10 December 2005

What do you mean- Mod "M"???

I think I slept for two hours last night. I woke up at 0530 all twisted in bed and my neck was killing me. I took a flexeril and went back to sleep. I then woke up at 0700 to get ready for the exams.

I carpooled with a really good friend of mine-we've been carpooling for all the exams since we started class. The ride there was uneventful, just more "low traction" warnings from my car. We got to the fire station around 0830; the test started at 0900. We studied for a few minutes and went in. There were tons of people there...I'd say at least 70, waiting to take a test, whether FF II, FF III, Vehicle Ops., etc.

I was sitting one row from the back of the classroom (it's a big classroom). The proctor was handing out exams; he handed them out according to what exam you were taking, and then by alphabet if there were a lot of people taking that test- such as Firefighter II Mod C. He handed out a few sporadic tests and then started with the Mod C exams. He went in sections:

He called out "A through D......E through M...N through U....T through Z...."

Normal procedure; I'm just waiting to get my damn test so I can get it over with.

There were two guys sitting behind me and one next to me that were completely dumbfounded as the proctor was calling out "A through D......E through M...." I knew one of the guys from medic class- he happened to be one of the adjunct instructors when I went through it. Anyways, I caught part of their conversation. Here it is:

"What test are they calling out for?"

"I don't know, I think firefighter II"

"Well that guy over there is already a firefighter II, why does he have a test?"

"Because he got his test when they were calling out for instructor I, dumbass"


In the background, the proctor is saying, "is there anyone else for firefighter II, E through M?"

One of the guys said, "Wow, when I took firefighter, there was only firefighter I."

One of the others said, "When I took it, there was firefighter II, but we only had mods A, B, and C. I'm glad I got through the academy when I did....Only three mods....now there’s a mod M???"

The guy sitting next to me turned around and said, "No....um...I think they are just calling out for alphabetical order because I definitely didn't take a mod M last semester."

I just didn't quite know what to think. These guys are supposed to be "firefighters" and have passed the classes, and are there for an advanced test. Yet, they can't figure out that when the proctor is calling out "E through M" that it is in alphabetical order since there were over 50 of us taking the same test. Yeah, definitely scary that they're out there protecting and serving the public :) I mean, come on, use your common sense. Maybe they had just gotten off shift, or had a long night, or whatever, but talk about being stupid.

I took the Mod C test first. I didn't think it was really too bad, only a few questions that I really had to think about. Yes! One test down. I walked up to the proctor, turned in my test, signed the testing sheet, and received my other test-Hazmat. This one I can't really say whether I did well or not. I know I didn't ace it, but hopefully I passed it.

After the test, we headed towards home. The guy I was carpooling with was going almost 60 in a 45. I knew the area and how much it was patrolled from when I go around there in the ambulance. I was like "slow it down a little. There are cops everywhere around here; you're going to get us pulled over." We pulled off this stretch onto another road and sure enough a cop pulls up behind us and lights it up. Shit. Everything possible is running through my mind "....it's my car, he's driving it...I've never been pulled over before...I don't even know what my registration is....insurance card I think is in the glove box....what do I do....does he need my license...god do I look like a jackass...I hope I don't get a ticket...wait, I wasn't driving...etc, etc."

The cop came up to the window: "license please....do you know why I pulled you over...you were going 59 in a 45...I'll be right back." About two minutes later the cop came back, "the best I can do for you is give you a warning; try to slow it down a little, okay." Whew....that could have sucked. I was freaking out. My friend was cool and calm like he'd done it a thousand times.

I have a feeling why he didn't get a ticket. I have everything planned out with my car just in case I get pulled over. On the back window there is my fire department's sticker, and a separate fire/rescue sticker. On my bumper there is a NREMT-P sticker. I keep a jump bag, small first aid bag, and fire gear in my trunk. And I keep my trusty ERG in my glove box, which also contains some first aid stuff such as a CPR mask and gloves. I also have all my certifications (EMT-P, PALS, ACLS, BTLS, CPR, NREMT-P, my department ID card, and of course, my badge- in my wallet. I win. This time anyways.

If I had been driving I know the situation could have turned out different. Since I have never been pulled over, I wouldn't have known what to do. I probably would have been crying and would have just handed the cop my wallet and the full contents of my glove box, seeing as I have no idea which piece of paper is my registration. So, all in all, this was quite a lot less embarrassing than it had the potential to be.

Tomorrow we are at ComEd in the burn tower. Good fun. It is going to be really cold though because it is right on lake Michigan. Hopefully it won't be a long day-especially considering I have to be there at 0700. Not a good time for me.


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