9/17/18; Hose, Ladders, Running Power
Written by Cadet Dosh, Alpha Company, Squad 1
The day starts for cadets at 0630 with arrival and prepping for the day. We get our PPE gear staged and our lockers and lunches set. Today we had to turn in our work books for homework to our battalion leaders before 0700. At 0700 we start our PT for the day and today they added an extra element of having to wear our structure jackets to get used to working in the extra heat. We have our 10 station rotation of events where each squad is working until the squad on the tower completes their run and we rotate to the next station. After PT, the company officers direct their crews to the appropriate station for set up of the day. After set up, we move to hygiene where we can shower off, change, grab a snack and gather ourselves for the day. The teaching starts at 0900.
Today we had a four station rotation and through the eyes of alpha company it went like this.
First station was work place set up with portable power and power saw training. We worked with CS1 and went over the proper technique for cutting wood. We learned to measure, mark with a crow’s foot on each side, chalk the line and then cut along that line using a skill saw. The saws had to be set properly and measured with the blade just 1/8 of an inch below the wood we were cutting. Proper safety and techniques were followed while working both skill and miter saws. The purpose of this training was to learn to build the wooden outhouses we will be burning later. We started cutting OSB and 2x4s to frame and sheet the houses. These houses will be the exterior live fire props that will be ignited and extinguished during fire attack hose operations.
The 2nd station on our list was ladders, located at Ladder Land, where we learned to raise and place a 24ft extension ladder, then climb up it and into a window or onto a roof. We learned to stabilize the ladder while someone is climbing it. The proper technique for climbing, opposite hand and foot movements together with the two never on the same rung while climbing, was consistently enforced. We also learned how to lock ourselves into the ladder with our leg so we could use our hands to safely work with tools on either side of the ladder. Once we got the hang of that we learned how to climb up and down the ladder with a rubbish hook and chain saw. From there we moved on to our 50 minute lunch.
After lunch we went to the third station where we learned to pull a 100 foot attack line and then add an extra 50 ft to it while it was charged and then advance the line forward again. This drill had us running out with 100 ft of hose, charging the line and moving forward, then having to run back grab 50ft more of hose and a hose clamp. We had to stop the supply of water and remove the nozzle to add the extra house quickly and then remove the clamp and advance the longer line forward.
The final station of the day was split into two parts. One was set up for us to work as an engine crew and set up a monitor for a defensive attack. A ground monitor is a master stream device set up to provide larger volumes of water. A fire fighter controls the distance of the stream by adjusting the angle and height of the nozzle. We had to deploy the monitor and a 4 in hose line along with an additional line to a hydrant.
The 2nd half of this station consisted of fire fighters running out attack lines, climbing up a 24ft ladder, locking in with our leg, tying off the hose, calling for water to charge the hose line and spraying water to a fire below.
At 1600, we break down the station we are at and cleaned everything up to be ready for the next day. After everything was put away and apparatus was wiped down, we lined up as Captain Crudo debriefed us, then we dismissed for the day.