1. #1
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    Default Having a tough time at the academy

    Alright I'm almost finished with fire 2 right now. Today we went into the burn room with the 1 1/2 and the objective was to put out the fire and perform hydraulic ventalation. We went in as a pair. All other pairs went in only once but I had to do it twice. First time I went in my low air alarm went off and my partner was working the hose. It was hard to hear in there but I did try to tell him we had to get out. After we got out my instructor yelled at me because he thought I went in with an almost empty bottle. Truth is the other half of our class did this same drill before us and we rotated. Second time in I was on the nozzle. I got into the burn room and had a tough time adjusting into a narrow fog pattern. I did it but it took me a minute. As I was trying to do it my instructor kept yelling Narrow! Narrow! and I think once hit me on the helmet. We proceded to the window to perform hydraulic ventalation when my instructor told me to switch with my partner and let him handle the hose. I told my partner this and we switched. Then we were told to pull back. We got out and my instructor told me that I need to know what I was doing and follow instructions better. He also told me that my performance sucked. After that he told me partner he had to go back in because he didnt get to deal with fire. My partner was frustrated. All of a sudden I became public enemy #1. I asked someone to help me get my SCBA off and his partner bitched saying they dont have time to help me because they were due to go in. Also, this is also the same instructor that earlier while we did gear check asked me "which end goes in the helmet" which confused me for a second. For some reason he likes to bust my balls more than anyone.Wel later on in the day we had a drill in our tower/building we have. Theres 5 floors in our building/tower. The drill starts when we take a 2 1/2 up to the second floor. Then we take the 2 1/2 and break it down into 2 more 2 1/2 and on the 3rd floor break those down into 2 1 1/2. There was a point where we had a scenario where the hose ruptures and we had to replace it. When the drill started we performed ventalation before anyone went in. I was working the ladder while my partner climbed and opened the window. Then they went in with the hose. I carried hose up to the 2nd floor. I let them handle the breaking down and adapting while I went to get more hose downstairs. Communication was very hard because everyone was running around and talking at once. I tried asking my partner what was needed but he just shoved me out of the way. There was a point where everyone was on the 4th floor but lost pressure on the 1 1/2 because there were kinks in the hose. I tried to fix the kinks. Finally everyone made it to the top of the roof which was our objective. They were yelling because I was holding them up. Once we got to the roof we were supposed to hold cones above our heads. One dude said here and threw a cone at me and then he said put it above our head. All in all id say today was rough on me and made me think about if this is what I really want to do. I dont know if I can handle this anymore. After the first half of the day I was ready to walk out on our lunch break. I was planning on joining the Navy after this but I thought if I cant handle my instructors and class mates that I might not be able to handle the Navy. I mean honestly I've only played with fire maybe once with a hose and that was a while ago. I didnt pass my state test for fire 1 and re took it and decided id finish fire 2 so I had a break while these guys have been a class since fire 1. I'm just frustrated and realize all of this is real life scenarios and maybe I need to look into something else.

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    They are hard on you because they want you to be the best. Keep working hard and never give up.

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    Um, why do you need help getting your scba off? Seriously if you can't handle some criticism perhaps you don't belong in the fire service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACMI25 View Post
    Alright I'm almost finished with fire 2 right now. Today we went into the burn room with the 1 1/2 and the objective was to put out the fire and perform hydraulic ventalation. We went in as a pair. All other pairs went in only once but I had to do it twice. First time I went in my low air alarm went off and my partner was working the hose. It was hard to hear in there but I did try to tell him we had to get out. After we got out my instructor yelled at me because he thought I went in with an almost empty bottle. Truth is the other half of our class did this same drill before us and we rotated. Second time in I was on the nozzle. I got into the burn room and had a tough time adjusting into a narrow fog pattern. I did it but it took me a minute. As I was trying to do it my instructor kept yelling Narrow! Narrow! and I think once hit me on the helmet. We proceded to the window to perform hydraulic ventalation when my instructor told me to switch with my partner and let him handle the hose. I told my partner this and we switched. Then we were told to pull back. We got out and my instructor told me that I need to know what I was doing and follow instructions better. He also told me that my performance sucked. After that he told me partner he had to go back in because he didnt get to deal with fire. My partner was frustrated. All of a sudden I became public enemy #1. I asked someone to help me get my SCBA off and his partner bitched saying they dont have time to help me because they were due to go in. Also, this is also the same instructor that earlier while we did gear check asked me "which end goes in the helmet" which confused me for a second. For some reason he likes to bust my balls more than anyone.Wel later on in the day we had a drill in our tower/building we have. Theres 5 floors in our building/tower. The drill starts when we take a 2 1/2 up to the second floor. Then we take the 2 1/2 and break it down into 2 more 2 1/2 and on the 3rd floor break those down into 2 1 1/2. There was a point where we had a scenario where the hose ruptures and we had to replace it. When the drill started we performed ventalation before anyone went in. I was working the ladder while my partner climbed and opened the window. Then they went in with the hose. I carried hose up to the 2nd floor. I let them handle the breaking down and adapting while I went to get more hose downstairs. Communication was very hard because everyone was running around and talking at once. I tried asking my partner what was needed but he just shoved me out of the way. There was a point where everyone was on the 4th floor but lost pressure on the 1 1/2 because there were kinks in the hose. I tried to fix the kinks. Finally everyone made it to the top of the roof which was our objective. They were yelling because I was holding them up. Once we got to the roof we were supposed to hold cones above our heads. One dude said here and threw a cone at me and then he said put it above our head. All in all id say today was rough on me and made me think about if this is what I really want to do. I dont know if I can handle this anymore. After the first half of the day I was ready to walk out on our lunch break. I was planning on joining the Navy after this but I thought if I cant handle my instructors and class mates that I might not be able to handle the Navy. I mean honestly I've only played with fire maybe once with a hose and that was a while ago. I didnt pass my state test for fire 1 and re took it and decided id finish fire 2 so I had a break while these guys have been a class since fire 1. I'm just frustrated and realize all of this is real life scenarios and maybe I need to look into something else.


