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  1. #1
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    Smile NFA-Any suggestions

    I am headed out to the National Fire Academy next month, my first time. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on things to take, things to do and how much do I need to prepare for the Chemisty class. Thanks


  2. #2
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    It might be helpful if you told everyone which particular course you are going to be attending. The NFA offers a bunch of different courses.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Be sure to take at least two of your department patches with you. One to give to the bartender at the Ott House tavern....and one to give to the local firehouse.

    Be sure to take a tour of the local firehouse and poke around downtown Emmitsburg to the shops and things.


    As far as the "chemistry class" just make sure you are at class on time and ask lots of questions. You will learn soooo much from everyone else in class.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  4. #4
    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
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    I make a list of things to improve on everytime I go back....here's a few.

    1) Buy a can of Lysol on day 1, and spray the crap out of the room (especially the air conditioning unit). My first time back I came down with one of the worst flu bugs during the second week.

    2) I don't know were you're coming from, or your financial situation, but if you're flying in, rent a car for the time. If it's a two week class you're going to want wheels for the weekend and escaping the food at the dining hall.

    3) WiFi is up and running, and it's lighting fast.

    4) Scope out the laundry facilities and do your laundry in off-peak hours (Wednesday or Thursday Nights)

    5) Ott's all you can eat crab.....$30.00 yeeeeeehaaaaa

    6) When class gets out at 5:00, don't run to the dining hall, go to the LRC to study, or hang out at the pub. The dining hall closes at 7:30. If you eat at 5, you'll be hungry at 9:00 with no place to eat.

    7) Take some cash for incidentals...class picture, class donation, class dinner, etc.

    9) Like Dickey said, you're hanging out with a lot of people with ideas and info on the fire service (yourself included). Enjoy the time.

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
    (Seize the Nozzle)


    "Victorious warriors win first,
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    I found the food pretty good.

    I'd recommend at least 2-3 department t-shirts or hats to trade.

    Figure about $30 for a class polo shirt. Optional, but defiantly recommended.

    A few bucks for recreational beverages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Figure about $30 for a class polo shirt. Optional, but defiantly recommended.
    Man LA your defiant about everything!

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    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I found the food pretty good.

    I'd recommend at least 2-3 department t-shirts or hats to trade.

    Figure about $30 for a class polo shirt. Optional, but defiantly recommended.

    A few bucks for recreational beverages.

    LA -

    The foods not bad the first week, (except for steak night....man, those must be some nast lookin' cows.)

    I've never seen anyone trade t-shirts and hats, only patches.

    Oh, forgot to mention.....don't even think about looking at, or taking pictures of, the helicopters.

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
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    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    SUN TZU

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    If you intend to sample the local livestock at Ott's, bring penicilin.

    Condoms are cheaper. But be prepared for the sound of a cowbell on your stoop a few days after you get home.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Ya, I learned about the helicopters the hard way. Went to take a picture before the morning welcome briefing and had a gentleman tap me on the shoulder and "recommend" that I delete the picture in front of him. They will explain why during the briefing.

    Most folks got the class shirt the 2 times I have been there but there was one or two in each that didn't.

    Last time I was there I brought some extra t-shirts (new, of course) and traded them for hats.

    Last time I was there we had 3 folks from Hawaii that seemed to keep the beer pitchers coming .. all the time. It sure cut down on the beverage expense.

    And whatever you do .. do not go hiking on the hill to the west of the campus. They will also explain why.

  10. #10
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the responses. The Class is Chemistry for Responders, and I am looking forward to it. Can you rent a car there at the academy?
    Won't need the PCN, but thanks.
    Last edited by ltstreetmedic; 06-30-2009 at 09:29 PM. Reason: To add

  11. #11
    Forum Member Firegod343's Avatar
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    During my Course Design Class in 2003 there was a broken down Blackhawk behind the classes. We asked security if we could have our class picture taken in front of it. Security said as long as the pilot gave his OK. So we asked the pilot.....he said OK as long as he could be in the picture. It's hanging here on my office wall. The following year was when the "helicopter hammer" came down.

