Day 20: How not to cut wood.

Lest we begin to feel comfortable in our academic setting, DCFD is always sure to remind us that we can at any time be used for cheap labor. Fairfax County is coming back on Friday to use the flashover box again, and a handful of recruits (myself included) were tasked with cutting and loading all […]

Day 20: Tension

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Note to self: I have to stop backdating posts. (Perhaps a useful New Year’s resolution?) Interested parties will find Monday’s post below this one. The roll of tape went up into the air, pausing a second before coming back down. It landed neatly into the hand of Wolanski, who returned it back towards the fluorescent […]

Day 19: Review

Well, we were disappointed. Or relieved, depending on how comfortable you are with having a very short man screaming in your face all day. Apparently four people aren’t worth the effort of strapping on a drill instructor’s hat and trying to scare the shit out of them, so our morning routine lacked any sort of […]

Day 18: A flash in the pan

“The names I just read off were the only ones who passed the protocol test. Now, to anyone who failed it: you have one more shot, or you’re going to be dismissed. Not recycled to the next recruit class, not put on hold… dismissed.” A collective shudder went through the approximately half of 994 who […]

Day 17: Inspection

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“Jesus Christ, recruit. What’d you shine those shoes with, a brick?” The rest of us stood at attention and tried to stifle laughter. Carl, on the other hand, was frozen in place so rigidly that I thought DCFD had slipped a uniform onto a terra cotta warrior.  “Uh… no sir?” was all he could eke […]

Day 16: Two kinds of torture

I’m fairly certain that over the years, fire academy instructors from all over the nation gather to devise evil ways in which to mentally and physically exhaust recruits. Maybe there’s some secret yearly convention, or a press conference into which only PT instructors are allowed. Regardless of how these ancient methods are passed down, each […]

Day 15: Literature

The holiday schedule threw me all off. I missed a few posts, but luckily (for the blog, at least) Wednesday and Friday of last week were fairly uninteresting. Last night, I started re-reading a book that I bought several years ago. Called Working Fire: The Making of a Fireman by Zac Unger, it’s a non-fiction […]

Day 11: Wind-whipped

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that today’s high temperature was around 27º F, with the low at 14º F. Would anyone care to take a stab as to which end of the spectrum we were standing in at 0600 hours? The wind was relentless today. From our morning PT up until our final […]

Day 10: Cadence

“Wake up, wake up, MPD! / We’ve been up since a quarter to three! / If we had a lower IQ, / We’d be at police academy just like you!” 994 was running around a small paved circle that served as part of the DCFD driver’s training course. It’s part of our morning PT running […]

Day 9: Sunrise

I always told myself that I wouldn’t be caught in Anacostia Park (or anywhere in that part of Southwest D.C., really) when it was dark out. Unfortunately for me, that’s exactly where we were headed, and the sun was nowhere in sight. Fortunately for me, it was 6:15 in the morning—there’s not a whole lot […]

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