You should always bring a camera with you, no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing.  You never know when you might get to become a photojournalist and record breaking events.

This weekend I went to Emporia, Kansas for the Annual Meeting of Kansas Legal Professionals, Inc. (KLPI).  I’ve belonged to this association for 10 years, and I thoroughly enjoy the twice-yearly meetings, listening to the great speakers and earning CLE credit, and hanging out with all my friends.  Of course, I always bring my camera with me to capture images for use in our association’s history book (a fancified term for “scrapbook”) and because – well, I’m a photog and just love to take pictures of anything.

The meeting’s theme this year was “Light the Way With KLPI.”  Unknown to the event organizers when they started planning this months ago, the theme would be rather appropriate.  Even more amusing – our raffle prize was a copper fire pit!  (You’ll see the irony soon.)

Immediately after our association’s new officers were installed and in the middle of the president’s acceptance speech, an announcement was made that a fire had been reported in the building and we needed to evacuate.  We all “rescued” our champagne bottles by taking them with us, traipsed outside in our evening gowns and heels, and almost immediately a big fire truck arrived, followed by another, and then an ambulance and at least a couple of police cars.  (After all, Emporia is not that big and there probably wasn’t anything else going on anyway.)  We watched the firefighters calmly go about their business, get the trucks in place, double-check their gear, and proceed inside. 

First on scene

All geared up

  They checked the interior of the motel and the roof for the source of the fire.  Knowing one of our meetings had never been interrupted due to a fire, I knew I should document the events unfolding before me for posterity’s sake.  I managed to snap the arrival of the first fire truck to the scene through the front window of the lobby as we were proceeding to the exits.  (By the way, seriously, it is a good idea to always know where the fire exits are located any time you are in a public building.  You never know when a fire might occur and you have to evacuate.  Knowing where the exits are will prevent panic and anxiety.)

This brave firefighter climbed up on the roof to help look for the fire source.

Movin' on up

Up to check out the roof

I also remembered that the motel had placed a welcome message for our association on their sign, so walked around until I got a good composition of the fire truck and the sign. This way there is no doubt to the casual picture-viewer in the future the truck was at our event!

Hey, that's US!

Just last week, I took a two-hour CPR training class.  I informed several of my friends if the stress of this unexpected event was just too much for them, I could revive them with CPR.  They informed me if they collapsed, they would rather have a firefighter administer CPR. I was a bit offended my offer of help was denied 😉

About 30-45 min. later, they declared it safe for us to return inside, and our newly installed president finished her speech.  The meeting was finally over, the fire trucks and cops left, and the motel night manager breathed a great sigh of relief that no one was hurt and the damage was very minor.  My short stint as a photojournalist thus ended.

I’d like to take a minute to thank all those brave men and women who serve and protect us as firefighters and police officers. These individuals choose to place their lives at risk every time they go on duty, and are very underpaid and under-appreciated for what they do.