Archive for April2009


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Yes, electricity can kill you. No, it doesn't care who you are or how much experience you have. Pepco paid us a visit Monday, and brought along a setup that allowed us to observe what can and cannot conduct electricity (and thus severly injure us, should we be stupid enough to try and move downed […]

New additions.

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New recruits: welcome to the Academy. Thanks to you, we're no longer the shit at the bottom of the barrel; our class is now the thin film on top of the shit at the bottom of the barrel. Cheers!

A miscellaneous week.

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Next week, we'll be taking photos of us individually, more for fun and family than anything else. It's like picture day at school: "okay, turn your head… chin up… move your legs just a little bit left… okay, hold it…" It's a tad difficult to properly light an engine bay for photographs, but a few […]


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I've been thinking about this site recently, and I realized that there's more functionality that I'd like to add to RL. There's a few small things I'd like to incorporate fairly soon, like a photo widget on the side, or easier-to-use video capabilities. Additionally, it'd be great to have a ticker-tape somewhere nearby that would […]


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"Alright, dig in! She's about to go off!" I could barely make out Sergeant Woodward's figure in front of me; despite being no further than arm's length away from me, the thick smoke inside the flashover can obscured my vision almost entirely. As we all strained our eyes to see something—anything!—in front of us, an […]

First due.

"I need more line!" I had almost reached the top of the interior stairs, and could see the light from the third floor doorway lightening the smoke above me. All the hose stacked on my shoulder had played off onto the steps, but I still needed another fifty or so feet to make it into […]

Murphy's Law: The Engine Operations Clause.

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"Gimme that damn radio, I'll be the officer this time." I suspect my attempt at exuding confidence was quickly extinguished by my frantic need to check everything again; was the radio on? Was it on the right channel? Where was the rest of my crew? Did they know what they were doing? What in the hell […]

Bailing out.

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Not much time for a post today, so I'll just include some of my favorite pictures/captions from the past few days of instruction on how to rescue yourself and your crew. Sometimes, you just have to get the fuck out of a room or a building—and now we know how. ————— Yep, pretty much just […]


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Yes, we did in fact play with radios—hence the picture. However, the larger issue that I discovered today relates not to communications within the Department, but rather with the civilian world. A story ran today in the Washington Post about DC Fire and EMS's foray into the dynamic world of "Web 2.0," a next-generation brand […]

Back to books.

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…fortunately, it's something street-wise, not textbook-esque. Reviewing the Standard Operating Guidelines (or SOGs) for our Department was actually pretty fascinating, because never before had I been able to make sense of the seemingly-chaotic scenes that are presented within fireground operations. As it's laid out in our recruit manual, every unit responding to a working fire […]

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