19 February 2006

Hard Work

I feel like I aged 20 years overnight. I got to the firehouse at 0645 for training. We left around 0700 to the house we are using in the next town over. It is freezing cold outside; I have under armour and several layers on, including my turnouts, and I think my core temperature is still right around 90. Damn.

My first drill was on the roof. The house has a very steep roof...and I'm not too fond of heights if I am not tied off. There was about a 6-8 foot gap between the ladder I used to get up on the roof and the roof ladder. Yeah...not so good. I was praying that I would make it to the ladder with my tools in hand, rather than crashing to my death on the frozen ground. I could feel my boots slipping as I inched up the side of the roof. It seemed to take forever, but I finally got the pike pole hooked on the ladder and I was able to pull myself up a little better. Whew. And that was the easy part. I still had to make it to the very top. It wasn't too bad. I sat over the peak of the roof and started chopping away. I chopped with the axe from one side of the roof, over the beam, and to the other side. Then I switched places with my partner and I tore off shingles. Then it was time to power up the chain saw and cut ventilation holes. I have trouble started the chainsaw on the ground...let alone on the roof. It got started and I actually had a pretty good time. The only bad part about being on the roof for about an hour was the wind hitting my face. It was hovering right around 0 degrees and my skin felt like it was burning off. I guess two days in a row out in this weather probably wasn't such a good idea. Oh well.

I went through a station that we pulled ceiling, floors and walls-the same way we would be looking for fire extension and for investigation purposes. There was a mouse in the floor. It came out when I started to pound on the boards with the axe. Yuck.

The next station we broke windows and talked about ventilation. We also breached walls, and dragged a "downed firefighter" across the floor, and up and down the stairs.

I was completely exhausted by the end. My back was tense and I couldn't feel my fingers or toes. During one of the evolutions, when it came time to remove our masks, I couldn't do it. My fingers refused to tighten on the connection, and my officer had to undo it.

I was glad when the time came to pack up and go home. There was lots of cleaning to do at the station, but it only took about an hour or so. Both of my hands are swollen and they refuse to warm up. Hopefully they won't hurt too bad tomorrow.

Now it is time to relax. My mom came into town today and I have to get her settled in.


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