How to stay calm: Lesson 2.

Step 1: Put all your gear on, but reverse your hood.

DSC_5203

Step 2: Have someone spin you around until you have essentially no idea which way is forward.

DSC_5179

Step 3: Be "gently" guided by the Sergeant into a wooden maze that takes up most of the apparatus bay floor (again, thank God for those helmets). 

DSC_5175

Step 4: Emerge victorious from the other side, only to find that they put some more of that damned plastic conduit at the exit.

DSC_5180
In the words of the first recruit to find the prize at the end of the tunnel: 
"Aw, what the fuck is this shit, Sarge?!" [insert uproarious laughter from other recruits]

In all seriousness, it wasn't as nerve-wracking as the tube. There's definitely room to move yourself around; I could almost travel forward in an upright crawl, but eventually resorted to sliding on my belly. Apparently, the real fun comes when we go to the SCBA maze out on the grounds. We have no idea what's in it, but I'm sure we'll have to use everything we've learned in the past week or so to wrangle our way through it. 

Advice often just trickles down to the recruits, and I'm certainly no exception. Regarding the maze training, I've heard a few tips that have aided others while in a confined, unknown environment with zero visibility:
  • Sing or hum a song to yourself (calms you down, distracts you from the thought of being stuck somewhere, etc.)
  • If you can't see anything anyways, just close your eyes. Apparently some people freak out because they know their eyes are open, but they still can't see anything.
  • Try practicing normal, everyday stuff with your eyes closed; get your other senses used to firing, since you're definitely going to lose sight. For instance, try and take a shower with your eyes closed the entire time. Do you know where everything is? Can you find the shampoo? 
Eventually, we'll all become accustomed to feeling for things like doorjambs and walls, rather than looking for them; instead of trying to orient ourselves with our eyes, we'll be able to figure out which way is down by feeling which way the SCBA hangs off of us. 
Any more useful tips from the veterans out there? I'd be curious to see what works for different people in these situations. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

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
New Leaders: JFK's Nightmare
New Leaders: JFK's Nightmare
It's OK.
It's OK.
Welcome to the Club
Welcome to the Club
Author Unknown
The Part We Forget
The Part We Forget

Alex Capece's Discussions


Follow Alex Capece
"For anyone who ever wanted to grow up and become a firefighter... from someone who did just that."
February 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728  

FireEMS Blogs eNews

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST FIREFIGHTER NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS

LATEST ON FIRE ENGINEERING

FEATURED DISCUSSIONS