December 23, 2009, 5:00 AM:
Up again at 3:00 AM to study for today’s “Week 7” Quiz on Auto Extrication, Firefighter Survival, and Response to Terrorism. Today is “Hump Day” – we have completed exactly 6 ½ weeks of training, and we have 6 ½ weeks left – we be over “the hump” today (although I recall Chief Morehead’s previous warning that EVERY remaining day will be a challenging “hump” to get over). We have covered most of the textbook subjects, and next week we take our Firefighter I certification test and complete the Second Quarter Practical Exam.
The Recruit Academy has been an extremely rewarding experience so far! It has broaden my perspective of what “firefighting” is all about – the extremely wide range of services provided by the American Fire Service and specifically, the Saint Paul Fire Department. I am far more familiar with the operational aspects of our department, the tools and equipment we use, and the personalities and talents of many of the crews and instructors that have assisted our class. My appreciation for the members of our department has been significantly deepened by this experience as well. We have many, many extremely talented and knowledgeable men and women on this Department – freely sharing their experience, time, and talents with us! I am privileged to have been taught by them, and honored to serve with them!
For me, the time commitment and extra strain on both “my real job” and my family life has been extensive, but an unbelievably valuable investment overall. The extra time and effort to go through this academy has been worth every minute and every sacrifice so far! Attaining that broadened perspective, that deeper appreciation, and a more thorough knowledge of field operations were some of my primary personal objectives when I set out on this journey. I am achieving the things I had hoped to accomplish by attending Recruit Training. I’m having a great time bonding with the newest talent in the Department, and I’m learning so much from some of the wisest and most experienced people in the Department. I am very much looking forward to the next 6 ½ weeks and (fingers crossed) graduation!
Well, enough writing for now – I’ve got 2 hours to study and review my notes before Quiz #7 !!
Thanks for following along on this journey with me!