescue and kill the scary spider.  You know you can’t go to sleep with a spider in your room.  They watch you with those beady eyes and as soon as the light goes off they start slowly inching along on those hairy legs right toward you. 

When my daughters were young they developed a “bug alarm”, theirs was a lot more sensitive then mine, they hate spiders, bugs, ants, pretty much every creepy, crawly!  Unfortunately, as the Mom, I was the one that had to come to the rescue and kill the spiders.  I can tell you, my bravery was all an act to keep the girls calm, I was about in a sweat every time I had to kill a spider.  I usually need a shoe to squash them, no grabbing with a tissue for me.

My daughters are both adults and even now if they see a spider the “bug alarm” goes off and they yell for me.  I can tell by the panic in their voice why they are calling me, I give them a little grief and tell them to man up, but then I go kill the spider and I still hate it.

My sister has retained her fear of spiders.  She uses the vacuum cleaner, she can have the long extension on the vacuum hose and be nearly across the room to get the spider!

So like the giraffe, we’re keeping our distance from spiders!

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Great Night At Work

Kate holding a boxer pup

My daughter, Kate, works at an Emergency Veterinary Clinic.  The Clinic is open when the regular veterinary offices are closed, overnight, weekends and holidays.  Most of the pets that come into the clinic are severely injured or seriously ill.

On this particular Saturday, a boxer had 5 puppies at home, had been laboring for a couple of hours and not making any progress, so her owners brought her and the puppies to the Emergency Clinic.  The Veterinarian took an x-ray and could see two puppies stuck, one in each uterine horn.

The staff members were not hopeful, usually puppies that have been stuck for a number of hours do not survive.  The Veterinarian started a cesarean section and pulled out, one, two and surprise three puppies.  Each puppy was handed to one of the staff members.  The puppies were rubbed and suctioned to stimulate their breathing.

Kate spent minutes rubbing and suctioning the puppy she was handed and rubbing some more and finally the puppy took a breath!

Happily the three puppies delivered by C-section all survived and after making sure they were latching on and nursing they were able to go home with their brothers, sisters, and lucky momma!

As you can see from the smile on Kate’s face – it was an awesome night at work!

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The Old Maple

 I started to brush hog the back pasture about two weeks ago and noticed the big, old maple that I had rescued from my uncle’s chain saw a few years ago had finally died. It was not the healthiest thing at the time, but I loved it’s shape and how it stood above all the other trees around it. Positioned on the East side of the pasture, the silhouette of it’s canopy was beautiful and majestic against an early morning sky.

 After eight to ten passes by the old tree with the brush hog, satisfied that I let the old tree finish out it’s life on it’s own, it was now time to harvest the firewood. As I rode back and forth past the tree I studied it on each pass trying to decide how best to deal with it. Part of it’s allure for me in the past, is now a potential lethal hazard. The once beautiful, bifurcated canopy could easily become a “widow maker”. To further complicate matters, an old stone wall was built around the base making good footing difficult if a hasty retreat should be necessary in the felling process. Unwittingly, I must have assigned the felling task to my automatic success mechanism because I spent a great deal of time over the next two weeks thinking about this conundrum. I even think I dreamt about it one night. 

This Saturday, as I was heading over to finish brush hogging the pasture, I was also eager to study that big maple and finalize my plan of action. As I approached the field I immediately started looking for the tree. I don’t see it… Must not be in view yet… No, it should be right there…. About this time I notice a swath cut in the lower lying tree line… The big old tree had fallen in the wind last weekend. Problem solved!

 

As a child I spent a great deal of time on my father’s heels. So much so, that at my father’s funeral, nearly 13 years ago, I introduced my younger brother (by 14 months), Eric, to a long time friend of my father and the conversation went something like this: Me: “This is my brother, Eric. Friend: “You’ve got a brother? Well, that’s news to me!” (Yup, we’ve had him for 34 years.) No matter where my father was going, I wanted to go with him…the shop, the firehouse, the wood lot, wherever. He was always doing something interesting. I am sure, at times, he got sick of having me in tow. At any rate, I am what I am today, largely because of my father!

 

 After my father’s death, every once in a while something would happen around the shop that would make me think that he was here helping me. For example, one winter I lost a lynch pin out in the snow. That spring when I thought of it, it was as if someone was tapping me on the shoulder and saying look down….sure enough there it was! Dad was helping. That brings me back to the tree. I can’t help but think that Dad took the tree down for me! To help me out and keep me safe! Whether that kind of stuff does or does not occur is truly unknown, but it is fun for me to see what adventure he will join me on next! “What are you going to do now, Dad?”

 

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Cucumbers and Customer Service

    

     My daughter, Kate, is living in a small town in northern New York State.  There are several Amish Farms in her community.  The other day she wanted a cucumber, so she hopped in her car and stopped at an Amish Farm Stand.  The gentleman told her they were out of cucumbers and to try the stand down the road.  

     At the next stand there were no cucumbers on display.  My daughter asked the young Amish girl if she had any cucumbers.  She said no, they were out and asked how many did she need.  Kate said she only wanted one.  The Amish girl asked what size did she need, just one for slicing?  Yes, that’s all Kate wanted.  So the girl said, “I’ll run over to the garden and get you one.”  She skipped across the road and came back with a freshly picked cucumber.  The total for the cucumber and a fresh bulb of garlic was 50 cents!  The young girl started to put the cucmber and garlic in a bag, my daughter said she didn’t need a bag , “well, it’s wet” was the reply.  She didn’t want Kate to get her car wet.

    The customer service provided by this young woman was amazing.  She was happy to make a special trip to get what her customer wanted, to smile and still charge the standard price.  How refreshing to be treated with such friendly service.  Of course, this is my daughter’s favorite Farm Stand and her “go to” spot for fresh produce. 

    I’m sure we all can learn a lesson from the Amish Farm Stand,  treat our customers with respect, meet or exceed their expectations and smile!  They’ll be back!

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Lilly

    

 Lilly is my little rescue dog.  Looking at her Today you would never know she had such a rough start.  Lilly was a little stray living on the streets and not doing well.

     Lilly was hit by a car and fortunately, for her, she was picked up by a volunteer with the SPCA.  The volunteer was taking the injured puppy to the local Veterinary Office to be euthanized.  Lilly had been hit in the face and suffered a broken nose, some road rash, and was very malnourished.  Even though she was in pain she was wagging her tail and giving kisses.  Her wagging tail saved her life!  The Veterinarian decided to give her a chance and sent this picture to me.

     I had lost my best friend Gracie, another rescue, a few months earlier and had said “no more dogs.”  It took me about 3 minutes to name the scrawnie puppy Lilly and adopt her!

     When I brought her home, she came in the house, stole our Rottie’s toy and jumped up on the couch! They’ve been great friends from the start.

    The Veterinarian thought she was about 4 months old, she was so painfully thin, just skin and bones, it turns out she was probably over six months old.  I started bringing her to work with me so I could feed her every couple of hours.  I’ve had Lilly for over a year now, she’s filled out and looking beautiful.  She still comes to work with me everyday,  she runs through the building, greeting everyone, and rolling over for a belly rub!  Her joyful, tail wagging “Good Morning” is a great way to start the day.

    Lilly has found her “Forever Home” and I’m sure glad it’s with me!

 

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