Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fire, water, burn

This morning we were limping along in peak hour traffic when I heard sirens approaching from behind our car. I expected to see a Police vehicle escorting a rich Indonesian in a BMW or Mercedes running late for an appointment, or an Ambulance making a futile attempt to get through traffic to treat an accident victim.

As it turned out, the sirens, and flashing lights, were on six bright red motorcycles, and on each of the bikes were two firefighters, wearing their full fire uniforms and helmets, but carrying no equipment (and certainly no water). Given that fire trucks generally make it to the scene of a fire at least an hour or so after receiving a call (because of the traffic), I'm assuming these guys are some kind of first response team who try to do what they can before the big red trucks arrive at the scene. High pressure fire hydrants and hoses are few and far between in Jakarta, so I tip my hat to the motorcycle-borne first response team, who presumably do what they can to rescue trapped people while keeping an eye out for nearby water sources that might slow the flames until the trucks arrive.

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