Hose Operations at the Main Campus, September 11th
Written by Cadet Galindo, Bravo 3,
Battalion 50’s day began at 0630 where we focused on preparing for the long day to come. Cadets made trips in and out of the locker room and bunker row (where our gear is stored), collecting our PPE (personal protective equipment), lunches, and extra clothing in anticipation of getting wet. At 0645 Cadets assigned to colors (the raising of the American Flag followed by the California flag), yelled “colors” to notify all others. All cadets stop what they are doing, stand at attention facing the Flags, and give their undivided attention. The raising of the flag on the 17th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack seemed to bring unity and strength within our battalion as we stood in silence.
At 0645, immediately following colors, the company officer meeting began in Captain Crudo’s office where we talked about further preparation and details of the day. Crews were assigned a task to complete prior to departure to the Oxnard College main campus. Cadets ensured that all four engines being utilized were loaded with two structure packs, two hose beds with 200 feet of pre-connected hose and a large variety of nozzles. Three rehab containers were filled and loaded into Cadet Rocha’s truck. Soon after, all cadets were truly ready to begin their day, with their PPE and necessities loaded into their driver’s vehicle.
At 0805 we departed to Oxnard College, four engines followed by all cadet vehicles heavily loaded with the personal gear we would be utilizing for the day. Upon arrival at the main campus, cadets set a staging location to stow PPE and belongings, while ensuring uniformity. Cadets then began to set up each engine in preparation for our four station drill rotation, each station covering different aspects of attack hose.
Station 1 consisted of the operation of four different types of nozzles: the smooth bore nozzle which delivers a solid stream and is used on large structure fires that require high water penetration, the cellar nozzle which is used when attacking a fire in a basement or cellar and is able to be dropped down into the fire room and operate while unmanned by a firefighter, a standard adjustable fog nozzle that may provide a straight stream for penetration or a fog pattern for protection, and the bayonet/piercing nozzle that is designed to be penetrated into a material that is on fire and deliver water. Station 2 taught how to extend a charged hose line, how to replace a downed or burst hose line and how to advance an attack hose line to an objective. Station 3 consisted of learning proper techniques on how to advance dry hose, call for water from the engineer and continue to advance that charged hose line. Station 4 introduced the assembly and deployment of a trunk line and structure bundle that consists of 100 feet of hose, a nozzle, and in some cases a gated wye (used to branch a single hose into two hoses).
Station rotations were broken down into AM and PM rotations. The AM rotation consisted of two stations beginning at 0900 and ending at 1140, leading into lunch. At 1200 all cadets aligned around the flagpole, joined by students and staff of Oxnard College where we were all captivated by Oxnard College President, Cynthia Azari and Fire Academy Coordinator, Tami Crudo as they gave heartfelt speeches about 9/11. A moment of silence followed. We continued lunch until 1230 and resumed our rotations until 1530 when we began station clean up, so we could depart from the main campus at 1600.
When we returned to the academy grounds, we immediately filled the drying rack with used hose and snaked out remaining hose to dry to prevent mold and mildew accumulation. We then cleaned all apparatus that we used for the day and took inventory of the equipment we used. All cadets put full effort into cleaning because of the pride we take in our equipment. Captain Crudo then debriefed the Battalion, and our battalion officer dismissed us for the day.