Monthly Archives: December 2008

Day 16: Two kinds of torture

I’m fairly certain that over the years, fire academy instructors from all over the nation gather to devise evil ways in which to mentally and physically exhaust recruits. Maybe there’s some secret yearly convention, or a press conference into which only PT instructors are allowed. Regardless of how these ancient methods are passed down, each […]

Day 15: Literature

The holiday schedule threw me all off. I missed a few posts, but luckily (for the blog, at least) Wednesday and Friday of last week were fairly uninteresting. Last night, I started re-reading a book that I bought several years ago. Called Working Fire: The Making of a Fireman by Zac Unger, it’s a non-fiction […]

Day 11: Wind-whipped

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that today’s high temperature was around 27º F, with the low at 14º F. Would anyone care to take a stab as to which end of the spectrum we were standing in at 0600 hours? The wind was relentless today. From our morning PT up until our final […]

Day 10: Cadence

“Wake up, wake up, MPD! / We’ve been up since a quarter to three! / If we had a lower IQ, / We’d be at police academy just like you!” 994 was running around a small paved circle that served as part of the DCFD driver’s training course. It’s part of our morning PT running […]

Day 9: Sunrise

I always told myself that I wouldn’t be caught in Anacostia Park (or anywhere in that part of Southwest D.C., really) when it was dark out. Unfortunately for me, that’s exactly where we were headed, and the sun was nowhere in sight. Fortunately for me, it was 6:15 in the morning—there’s not a whole lot […]

Day 8: Assessment and Aperture

I counted off the final push-up, and collapsed to the floor shortly thereafter (narrowly missing a very important Styrofoam cup). It was PT assessment day today, and we began counting reps and shouting encouragement before the sun even peeked over the horizon at us. Everyone in the class was paired up, and the goal was […]

Day 7: Towers and Trivia

Normally ringing with the sharp sound of heavy boots, the Tower steps were much quieter in sneakers. The only sounds we could hear were the huffing of tired lungs and the occasional curse (as someone smashed their shin against the narrow metal structure). We ran the tower for the first time today. We did an […]

Day 6: F.O.U.O.

This post was delayed due to the fact that as Monday’s particular issue was somewhat sensitive, it seemed prudent of me to hold off on posting until I could revise the text properly. Can’t be leaking out any “For Official Use Only” issues, now can I? To put it simply, most of Monday was spent […]

Day 5: Anticipation.

Next week's agenda:  1) Begin physical training. On Monday, we'll meet with a nutritionist, who will counsel us on how to eat healthy while at the academy (from the looks of 994's lunches over the past week, it appears that most have not taken this advice to heart). On Tuesday, we'll take the first of […]

Day 4: Gearing up.

It fit uncomfortably at first, and I felt very much like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Despite this, I stood in the apparatus bay feeling very manly; the four of us had just been fitted for our first set of firefighting gear. Mike, Rich, Carl, and I had retrieved a full set of gear—helmet, coat, pants, […]

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

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