    Suck it up sonny! Get in the books and re read everything about hose handling and fire attack. After you have read it, read it agian and again until you have it implanted in you brain.

    As a former recuit instructor, I never told a recruit that he was doing great or was good. I always told them it was ok but I want better from you. Near graduation day I would tell each one how good there were.

    Not knowing how to operate a nozzle is your fault. Get one in your hands and look at it very close. You will see the guide on most nobs. One way to learn it lefty loosy, righty tighty! You figure that out.

    Learn how to put on and take off your own PPE which includes the scba, helmet and other nice items that are provided to you.

    So you think you may WANT TO JOIN THE NAVY! Why do you want to do that? You think the fire instructors yell at you now, wait until you go throught boot camp. You have heard yelling yet.

    Get on the ball son, get in the books, practice every part of this job. The more to do it the better you will be. Instructors want you to learn and achive good grades and do well.

    Every one get their balls busted. You aren't an exception!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    If youre going to write an essay, can you do me a favor and use paragraphs? That giant sentence gives me a headache.

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    Did you want some cheese with that wine? SUCK IT UP....It's THE FIRE ACADEMY....If you can't handle THIS in a controlled situation, what makes you think you will make it ON THE JOB with REAL FIRE?

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    Bro....1st of all, take a nice deep breath and try to just relax from the day's events. That sounds like a real ball buster, but you finished and that's the main thing.

    Tomorrow is another day, so you'll have a chance to earn your keep again. The only real advice I can give you is to try to stay focused on the task at hand. I know that during the evolutions, things get crazy and what should have been an relatively "easy" event turns into chaos and everything gets screwed up.

    One thing that will help this is to clearly communicate with your team. Developing team work needs to start from day one. Problem here is that it sounds like you're already pretty well into your academy, so that may not be a possibility. How would you rate the rest of your team? Are they pretty team oriented or are they treating you like an outsider?

    Either way, you're going to need to fight hard to win their respect and the only way to do that is by hitting the books and coming back tomorrow with more knowledge than you had today. Maintain a willingness to work hard and learn and don't be afraid to apologize, even ask your team for some constructive criticism, the key word being "constructive".

    The fire academy is full of "young" guys who think they are going to impress the instructors and get hired because of how "tough" they were in school. Nothing is further from the truth. The academy doesn't get you hired, the certifications do. Continue to try your best and work as a team.

    Your hard work will pay off shortly. Not to be forgotten, even if you DON'T pass academy, at least you tried!! There is no shame in failure. I don't know how old you are, but it's better to fall on your face trying something new when you're young (like in your 20's) than to be in your 30's with a family and a mortgage and decide you want to change careers.

    So, just give it your all and keep us posted as to how things go. Take care.
    Pete

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    Thanks for your advice Pete. You seem to symphasize with me more than the rest of the board. I did suck it up people. I kept on going when I was ready to leave. My instructor didnt make anyone else go back in as many times as I and my partner. My instructor treats me as if Ive been on the job for 10 years and Im supposed to be a seasoned pro. Out of my whole time at fire academy ive only played with fire 2 times. first time was when we had a mock car fire drill, second time was Saturday. This class im in wasnt the class I started out with so when fire 2 started I came in as an outsider. I tried talking with my partner in the burn room but as I said communication sucks while youre putting out fire while wearing a SCBA. Maybe my performance did suck that day but seriously I'm not on a department yet. Im not gonna master this after a couple times. And as for my classmates not trying to talk with me while Im trying to stay updated in the tower, that wasnt my fault. I had to go back down several flights of stairs to un kink the 1 1/2 and I didnt realize they made it to the roof and were waiting on me. Then they acted like I was holding them up when all I did was make sure they had water. So I mean not all of this is my fault, maybe Im not the whole problem. So, after this I think im gonna just take my certs and leave and just join the Navy or something. And another thing, I can take critism! But if youre gonna constantly break me down, when are you gonna build me back up? I cant be the whipping boy for the whole class all the time.