    There is no more Monday morning briefing in the auditorium. You now go directly to the classroom and the instructors play a video. It saves time, but loses something in the translation.

    Lt.--You can rent a car from O'Leary's (the small, on-campus shop) but it will cost you plenty. It cost me $500.00 to rent a car for twelve days from Thrifty, but O'Leary's charged some students $200.00 for the weekend.

    Good luck on your Chemistry class.

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
    (Seize the Nozzle)


    "Victorious warriors win first,
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    while defeated warriors go to war first,
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    You do know what those choppers are used for, right?

  13. #13
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Choppers, Choppers..........

    Choppers are Reworked Harleys, Right??............... Besides the fact that you are actually at the National Emergency Training Center, where a lot more than Fire Training is pursued, That area is kinda..... Well......... OK, Let's just say that the Federal Government is the Prime Property Holder in Frederick County, Maryland. A few Miles Southwest of the NFA, up in the Mountains, (I Know, you Westerners are laughing your socks off at my use of "Mountains") is the Presidential Retreat, Camp David. South of Camp David, just outside of the National Park boundary, is the Summer Weekend "Getaway" of a certain Chief and Mrs. Woods. My Summers as a kid were spent around that area, and I'd love to retire there one day. Back to the topic - The Ott House is an Institution in Emmitsburg, but my preference is Rocky Top Saloon. Head West out of town on 140, turn right on Tract Rd. A mile north, Right at the Pennsylvania Line, is Rocky Top. It's been a couple of Years since I've been on the Academy Grounds, or up to Rocky Top, so some things may have changed a bit. LAST, If you will need a Car, plan on a Rental AT THE AIRPORT.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Bring your own bed pillow and bar soap.

    Bring a bunch of patches to give out to everyone in your class, instructors too. You'll need one for Otts and the Pub. Plus you might make other friends and trade with them too. Trade, I said I went to TRADE so many times I can't remember now why?

    Watch out for the buffarillers! I was up ther back in 1984 and was at rocky top and this female was telling me about her new car and how nice it was and rode. I asked her the make and she said it a Ford Falcon!! It was new to her I guess!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    If youíre taken Chemistry definitely know the periodic table before you arrive.
    Lt. Dan Harris
    Rescue Co. 3
    Memphis Fire Dept.
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  16. #16
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    Highly recommend a trip to Gettysburg. Also the O'learys gift shop for trinkets, the Ott house, Emmitsburg FD., and the pub on the campus.

  17. #17
    B Shifter rjtoc2's Avatar
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    Default NFA Advice

    The previous posts have offered some good advice. I just recently returned from my 4th trip there so I'll offer some advice.

    My first NFA class was "Chemistry for HazMat". I think it is called "Chemistry for Emergency Responders" or something like that now. Whenever the course is updated, the name is usually updated as well. It is two solid weeks of intense study and work. It is no vacation by any means. You will, however, enjoy the class even though you feel like banging your head against the wall about every 20 minutes. If you know your periodic table, you are ahead of the game. If not, let your brain rest until you get there because you will need every resource in your head to pass the course.

    Regardless of whatever class you take, you will get more out of the "experience" of the NFA than the course itself. Although several of the courses I've taken have been extremely challenging, you will be classmates with some of the best firefighters anywhere. You will also be students of some of the greatest instructors anywhere. Cherish the time you are there. Once you've been, you'll want to go back as often as you can.

    Here is my advice:

    Rental cars - you can rent a car for the weekend you are there from O'Leary's (the gift shop on campus). It will cost you approximately $150 for Friday afternoon - Monday morning at 0800. The rental car company picks you up after class on Friday and brings you to their facility in Thurmont. You drop off the car in the Student Parking Lot on Sunday night/Monday morning and they shuttle it back for you. My suggestion is to rent a car from the airport when you arrive. Presently, you can rent an economy car on priceline.com for about $250 for the whole two (2) weeks you are there. That is roughly $100 more than the O'Leary's weekend rate. You'll be glad you have your own set of wheels when you or your classmates want to get off campus for the evening.

