Academy Blog; Battalion 50; Wk8; Thursday, SCBA Confidence

Cadet Lopez

OCRFA, Battalion 50, Delta Company, Squad 7, s5

Thursday October 11, 2018

It was another busy day on Academy grounds for the last day of Wildland testing.

The day started at 0630, with Cadets pulling out their brush gear and structure gear

to set up at staging on the south side of the Apparatus Bay for a PPE inspection. At

around 0730, Company Officers arrived back at staging from a particularly long

morning briefing to inform the Companies on their assignments for setting up for

the day. New Company Officers were also announced.

The big assignment for the Battalion was an SCBA Confidence Course, which cadets

will describe as Captain Crudos’ CPAT on steroids. Eager to start, cadets split into

their squads to each set up one part of this gauntlet, which was staged around the

Apparatus Bay. Once set up was complete, Cadets began electing to run the course

one at a time. This was a personal test for Cadets to see how well they perform

strenuous tasks in full turnout gear while on air. The course was not timed but a fire

ground pace, like all Battalion tasks, was implemented.

The course began with Cadets donned in full turnout gear, sitting in Engine 41. Once

given the signal, cadets exit to grab and don their SCBA from the side compartment

of the Engine. Cadets then grabbed one end of a 3” line of supply hose and dragged it

100’. From there, cadets went to the south side door of the Apparatus Bay and put

on their SCBA masks to go on air; beginning the true test of the course. Cadets

entered the Apparatus Bay on their hands and knees and crawled into the blind

search prop. Once through the prop Cadets exited the north side door of the

Apparatus bay straight into a Dummy drag. From there Cadets did another 100’

hose drag around a barrel to a pre-marked spot on the ground where they would

stop, get on one knee and pull the remaining hose. Cadets then performed a tire drag

25’ immediately followed by a profiling prop, at this prop cadets had to remove their

SCBA harness from their backs and squeeze through a small hole, completely flat,

while still holding onto their SCBA harness. Then, SCBA’s were strapped back on and

Cadets headed to the Breach/Pull prop that simulates the use of a pike pole when

searching for fire extension in a structure fire. At the final station of the course,

cadets were to drag 100’ of charged 2 ½” attack line while utilizing their utility

webbing as a strap. After crossing the finish line Cadets entered the rehab area

where they could take a well-deserved break.

The Course was a Battalion effort of running the course and resetting stations for

the next Cadet. Without the coordination of every Cadet, the course could not have

been completed in the timely fashion that it did. After Lunch, Cadets where

instructed at the Rope prop on how to tie a Radium knot for the LARRO testing that

will take place in November.

After the short instruction workshop, Captain Crudo informed all Cadets that they

would run the SCBA Course once more, although this time it would be a competition.

In teams of two, Cadets ran the course for the fastest completion time. Pushing

themselves to the limit Cadets rushed through the course as fast as possible, but at

the top of the winners circle was Cadets Tom and Walters with an impressive time

of 5:53.

In the midst of the excitement from the SCBA Confidence Course, individual State

Skill testing for Wildland was taking place on the sidelines. Cadets tested for Don of

Wildland PPE, Assuming safe position for an Air Tanker drop, Deploying a fire

shelter, two person 500’ Progressive hose lay, and 2 skills randomly picked from a

list of 11 other skills identified by the State.

At the end of testing and the course competition, the SCBA Course was broken

down, engines were cleaned and returned to the Apparatus Bay and hose from the

drying rack was rolled back up to be properly stored. The Battalion was gathered

around Captain Crudo for the final briefing of the day where she debriefed us on the

hard work we put in for our Wildland training and discussed plans for the coming

week of HazMat training.

With Wildland training at a close the Battalion was released for the weekend, one

week stronger, and one week closer to our goal.