Archive for May2009

Special Post: Raising Ladders Photography now available!

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I'm pleased to announce that a fledgling gallery of the photography you've seen here is now available online at! (There's a link on the sidebar to make everything easier.) All images are available for sale through a variety of mediums; all sizes of photo prints, as well as t-shirts, coffee mugs, and many other things […]

The last week.

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It's been a long week, for sure; but we only have four more days until graduation on Friday. Attitudes range from exhausted to exasperated, but I think the common theme amongst all of us is one of excitement. You see, 74% of the class received their station assignments for graduation. The remaining nine are paramedics […]

The "Interior Fire Simulation Building," as MFRI labels it.

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As I sat back on my haunches and double-checked the Velcro on my collar, I heard a familiar whoosh coming up the stairs behind me. A second later, the nozzle struggled to wrest itself from my grip as the hose filled with water.  I could feel the metal and plastic appliance digging into my side as […]

Burn Week, part 2: external sites.

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 More complicated than an 8th grade field trip; did everyone remember to bring their permission slips? Now is the week when we do some real burns. Our Class A building yesterday was at the Loudoun County, VA Fire/Rescue Training Facility (a fun flashback from the past: my first EMT training was at the same facility, […]

Working the angles.

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Dammit. I eventually have to give this wide-angle lens back… I rented it for our class photo (coming soon), but I don't want to return it. It's way more fun to get up close and personal—although getting close enough for fire pics at a 12mm focal length is painful. ————— I cranked down on the […]

Crawling along.

It's gotta be just up here somewhere, I thought to myself. I crawled another few feet through the smoke, until I felt something give me a jarring hit to the shoulder.   Ow.  I shifted left to avoid the doorway I had been looking for, and followed the hoseline towards the strained shouting of my […]


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Our two Burn Weeks are less than seven days away, and it looks like we'll be run ragged in preparation for them. We're all itching to get into the Class A* building at the other Academy we'll be going to, so it's hard to keep the energy up while doing the same drills over and […]

Truck company operations.

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Dammit. Just when I thought I'd comfortably accepted my role as a firefighter/paramedic, forever riding the engine (since DCFD doesn't put paramedics on the trucks), we had to go and practice truck company operations. I'm torn; yet I pine for something that's not in the stars for us medics right now. It's not that engine […]

Trust your team.

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"This is a big bitch!" "Ugh… you ain't lying," I grunted as I drove my body upward and pushed the weight over my head.  Side-by-side, Bill and I were in the process of raising the largest extension ladder that DCFD has. A six-man operation, extending the forty-five foot monstrosity of the fire service and placing […]

[Friday Update]

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I had a very long, busy weekend, so I didn't have time to craft anything wordy regarding Friday. Hopefully everyone can just enjoy these pictures from the drills we did with auto fires. N.B. – The colors are much better when the images are viewed closer to their native resolution (something about how the blogging software […]