One day, Engine 2 firefighter Matt Moore started talking about how he’d just had an intense dream about a raging house fire. Since Matt seldom says such things, it made us all think we were about to face a real burner.
We went on several calls that day, but none of them were fires. Then, at 6:30 that evening, as Matt was putting his enchiladas into the oven, the tone sounded for a church fire on the East Side.
It turned out to be a tough call. After being on air, and doing salvage and overhaul work for nearly thirty minutes in 100 degree heat, all of us were sent to rehab. Scottie didn't look good–he was red in the face and his eyes were bloodshot. EMS examined him and decided he was suffering from dehydration with a bit of heat exhaustion–nothing that a liter of fluid couldn't remedy.
We had to endure snide comments from various firefighters about how we needed to feed him more meat: “Give that boy a steak,” or, “Put some chicken broth in that I.V.” At the debriefing, even the incident commander said, “Well, nobody got hurt except Scottie Walters, and all he needs is a little more protein.”
When we made it back to the station, after agreeing that sarcasm and ignorance get a lot of people pretty far in this world, we finally got around to eating. But before any of us took a bite, we all offered a toast to Matt and his tasty meat-free enchiladas, as well as his dreams.
Incidentally, this was originally my recipe, which Matt stole, perfected, and made into his signature dish. He’s not a fan of onions: When it’s his turn to cook, he avoids them like the plague. When I cook? Everything starts with an onion.