    Class Shirts - each class buys a "class shirt". These are polo-type shirts with an embroidered NFA logo on it with your class name on it. There are two (2) popular places to get them - Grandma's Attic and O'Leary's. I've found that O'Leary's shirts, although a few dollars more expensive, are better quality.

    Gift Shop - O'Leary's (sometimes referred to as O'Greedy's) is the gift shop on campus. They have every imaginable NFA shirt, trinket, and gift available for sale. They are not cheap - in price or quality. The few times I've had a problem with something I've purchased there, the staff has made it right. They also have candy bars, personal hygiene items, laundry soap, and etc available for sale.

    Weekend Excursions - Most folks get together with classmates and go somewhere - Baltimore, DC, Gettysburg, and etc. Some folks venture off on their own with family or friends in the area. Other folks have their spouses or family fly up and meet them. I've always gotten together with classmates and gone somewhere. You'll find that this is a tremendous way to network with your "new" friends and get to know each other outside of the classroom environment. I recommend the Gettysburg Battlefield.

    Food - Although the cafeteria provides all of your meals, you will quickly grow tired of the cafeteria food. Ott's and Stavro's Pizza are within walking distance and have great food. Ott's is a pub and serves meals. Stavro's is a pizza place. There is also a Pizza Hut near campus but I'd walk the extra few blocks to Stavro's. If you have a car, you can travel to Gettysburg (approximately 6 miles north) or Frederick (about 20 minutes south) for alot more variety.

    Drinking - Have a designated driver. Ott's is a popular spot in town. The American Legion Hall is a block north of Ott's if you are a Veteran or have one in your group. They are inexpensive too. The Command Post pub is on the NFA campus. It is considered a private club in the State of Maryland. You will need to purchase $1.00 recreation pass to gain access to the pub and recreational facilities. You may purchase this pass at the Pub.

    Packing for Two (2) Weeks - pack light and plan on washing clothes often. All dorms have at least one washer and dryer. Try wash on off-times such as Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Everyone will be trying to wash clothes Sunday in anticipation of the upcoming week. O'Leary's can make change for you to wash clothes. Watch the Weather Channel to try and get a feel for the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Pack a small, travel umbrella. If you are cold-natured, pack a light sweater or jacket to wear in class.

    Recreation - Bring your running gear if you are a runner. The Rec Hall has bikes to use, an indoor pool, and indoor track, and a fairly decent weight room.

    Classroom Attire - slacks and a collared shirt are the norm. The instructors are usually in a suit and tie.

    Going Home - Pack your bags and have them ready to go the night before you leave to return home. Graduation is at 0800 and the busses leave at 0930 sharp. After graduation, sprint to your room, change your clothes into something comfy for travel, and head directly to your bus.

    I hope this helps. Enjoy your time there.
    Last edited by rjtoc2; 07-08-2009 at 02:53 PM.
    rjtoc2

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  18. #18
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjtoc2 View Post
    My suggestion is to rent a car from the airport when you arrive. Presently, you can rent an economy car on priceline.com for about $250 for the whole two (2) weeks you are there. That is roughly $100 more than the O'Leary's weekend rate. You'll be glad you have your own set of wheels when you or your classmates want to get off campus for the evening.
    I second the bit about having a car. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

    With that said, I'll be making my third trek to Emmitsburg in September. So far, the cheapest car I can find is $233/wk. I'd feel the pinch if I had to rent at that rate for both weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    I second the bit about having a car. Freedom is a beautiful thing.

    With that said, I'll be making my third trek to Emmitsburg in September. So far, the cheapest car I can find is $233/wk. I'd feel the pinch if I had to rent at that rate for both weeks.
    I say $233 is a pittance to pay for your freedom! Men have died on the battle fields close to the NFA defending your freedom. How can one put a price tag on freedom?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjtoc2 View Post


    Drinking - Have a designated driver. Ott's is a popular spot in town. .
    Don't they run the Drunk Bus anymore?
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
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