Just in case you didn’t think the first one was cute enough, here’s another one.
Today we had our first hands on training session for the Fire Academy class I’m taking. After a short classroom session we proceeded to a warehouse where they had set up a maze. We had to wear full turnouts, including mask and SCBAs. (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus – Think SCUBA but without the underwater part) They then blindfolded us and led us down on our knees into a little tunnel. We went through the maze in teams of two, and I lead my team. I quickly found myself on my stomach, trying to get through a tangle of wires. Then it was a very tight 180 degree turn, feeling the right wall all the way. That opened into the biggest room where I could get back up on my knees again. The only way out of that area was to squeeze between the studs on one wall that was open.
I’m glad I’m still pretty skinny. Part of the excercise was to get comfortable with sliding the airpack around or removing it completely in the dark, to navigate real tight spaces. Other obstacles included a tunnel that was so tight I had to slither on my belly and turn my head sideways so the helmet wouldn’t wedge between the floor and ceiling. We had to crawl across a simulation of attic rafters, and then avoid falling off the roof. The final exit was a window that by the time I got to it I was so exhausted I could barely lift myself out of it. The whole way everything was pitch black and I had to feel for each possible way out. It was pretty tough and several times I had to just stop and calm myself down so I could get my breathing relaxed and think through it. Before starting it, I kept telling myself it’s just a drill, but it still was very tough mentally as well as physically. The whole thing reminded me a bit of learning to scuba dive, only the view wasn’t as pretty.
After the class I went back to the office for December’s Open Easel night, but it was pretty much a bust. Then Lori and I went to the fire department’s Christmas party. Got home to find our front yard flooded once again.