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    OK. I know some will discredit this post because it is my first one, but being active duty military and being the LT for an all-volunteer department means when I am not working on my installation or at the station, I am with my family. (Lt for my department does all admin, records, budgeting/accounting, as well as doing the station engineer job, as my regular engineer is set to deploy soon, and is, as he should, spending time with family.)

    ACMI 25- First, adjusting a nozzle is among the easiest tasks in the fire service. You just turn it, this must be second nature. Second, about the instructor holding the helmet and asking you “what end does this go on?” The instructor is trying to tell you, more politely than I, to pull your head out of your arse. Third, join the Navy? I am active duty military, USAF, and I worked with the navy on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Not to mention you will have to obtain your DoD certs, meaning going to the DoD academy.) You need to quit whining, and suck it up. This is as polite as I can put it. The instructors are hard on you because you, based off what you said, need improvement. The fire service is not like what you see on TV, putting water on the fire, then 15 minutes later at a bar picking up the women. It truly is life or death. “Train the way we fight” is a concept in the military. If you can’t take criticism in a training environment, I have little faith of your performance in a real life situation. Whether it is an IED detonation (for your proposed Navy side, contrary to belief, navy runs convoys as well as the USAF) or you are first due to a MVC with entrapment, and the patient is screaming, your actions must be instinct, like breathing. When your officer or crew chief tells you to do something, and you don’t react, you better bet if you were on my crew, my left boot would be on my foot, and the right boot would be coming out from where the sun doesn’t shine.

    When you attend(ed) this academy, do (did) you do all the book work? If not, the fault is solely on you. Read the information as many times as you need to. The FF I and II books also have the convenient pictures and diagrams as well.

    As for the building up part- any firefighter, (if they are worth anything) will gladly help you if you ask for help, but you must be willing to give it 110%, and show genuine interest. If you truly apply yourself, you will succeed and do well. You just need to callus the sensitivity, and realize the instructors are there to ensure that the person they certify is a person they would trust going into hell with them, and someone they would trust to rescue themselves and their family. When it comes down to the line, YOU CAN AND WILL be the difference between life and death countless times if you choose to stay with the fire service, as well as the military.

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    ACMI25,
    Man. I just graduated from the academy that the department I got hired onto put me through. I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time meshing with the rest of the recruits. Everyone has those days where they feel like a knucklehead, or something doesn't go right. Drills are created to throw a wrench in the system, some if not most are made to throw a curve ball at the recruit to see whether or not he/she can 'improvise overcome and adapt' to different situations and scenarios.

    The guys are right; hit the books. But I think (not that it matters much) on top of that, get out there and play with the equipment. Get as much hands on time with everything you can for as long as you can. Know it inside and out. And I'm not talking about during the regular academy hours, I'm talking about after everyone goes home, go into the engineers compartment, grab a nozzle and figure it out. If it's your SCBA, practice throwing it on and off as many times as you can. Practice taking it on and off while you are on air, practice throwing it on while you are walking towards the scene, anything you can think of.

    It seems you have a few problems;
    1) The instructors obviously can tell that they're getting in your kitchen (believe me, they don't miss a thing)
    2) The other recruits don't respect you yet
    3) You don't have confidence in yourself.

    I'm telling you if you want it bad enough and familiarize yourself with the equipment, how it works and what it's used for all of these problems will dissapear. The instructors will notice, and yes they'll probably still joke with you, but you need to figure out that the fire service is mainly comprised of people who love to joke this way. The recruits will notice that you have your **** together, and will respect you and maybe even come to you if they don't understand something. And you will gain confidence. If you don't roll with the punches and just smile and play along they'll eat you alive. During your probationary year people will make fun of you, you will mess up and be made fun of some more. The fire service doesn't want guys who get all butt hurt about some helmet joke and goes home and writes on a forum about it, they want guys who can laugh it off and go in there with a smile. They also want guys who aren't afraid to admit when they mess up and fall on thier sword. With all of the excuses you made in your last thread, it seems like you toss the blame around. That is the last thing you want to do in recruit academy. Take the heat, to a degree...

    Lastly, don't give your dream up of being in the fire service man. This is THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD. You're not hired yet, but you will be, eventually...especially if you nut up and finish this academy. Just remember a good reputation is a difficult thing to create while a ****ty one is an easy thing to create. Before you walk into the academy every day you should ask yourself what you want other people to think about when they read your last name, and be that person.

