Donna was planning to fly back to Washington for Christmas this year and I was to stay behind and watch our cats and maybe work a little. I applied to work at the local UPS transfer station sorting and loading packages on the UPS trucks.
Well, that didn't happen.
November 30th, I received a call from The Mobile Sleeper Company, calling me out to work. I had applied for this job a few months back. They provide mobile sleepers for workers during forest fires, hurricanes, or other disasters.
The Camp Fire in northern California totally destroyed the town of Paradise during the last Santa Ana windstorms. PG&E set up a basecamp at an old golf course in Paradise, CA to rebuild the infrastructure of Paradise and the surrounding devastated area.
The Mobile Sleeper Company that I will be working for has 33 sleeper units onsite to house the workers. Each unit has 42 bunk beds.
I flew out to Sacramento, CA on December 3rd. The basecamp was amazing. What used to be a golf course (Tuscan Ridge Golf Course), was now a city of workers. Here are some drone pictures of the place. It is definately not a golf course anymore.
These are some of the sleeper units.
There were 25 other employees there when I arrived. We stay in a lounge unit. The front half has opposing slides giving us lots of room. It has a full size refrigerator, microwave, TV with Dish Network service, 2 couches and 2 chairs. The back of the unit has 12 bunk beds. We spent the nights and our non-working time here.
Besides the thousands, yes, thousands of workers from as far away as Florida, Hawaii, Louisana, etc, this place had everything a worker needed to spend an extended time here. There was a food tent that was amazing. It was Brisket, Prime Rib, Burgers, or Ribs everyday.
Soup and salad for lunch, or you could pickup a sack lunch. Even that was way too much to eat all at once.
Most people started keeping a 'goodie bag' with some of the extra stuff to take home. Here was my bag.
There was a mobile laundry service here where you can drop off your dirty laundry and pick it up clean amd folded in 24 hours.
Also available were the mobile shower units. Nice hot water showers for everyone.
There was a recreation area tent with games, TVs, ping pong and pool tables.
The place was incredible.
Everyday, we started out with a 7:00 am meeting, then breakfast. At 8:00 we cleaned the sleeper units. This consisted of wiping down the wrought iron rails with Pinesol, sweeping and mopping the floors. If any of the bunks check out, we would remove the dirty sleeping bag, wipe down the mattress, and place a new bag in the berth.
Later in the day, we may do a shift in the IT trailer.
Where we would check in workers and assign them to a sleeper unit and bunk. Shifts are 2, 3, or 4 hours long.
Some days there would be special projects, like cleaning AC filters, counting sleeping bags,
inventory different sleeper cabinets. Every hour someone had to record the temperature of the AC units and generators.
I was chosen to be a fueler, and got to drive the fuel truck around and top off all the generator fuel tanks everyday.
I had an accident while I was there. I pinched my thumb in the folding stair assembly while disassembling them. It was not a good thing. Ever had to work without a right thumb? It sucked.
My visit to the first aid tent...
They cleaned and wrapped it up. It will just take time to heal (and a new thumb nail).
Christmas at basecamp.
Three others and I were stationed at another camp at the Paradise airport, where there was 8 sleeper units, one lounge and one IT. Here is our Christmas picture.
While I was there, several people got sick and requested to go home, or just felt it was time for them to go. The company flew them home and called out new people in to replace them. The camp work was winding down and we moved out several units that emptied out. As the need for employees decreased, I requested that I head on home. They flew me out January 10th back to Yuma. Donna had a great time visiting our kids (and new grand daughter) for Christmas, but we not only missed Christmas together, but New Years and our 45th anniversary too.
I worked for 39 days straight. They pay us $230.00 per day. Time and a half for Christmas and New Years Day. It was a good job and I will be called out again during fire season. I filled out an application for Donna and next time, we go together.
It is good to be back home again.
The Fergs out .......