Day The Sirens Went Off

By:Glen Tanner, PLS, Copyright Reserved 2011

As an Alabama land surveyor we never know what can happen on a job or how the events are going to play out. It was before I got my Land Surveying license; Allen Maxwell, David Hogan, my wife Jennie, and I were working for Keith Maxwell doing a 15 acre boundary off the Coosa River, near Wetumpka, Alabama.

It started off as a fairly easy job as boundaries go and we were making good time until that part of the boundary that crossed a stream that cornered on the Coosa River. As we approached the stream the vegetation started to get thicker, by now the sun started to get good and hot, along with rising humidity. We decided to go ahead and cut out the traverse line thru the thicket , get it out of the way and take a break on the other side in the shade.

After several minutes of us all cutting it finally broke into a wide open area with a very high canopy. The kind of canopy that was so high and the air blowing in from the river, that it felt as if someone turned on an air conditioner. As the other three were taking a break, cooling in the breeze, I decided to walk ahead to see how to cross this stream. The closer I got to this stream the more it started to look like an Elmore county gully with a stream running along the bottom. The stream was in a gully about 15 to 20 feet deep and some 30 to 40 feet wide. Walking along the top I made my way toward the Coosa River and the property corner. Having made my way to a bend in the stream to where it bent back to the left some 200 feet from the river and the property corner located about 300 feet on the opposite side of the stream on the river bank.

Standing there , looking around, trying to figure out how we were going to get across, I walked out on the point at the bend of the stream. As I stood there all of a sudden I could hear a siren going off at the same time I had the strange sensation that I was floating. Thinking to myself; “This sure is an odd time for a siren, aren`t any clouds and it isn `t the first of the month. With a thud and a plop the sensation of floating disappeared as my feet impacted the ground, the sky started to fall. I found myself standing on the edge of the stream in a new all natural dirt hat with a root brim going all the way around my head and a touch of fern over my right eye, both my feet stuck in sand and water half way up my shins.

Raising my head to see what in the world just happened, I could hear laughing above me. Staring at me thru a hole above me I could see three heads looking down at me laughing, actually it was more like a howling instead of laughing. David kept howling; “you sounded like a little b“, Allen said: “ No it sounded like a woman screaming”, Jennie replied: “ It sounded more like a baby to me”, as they continued to laugh.

Looking up at them while trying to yell over all the howling and laughter I replied: “ Your all wrong that was my siren going off so you would know where I was landing.”

Even though we all had a good laugh, including myself, and no one got hurt, it could of turned out a lot different. We at Glen Tanner Land Surveying believe in and implement the " Buddy System". The Buddy System is a system that there are at last two or more persons involved in case something happens.By doing is there is always another person that can help or go get help. With todays technology more people are working and engaging in activities by themselves. Going hicking in the park or woods or, as in this case, working in the woods, whether you are a land surveyor, performing a land survey or the public just enjoying the day remember to use the "Buddy System" and it`s always more enjoyable with a buddy.

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