The Flat Earth
As a boy Christopher Columbus was holding an orange on which a butterfly had landed. He noticed that when he turned the orange around he could see the tips of its wings coming up from the backside of the piece of fruit.
As he turned the orange toward him the entire butterfly came into view.
Later, he watched the masts of ships returning from sea come into view in the same way. First the top of the mast appeared, and then more and more of the ship emerged as it came over the horizon.
These observations convinced Columbus that the Earth was round, in spite of the contradictory opinions of most of the great minds of his day. They all believed that the Earth was flat.
Well, we know that Columbus was right. The Earth is not flat!
As engine company officers we must never forget what Columbus figured out five centuries ago… especially at vehicle fires.
Several years ago I went to a “routine” vehicle fire. Just as we were making good progress toward controlling the incident the fuel tank fell and ruptured. The burning car was in a large, “flat” parking lot.
At least I had sized it up as flat.
But Columbus taught us that there is no flat earth. I wish I’d remembered old Chris’s discovery that night, because I the “flat” parking lot was channeling burning gasoline toward a large commercial structure surrounded by tractor trailers.
The next few minutes were not fun for us that night.
Ultimately we worked our way out of a bind that I should have foreseen, or at least planned for.
Here is the bottom line: When you pull up on a car fire, or any fire for that matter, don’t be one of the “flat earthers” that told Chris Columbus he was nuts.
There is no flat earth.