Saturday, October 3, 2009

Getting Fired (-Up)

Today we had our second full day of fire school here in Denver. Yesterday we got all the gear, and spent some time learning about the nature of fire. Today we drilled a bit on donning bunker gear and SCBA, and finished out the morning with exercises crawling through culverts and performing searches in buildings for fire and people. In the afternoon we geared up and sat in a burn room with a bonfire, while the heat and smoke increased and increased. It was nifty how the smoke/thermal layer was so defined from the cooler/clearer layer near the floor. I guess the temperatures got up to around 600 degrees Fahrenheit at roughly head level. When we exited the room, we had to avoid touching our gear with anything but gloved hands, lest we be burned. The last exercise of the day involved using hoses and moving them through the twists and turns of a building's interior spaces. I really wished we could have spent that time doing something with gear or tactics we'll actually use at Pole, where we don't have any sort of fire hose infrastructure and have to rely primarily upon handheld extinguishers for portable fire suppression and attack. I'll try to get some photos in the next couple days.

Anyhow, it was a good day of training, and I love the achy feeling of exertion and exercise I have right now. It's how I remember feeling throughout the entire football season each year in high school. We have three more days of fire school, and then folks kind of go their own way. It turns out not everybody is being made to deploy directly after completing the winterover training, but there are a handful of us that are making tracks for Cheech in less than a week.

“The Way is in training... Do nothing which is not of value.”
~Miyamato Musashi

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