Polyester is Flammable
They warned us during the academy to stay away from open flames while wearing the polyester uniforms. I learned about this first hand last week while performing traffic duty for a bad car accident. Several cars where involved in a rollover wreck on 7th street north of Indian School. My partner and I stopped all northbound traffic on 7th street with an elaborate pattern of road flares. After the accident was cleared, we had to extinguish the remaining flares that were burning. My partner showed me how to kick the flare to the curb and then press it into the sidewalk with a shoe to snuff out the flame. The first flare I kicked exploded and my legs were splattered with burning bits of flare innards. Dozens of small holes were burned in my pant leg making it look like the mesh material used for football jerseys. Lucky for me I was pretty close to home so I was able to stop there for a good pair.
I saw my first suicide victim last week. A depressed elderly man decided to end his painful bout with cancer by shooting himself with a small Deringer handgun. He was slumped over sideways in a lawnchair in the backyard and appeared to be asleep. The only noticeable sign of injury was a small trickle of blood coming from his nose. His next door neighbor was very upset as they had been friends for 30 years.
I was very close to being involved in the pursuit that ended in the officer being injured and the suspect killed last week. The call started in my beat area when a guy carjacked an SUV in the parking lot of Hot Shots Billiards (don't ever go there, by the way). A two-man unit was chasing them around our area about 1:00 a.m as I was getting ready to go home. The pursuit moved down to Tempe where an officer was shot in the leg as he threw out some stop sticks. My partner and I jumped back into our patrol car and started heading to Tempe. Just then, we were notified that the suspect was down and that no other units were to arrive at the scene. Since most of my squad was involved in the chase and were now stuck in Tempe, my partner and I stayed on until 3:00 taking all of the calls in our area.
I can't believe how quickly each shift passes. My 10-hour shift is over in no time (even when I stay on for an hour or so for overtime). I've got so much to learn still but am having the time of my life. Even the 'boring' nights are fun and I can't wait for each new thing we come across.