Watch Ryan Nervously Drive ‘The Guardian’ During the Opening Ceremony of Guns ‘N’ Hoses 7 [VIDEO]
To say I was "a bit nervous" is "a bit" of an understatement.
Having been to, and really enjoying, the past few Guns 'N' Hoses events to benefit the local police and firefighter charity, 911 Gives Hope, I volunteered to help out backstage at Guns 'N' Hoses 7 on April 12th in an effort to be more involved with this awesome event. My main job was to make sure the next two fighters were ready to go once the fight before them started so we could keep things running as quickly, and a smoothly as possible.
However, about 20 minutes before the event was set to begin, I approached by Evansville Police Chief, Billy Bolin, and asked if I could drive one of the vehicles out during the opening ceremony. More than happy to help in anyway, I agreed, and followed Chief Bolin to the back where the vehicles were parked thinking I would hop in a police cruiser and wait for my cue to go. As it turned out, Chief Bolin had a different plan in mind.
I did get to drive a police vehicle, and I'll assume that you figured out it wasn't your everyday cruiser. No, I was handed the keys to "The Guardian", the EPD's armored neighborhood watch vehicle.
I'm not a stranger to driving a larger than average vehicle. Before I was in radio, I worked for a company that built door frames for commercial construction and routinely made deliveries around the region in a one-ton flatbed truck with manual transmission. The difference here being that this vehicle belonged to the Police Department, and, as you can see in the picture above, is decorated with a full size vehicle wrap that I'm sure would come of pretty easily if I were to scrap it down the side of a wall.
It also didn't help that there were three other vehicles involved including an equally big EPD S.W.A.T. vehicle, and not much space for all four, leaving little room for error.
My relief at a successful parking job was quickly dashed when in my hurry to get out and get the first two fighters ready, I forgot not only to take the keys out of the ignition, but that I was told the door automatically locks when shut. That's right, I locked the keys in it. Fortunately, someone had a second pair and was able to open it up at the end of the night to get it back to police HQ.