Aaron: "Hey, colleagues, I absolutely hate the bus - I mean, like, totally hate it."Well, today was my last day on the bus. After the initial "rush" in Gurdon, my nurse Lorie, bus driver Ricky (aka Cornbread), and I were sitting leisurely on the bus, talking about goats (see blog entry 12/22/07) - Cornbread bought Barbie Pearl, Lorie's daughter Haley's showgoat. One of Cornbread's other goats delivered twins last night - all very exciting conversation. Just then, Lorie saw a car drive slowly past the bus, she stood up and looked out of the window to see if they parked (which meant they would want some unnecessary medical attention). Peering out the window Lorie said, "I'm just seeing if they pulled in - something's on fire! We're on fire!" She then pointed to the back of the bus where faint wafts of smoke were drifting in the exam area. We all bolted off the bus (actually, first, I ran to the back and got my coat and bag out of the exam area - I had some magazines in there that I hadn't read yet).
Colleagues: "Oh, okay, Aaron, we can take you out of the rotation."
Aaron: "OKAY!" (then I said I hated call too, but they wouldn't go for that)
Cornbread called the firetruck; Lorie ran to the Baptist ambulance station, right around the corner, to get their help; I took pictures with my cell phone. The generator or heater or something underneath the back of the bus had overheated or sparked. Flames were visible through the grill of the back compartment (where smoke is escaping in the above picture). Darrin, one of the ambulance drivers (he occasionally drives the bus for us) ran from the station and sprayed the fire extinguisher, dousing the flames. As the situation calmed, I called the office and said I would not be traveling on the Blazing Inferno of a Death Trap that is the Baptist Bus to the next community that afternoon.
After the blaze was mitigated, Lorie and I bravely entered the ruined carcass of the vehicle to retrieve the meds and equipment (all the while taking cell phone pix of each other).
This is a picture taken on the ground looking through the back of the vehicle into the exam area. Darrin is holding the hatch open. Cornbread is telling his wife what kind of baby goat food to purchase. Some fire damage really is (sort of) visible on the left side of the photo in the foreground where a plastic casing melted.
I tried to do what I could to help assess the situation, but I was unable to accurately diagnose the origin of the fire.
I'm glad my partners said I could come out of the bus rotation; otherwise, I 'm sure they would have thought that I set the bus on fire to get out of going. Oh, I treated all of us to Route 44's from Sonic (right across the street) - they gave me a discount because my bus caught on fire.