Archive for March2009

CDP, Day 2.

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"Jesus Christ, this feels like the Marines again. 'Here's your boots, here's some clothing, now go do some dangerous shit.'" George's southern-Maryland twang made me laugh as I turned around to face him in line. "No, I'm serious, y'all! 'Course, they weren't this godawful ugly color." I looked down at the ridiculous boots we were […]

CDP, Day 1.

"Well, good morning, everyone." The question, usually answered with first-day mumbles, was instantly blasted out of the air by a resounding "Good morning, sir!" Yes, our recruit class is here, and we've made our presence known. I think we've scared the remaining nineteen in our class of 60, perhaps by sheer numbers alone. However, it […]

God help Alabama.

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It's 8am, and I'm seated in an airport awaiting a flight to Alabama. I figured I could at least throw a quick post up while I'm here (damn airport doesn't have free WiFi… can I write this off on my taxes as a business expense?), since there's nothing to do until our flight takes off.  […]


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"Do not ever let go of this!" Sgt. Paulson's voice boomed through the burn building, echoing menacingly off the concrete walls. He dragged about ten feet of hose towards him, and held the nozzle in the face of the recruit standing before him. "Treat this like a baby! If you were a cop, you wouldn't […]

Did you ever play "Pipe Dream?"

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It was a Windows 3.1 game from 1991. The screen looked like this:  …and the purpose was to place enough properly-positioned pipe so as to not allow water to spill out.  That's what today felt like. This entire week, in fact, will be spent on hoses, water supply, pump operations, etc. Given the multiple permutations […]

This is my ladder.

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This is my ladder. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my ladder is useless. Without my ladder, I am useless. ————— The past week has been spent solely on ladders. Maintaining them, learning how to carry them, throwing them up against a building, and even draggin one ladder up […]

National Fallen Firefighter's Memorial

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The grounds of the National Fire Academy were peaceful and near-silent when we arrived. Except for the occasional bird chirp, or the curt greetings of those passing us, the four of us wandered the memorial in reverent silence. It's hard not to be struck into speechlessness when you first step onto the Walk of Honor […]

Playing with tools.

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I'm only posting a couple of photos from today, since I have plans tonight and I'm too damn tired to write something anyways. The combination of morning PT and day-long practical instruction has everyone feeling like they were hit by a truck.  This is going to be a long week—but at least the weather is […]


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"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!" The words came screaming through the pitch black. Already several rooms deep into a deceptively small-looking house, with no visibility to speak of, I frantically tried to remember where my last viable point of egress was. Outside, I heard a prolonged blast of every air horn on the fireground—it sent a chill […]

Lifting Ladders. (That phrase just doesn't have the same ring to it.)

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[Friday, March 6] The damn thing was so close to my face I could smell the mix of aluminum, dirt, and machine oil. As I hefted the beam onto my shoulder, three of us spun 180º in unison and grabbed ahold of the nearest rung. We waited for the next command, which Instructor Rogers boomed […]

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