Since I moved to Frederick about six months ago, I hear more sirens screaming down North Market Street in one day than I did in my whole neighborhood during a week in Philadelphia.
Of course, here the sirens generally are either ambulances or fire engines rather than police cars, which is a kind of comfort. I suppose that means it’s pretty safe in my part of town. However, when the fire trucks tear down the street multiple times a day, it does (as an acquaintance said the other day) sort of give the impression that Frederick is “the city of clustered arsons.”
Oddly enough, during First Saturday – the Fire and Ice edition – nary a siren was heard. Well, only a few. I stopped by the firehouse up on South Market and spoke to one of the firefighters, who explained that most of their calls are for the ambulance, often in relation to traffic accidents on the nearby highways. Another gentleman, a former emergency worker who had stopped by for conversation as well, regaled us with stories of his experiences and between the two men, I learned a little bit about how the fire department system works, about Fredericktonians (Frederickers? Frede rickroll ites?*) and their concerns for their community. It was pretty cool, although the old Sesame Street song about meeting the people in your neighborhood (“ the people that you meet each day! ”) kept playing in the back of my mind on continuous loop.
Now when I hear the sirens, I think about the rescue worker who spoke with me, and say a little prayer for him, his crew, the other companies and whoever they are rushing to help. It helps me feel a tiny bit more connected to my new town.
*Sorry, I couldn’t resist.