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, gloves, and
boots—from a big closet full of old equipment. Everyone at the academy used old
stuff that was recycled every year. It was dirty as hell and smelled like a
house fire… and that’s why we liked it so much.

It’s a very
comforting feeling to be bundled up in clothing that you know can protect you
from hundreds of degrees of heat. The whole process took about twenty minutes
to get everyone fitted, and then we secured all of it in our lockers.

We can’t wait
to use it. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a while before we’ll be anywhere
near something that’s on fire.
Protocols, precepting, PT… this is going to be a long month and a half.

The remainder
of the day was spent asking one of the instructors (who is a
firefighter/paramedic himself) about the job, the people, and who has what
reputation as good/bad houses. We all strive for a fun, busy house with
hardworking crew members and lots of tradition—I wonder how many of us will be
so lucky as to land in one.

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic
Comments
stephen miller
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
Great job, brethren ... be bald (bold) even off the fire ground.
2014-02-22 09:33:24
John Struve
St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
As I read all the above I wondered "How does it work?" Are fire personnel asking for pledges from the public to be paid to this charity when the personnel have their heads shaved? The ad above was not clear to me. I will read it again. The charity is certainly a very worthwhile cause.…
2014-02-22 06:20:28
“Social Media Policy”—how does it affect the bloggers? | Raising Ladders
A word of caution for the chronic Facebook addicts.
[…] over three years ago, I penned a post regarding how firefighters and EMS providers were landing themselves in hot water by using various […]
2014-01-07 17:55:57
Jonny Hope
Farewell, brother.
So very well said Brother. Mike was such an awesome guy. Sure am gonna miss him and his stories. Mike touch so many people on and off the job. Mike will continue to live on in so many of us. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful tribute with us about Mike. 
2013-12-04 21:49:48
Scott Jones
Farewell, brother.
A Very toching tribute from a true brother. Thoughts and prayers to his family and his brothers and sisters in DC.  Scott Jones, BC Springfield, MO
2013-12-04 19:38:25

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"For anyone who ever wanted to grow up and become a firefighter... from someone who did just that."
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