Firefighters always benefit from training, but so does the community. The more efficient we are, the better our reactions in a real emergency. For that reason, our fire department hosted an all-day training event Saturday. Firefighters practiced SCBA skills, nozzles, search and rescue and live fire fighting.
I played a victim for search and rescue. I felt a bit like I’d been typecast into the helpless female role, but I did get the chance to run back in to cause havoc. 🙂 Dan took this picture while I was waiting for rescue.
Below are some guys practicing with the nozzles while the chief gives pointers. Patterns are important when attacking fire. Some situations call for the straight pattern while others need the fog with a wider spray. This practice is needed because in an emergency situation, firemen wear heavy gear that includes thick gloves. The clicks are different and depend on the type of nozzle used. Practice minimizes errors.
When I called and told my parents I had joined the local fire department, my mom said, “You WHAT?” The next question was, “WHY?” Her natural worry, of course, was for my safety. I can also understand her concerns for my younger daughter if I died in the line of duty. As one of two females on the fire department at the time, I sometimes asked myself why I joined too!
The guys have all been great. I never asked them to change their behavior or language for my benefit. I wanted to fit in with them, not change the dynamics of the station.
As you might expect, training is hard work. I really need to get in shape! (In my defense, round is a shape.) One man in particular (he knows who he is!) encouraged me when I thought about giving up. He made me climb a ladder, lock on and hang over the side. Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? This man was also the first to offer his congrats when I (barely) passed my live fire test! Thanks to all the firemen, I have learned so much. I still get the feeling that they have forgotten more than I’ll ever learn.
I look forward to fire school every year. I have been able to learn about crime scene investigation, anti-terrorism and so much more. The highlight so far was watching a good-looking SWAT team fellow blow things up! Who knows what I’ll get into this year!
I love fighting grass fire!
Extrication training! I got to break a window and cut off a door!
Vicky Earl, thanks for helping take pictures!