Friday, December 19, 2008

Last weekend in fireschool....

So the last weekend of fire academy is coming up this weekend. I can't tell you how excited i am, i'll be able to get back into the caddy scene, have time to concentrate on friends and family. Oh and the new girlfriend thing, yeah thats gonna become a lot easier (shes an amazing girl btw, lets me run into burning buildlings for fun AND SHE COMES TO WATCH!)
Well anyways, i figured i'd start a thread because a friend of Coelle's is a professional photographer and took some pictures from our live burn last weekend and she'll be taking more this weekend from our days of incident simulations.
This class has been an amazing experience, i have learned so much, matured so much, gained so much respect for both my fellow students, but other firefighters and for myself. I never thought i could complete this, from a panic attack the first day of SCBA to being one of the top students in the class.
The first night of class they had us don our SCBA bottles and crawl underneath the parked fire engines to show us how small a space we could fit in (they got smaller as the class moved on) but to gain confidence in our gear and ourselves they started us slow. I however freaked out, i hated having something around my throat, fealt like i couldnt get a full breath of air. I've gotten over that and moved on. Its really not that bad once you learn to trust your gear and know that you're never really "out of air".
Next hurdle was ladders, man i hate heights and its even worse when you're wearing an extra 65 pounds of gear and you're all off balance and top heavy because of where the gear sits on your body. The ladders bounce and sway and drag and dip its not a very comfortable situation. But i got over that, now i'm fine on ladders. Its even quelled a bit of my fear of heights, especially if its with a purpose. I don't clam up and sweat nearly as much when i'm up high now.
Last huge hurdle was just general fitness and grip strength, a fire hose has 150# of pressure at the nozzle, you're basically just holding onto a wet linen tube with your hands thats trying to fly backwards and kick yoru ass. I spent a lot of time working on technique and grip strength and now its like second nature. Its a lot of little things that i never expected to have an issue with.
So without further adue my first batch of pictures courtesy of Susan Solo and Susan Solo Photography.
Mike and Dan hitting the eves to keep fire from spreading to the attic space

Students in the Red Helmets are always under the control of an instructor or an officer (black/yellow or white helmets)

I couldnt Help but ham it up a bit

My station mate and partner Josh and I exiting the structure after our second burn of the day. (we're the two in the center...i love this picture for some reason, makes it look like we actually worked hard)

The hot stuff

you can see more pictures at susan's website
I'll be posting again more often now that i'll have free time without 32 hours of class each week!


falnfenix said...

congrats for getting through it. :D

WVmedicgirl said...

Tell you rphotographer she did a GREAT job. Nice!