Mowing The Shag Carpet

That’s not really a double entendre’, it just sounds like one.

I’m working overtime during this Memorial Day weekend. We have beefed up patrols up around the lakes and they decided that it might be a good thing to have an “extra” dispatcher.

It has been a pretty typical Memorial Day weekend so far. This is the first year since 2002 that we’ve had good weather, so that has encouraged people to engage in holiday-like behavior.  The most populated part of Linn County is Quartzville Rd from Foster Dam up to Yellowbottom campground. Every year on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends people come here to enjoy nature by camping in every open space along the lakes and the road for 25 miles. In order to enjoy things more they bring enough alcohol to supply the Russian Navy for a week. (if you’ve ever been around Russians, you know what I’m talking about.)

Just to liven things up they also bring their guns, boats, jetski’s, ATVs and each and every one of them also have their personal stereos. With Ipods, that means that they can serenade the people in the next tent with their entire collection of Eminem recordings. 

Another reason to spend my time racking up the OT bucks. I wouldn’t go anywhere this weekend on a bet.

On the fire side, we’ve had the usual. Intoxicated drivers, intoxicated walkers, intoxicated fallers and an occasional heart attack. We have a homeless drunk that has been called in about 8 times in the last 2 nights because he likes to take naps on the sidewalk wherever he happens to be. He also likes to urinate wherever he happens to be. Sometimes he combines the two and just pees himself while napping on the sidewalk. But in Oregon, public intoxication is Constitutionally protected, besides, there’s no place to put him. The jail;s full and he hasn’t committed any crime, the homeless shelter doesn’t want him either, besides, he just walks away. So the medics get to deal with him.

We are set up so that one dispatcher does Sheriff’s office dispatch, one dispatches fire and the third (and fourth, in this case) answer phones. When doing OT I always opt for fire dispatch because there’s usually not too much to do.

It’s from a fire call that I got the title for this post. We were called by someone who heard a fire alarm going off in their neighbor’s house and called 911. We responded an engine company and they investigated. After a while they asked for a police officer to respond. It seems that the alarm was not an alarm. The residents had gone up to the lakes with everyone else, but for some reason left a lawn mower running in their house. There was no one home and, although the city police officer asked, it is not really practical for us to locate the residents up at Foster/Green Peter reservoir. Why was the lawnmower left home alone? Beats me, we’ll probably never find out. Maybe they were mowing the shag carpet before they left.

Then we got the call from a man wondering if there were any campgrounds in the area where an adult might take some boys to furnish them alcohol and molest them. We told him that all the campground we knew of had rules forbidding child molestation but referred him to the Sweet Home Police Dept. They’re the experts in our county. (That’s a joke, for those of you who are not familiar with Sweet Home’s reputation)

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