Written by Cadet Hooper; Charlie Company, Squad 5, s2
Hose, Ladders, Building Construction
Our day began at 6:30 am with the cadets staging their gear neatly in front of the apparatus bay. We took our turnouts from bunker row, and brought them to their designated area in company order. Once water was filled, and everybody was ready, we started PT (physical training) at 7:00. Cadet Rocha led us in our stretches to warm up, and then we began our 8 station circuit that consisted of tired drags, kettle bell swings, tractor tire flips, tower sprints, pullups, lunges, dummy drags, and hose pulls. We donned our structure jackets to increase the intensity of the workout and acclimate ourselves to the heat.
At 7:45, drenched in sweat, it was time to do all the set up for the drills that day. Each company was assigned a station to set up and get ready. Charlie company set up ladders and then helped in the apparatus bay to unload lumber for the construction station. Once everything was done we went to hygiene to shower, hydrate, and get some dry clothes on to begin our drills.
At 9:00 we were in our gear and starting the first drill of the day. Charlie company started our day constructing 6ft by 4ft wood structures that will be used later in the semester to simulate an incident involving a structure fire that needs to be extinguished. We worked with CS1 to cut and nail together various types of lumber, and by the end of our rotation we had 3 structures done. After our rotation we had 10 minute to rehab and move to our next station, which would be ground monitors, and hose and ladder operations.
In the first half of our second rotation we learned how to set up ground monitors. In this operation, four cadets take on the roles of firefighter 1, firefighter 2, engine operator, and captain. When the drill starts the cadets get off the engine and supply the engine with a 2 ½ inch hose line from a fire hydrant. From there a 4 inch line goes from the engine towards the fire and is attached to the ground monitor, which is a piece of equipment that shoots large amounts of water on the fire from a distance. This is typically used in a “defensive” operation where firefighters would not be inside of the structure that was on fire.
In the second half of our second rotation cadets learned how to take a 1 ½ inch line of the cross lay hose off the engine, advance it towards the fire, climb a ladder with it, and lock in to a position where they could then tie the hose to the ladder and attack the fire from a higher vantage point. This operation also used four firefighters working together to get the hose to the ladders. After this rotation we debriefed with our instructors and headed back to staging to rehab before Cadet Johns (our battalion officer) dismissed us for lunch.
Lunch started at 12:00 and lasted for 50 minutes. At 12:50 Charlie company gathered and went back to staging to get ready for our ladder rotation.
Once at staging, Charlie Company donned full turnout gear and ran to Ladder Land, which is the part of the campus where we practice all of our ladder drills. Once we arrived at ladder land, firefighter Todd and firefighter Dvorin had us rotate throwing single person 24 ft extension ladders for 40 minutes, and then 2 person 24 ft ladders at the end of our rotation. With all of the repetitions we had throughout the week, Charlie company had come a long way and improved greatly since we first started.
From ladder land we went back to staging to rehab and hydrate without our gear on for ten minutes before heading to our final rotation of the day, replacing a burst hose line. In this rotation Captain Kearns taught cadets how to replace a burst hose in the middle of a hose lay. A cadet would start at the engine and advance 100 ft of dry hose towards the fire and then call for water. At this point the cadet put the nozzle at the end of the hose on the ground, and ran back to the engine where they took another 100 ft of hose and stretch it out next to the first hose on the floor. They would then get the hose clamp out of the engine, clamp the hose behind the one that burst 5 feet behind the coupling and replace the burst hose with the new one, making sure the nozzle was off first. Once every cadet got to run through the rotation, we all met back at rehab to hydrate and then went on to carryout our duties to break down the drills for the day. We ended with wiping down the engines and making sure everything was back in the apparatus bay and bunker row.
We all came together at our staging area to be debriefed by Captain Crudo. After that Cadet Johns dismissed us for the day which ended with every cadet yelling our battalion motto in unison:
“Battalion 50, Honor the legacy.”