Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cryo emergency (drill)

So, pretty much the high point of yesterday was our monthly drill, which entailed responding to a low oxygen alarm at the cryogenics facility. We ended up just having one person to extract, which was a very good thing. It's really difficult bringing together the different groups of people to make this volunteer fire brigade here. Some folks were here this summer on the team and know the lay of the land. Others were here over the summer and trained with us at the fire academy back in Colorado, but hadn't been on the fire brigade over the summer and need a lot of refresher training and catching up. Other folks have been on the South Pole fire brigade one or more times before, and they have lots of preconceptions about how things should work based on how they did in the past. All these different backgrounds, expectations, and disconnects between our team members (myself included) added up to not the greatest response in the drill.

It's pretty frustrating going from a rock solid team just a few weeks ago back to what feels like square one. That means I get to facilitate all sorts of retraining and team building in order to get us up to snuff. It means a lot of work, and a lot of trying to accommodate people and cajole them into spending time they probably aren't that interested in giving up to an unpaid position on station. But, I know that we essentially had to do the same during the summer. Despite being tired and hoping to have had all that behind me, I can help do it again.


Carol said...

Hi Ethan darling:

I just have to say that I am sitting here reading your blog with tears in my eyes from laughing, I can practically hear your voice from your comments. Sorry to hear that Team 2 needs to be reworked from the ground up, bummer!

Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you.

Love, Carol

AaroN said...

If you didn't it once, you can do it again. You've only gotta make it a few months before the summer crew comes back. Then you'll have to do it all over again. ;)