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Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Thursday morning started out for me at 0630. I got up, with the other boot (probationary firefighter), before the rest of the crew. We grabbed the American Flag and raised her. We then brought in the newspaper and separated it by section on the table and started a fresh cup of coffee. At this point we ate a quick breakfast and prepared ourselves for the day. At 0900 we had morning line up. At morning line up we go over the plan for the day and talk about what needs to get done. We also decide things like who is cooking dinner and what it might be. After morning line up we went out the the apparatus bay and started our workout. We did an extensive upper body workout for about 90 minutes. At the end of this we grabbed a 50ft section of 4" hose. We then, in turn, raced two blocks down then two blocks back with the hose on our backs. At the end of this we were all hacking up our lungs, some of us for the rest of the day (no, not me). We put the hose pack back and then proceeded to have a two minute drill. A two minute drill is when the probationary firefighters get two minutes to get all of their firefighting equipment on (boots, turnout pants, turnouts jacket, gloves, SCBA which you have to turn on and check, mask, hood, and helmet). You signify that you are done by clapping. For every second that you are over the two minute mark I had to do one push up. I was 34 seconds over. After the morning workout I was only able to push out 27 push ups. The other boot, who only had to do 4 push ups, was asked to do the rest for me. It's a very good way to make you hustle and to make you closer as a team. I didn't much like having someone else doing my push ups for me but at that point I was very grateful. At this point we put all our stuff back on the engine and hit the showers. We prepared a light lunch and then took care of the station duties and studied. At around1630 we started to cook dinner (enchiladas). We ate around 1730.

At 1830 we got paged on the overhead for our next drill, a simulated fire at the recreation center at the park down the street. There are reports of one victim trapped. We run to the engine and and put on our turnouts. We then take off. In the back of the rig we finish getting ready to fight the fire by putting on the rest of our gear (our SCBA's are stored right in the backs of our seats). When we get on scene I'm instructed to "take the hydrant." I jump out of the engine and grab the 4" hose off the back. I then wrap the hose around the hydrant and the engine takes off for the building that's on fire. They stop near the building and start deploying a cross lay (a 1 3/4" hose used to fight the fire). As the engineer gets ready to receive the water from the hydrant I connect the 4" hose. He then calls for water and I open up the fire hydrant. Now I proceed (run) back to the engine for further orders. I'm told to grab the rotary saw to make a forcible entry into the building. After that both boots are told to strike a tree stump 43 times with a sledge hammer. While we are doing this we are told that there are now reports of a firefighter down. We then put on our masks and enter the building (which of course is dark). We performed rapid search for our lost comrade (represented by a couple of hose packs stuffed into turnouts with an SCBA). He is relatively easy to find since his emergency beacon is going off (a loud alarm and strobe). We find him and drag him out. We were told at this point that our rescued firefighter was not breathing. I quickly tore off my mask, hood and helmet and started rescue breathing. After 2 breaths I checked for a pulse and called for my ALS equipment. He had a pulse. At this point the drill ended. We put away everything that we had used and cleaned up our mess (the hoses leaked inside the recreation center so we had to mop it all up). At 2130 we had a call for chest pain (read the other post). At about 2300 when all was cleaned and put away, two very tired boots went to bed. Snoring ensued.

I know that I have been accepted by my brothers because on Saturday night, after a good cutter call (where we had to extricate the patient...see other post) I was taking a shower and I got initiated. They came in and first dumped a bucket of flower on me. While trying to recover from my flower bath I was doused by 5 gallons of freezing water and ice. That was cold! It also told me that I belong.


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Congratulations Kip!
Next time you're in Centerville we can re-create the initiation.


ewesa said...

love reading these stories! if they initiated me I would cry. you did good. :)

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

I guess you have to understand the firefighter mentality. We are all just a bunch of big kids who get to do what we love for a living. Initiations like mine are just an excuse to do another practical joke.

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