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    First off, let me say that you need to learn about the enter key. Its just above the shift key on the right. Use it.
    Second, you haven't really given enough background, like why you're in a different Fire 2 than your Fire 1.
    I just put my reactions based on my current Academy experience (State tests on August 4th and 5th, started out in February) in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACMI25 View Post
    Alright I'm almost finished with fire 2 right now. Today we went into the burn room with the 1 1/2 and the objective was to put out the fire and perform hydraulic ventalation. We went in as a pair. All other pairs went in only once but I had to do it twice.

    You mean, you got the privelege to do it twice!

    First time I went in my low air alarm went off and my partner was working the hose. It was hard to hear in there but I did try to tell him we had to get out. After we got out my instructor yelled at me because he thought I went in with an almost empty bottle. Truth is the other half of our class did this same drill before us and we rotated. Second time in I was on the nozzle.

    It was your responsibility to keep track of how much air you had and notify the instructor that you were low on air before going in the second time.

    I got into the burn room and had a tough time adjusting into a narrow fog pattern. I did it but it took me a minute. As I was trying to do it my instructor kept yelling Narrow! Narrow! and I think once hit me on the helmet.

    This is ridiculous man, right to fight! You should have learned that the first day of hose week/month. I'd have thumped you on the head too!

    We proceded to the window to perform hydraulic ventalation when my instructor told me to switch with my partner and let him handle the hose. I told my partner this and we switched. Then we were told to pull back. We got out and my instructor told me that I need to know what I was doing and follow instructions better. He also told me that my performance sucked. After that he told me partner he had to go back in because he didnt get to deal with fire. My partner was frustrated. All of a sudden I became public enemy #1.

    Sounds to me like you've been the black sheep before this happened. You sound like someone who needs to listen better, perform better, work with others better, in other words - alot of room for improvement.

    I asked someone to help me get my SCBA off and his partner bitched saying they dont have time to help me because they were due to go in.

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Are you ****ting me? You can't get your airpak off yourself?? You pull the straps all the way out, and take it off man. You shouldn't be having these problems at this point in Academy.


    Also, this is also the same instructor that earlier while we did gear check asked me "which end goes in the helmet" which confused me for a second. For some reason he likes to bust my balls more than anyone.

    Probably because you are the one who needs the most attention.

    Wel later on in the day we had a drill in our tower/building we have. Theres 5 floors in our building/tower. The drill starts when we take a 2 1/2 up to the second floor. Then we take the 2 1/2 and break it down into 2 more 2 1/2 and on the 3rd floor break those down into 2 1 1/2.

    Huh? Im not sure what you mean here.

    There was a point where we had a scenario where the hose ruptures and we had to replace it. When the drill started we performed ventalation before anyone went in. I was working the ladder while my partner climbed and opened the window. Then they went in with the hose. I carried hose up to the 2nd floor. I let them handle the breaking down and adapting while I went to get more hose downstairs. Communication was very hard because everyone was running around and talking at once. I tried asking my partner what was needed but he just shoved me out of the way. There was a point where everyone was on the 4th floor but lost pressure on the 1 1/2 because there were kinks in the hose. I tried to fix the kinks. Finally everyone made it to the top of the roof which was our objective. They were yelling because I was holding them up. Once we got to the roof we were supposed to hold cones above our heads. One dude said here and threw a cone at me and then he said put it above our head.

    Sounds like you all need to work on communication - which means planning what you're going to do BEFORE you start. No matter what you do, a bunch of guys running around with no gameplan is going charlie foxtrot in a hurry.

    All in all id say today was rough on me and made me think about if this is what I really want to do. I dont know if I can handle this anymore. After the first half of the day I was ready to walk out on our lunch break.

    Man, if it was easy there'd be more folks doing it.

    I was planning on joining the Navy after this but I thought if I cant handle my instructors and class mates that I might not be able to handle the Navy.

    Why go through fire academy if you're planning on going armed forces? Sounds like you don't have your priorities straight.

    I mean honestly I've only played with fire maybe once with a hose and that was a while ago.

    "Played" with fire? I don't think thats the best way of referring to it. Come on man, you've got to be professional.

    I didnt pass my state test for fire 1 and re took it and decided id finish fire 2 so I had a break while these guys have been a class since fire 1. I'm just frustrated and realize all of this is real life scenarios and maybe I need to look into something else.

    Honestly, you very well may be right. It isn't for everyone. I wasn't sure it was for me either, until things started clicking and everything got easier and I knew what the answers were when my instructors asked me something and at this point I am actually excited to go to class and train.
    Think about this - if you do pass your state exams, and get your standards, and get a job firefighting, will you be able to save someone's life when you are the only hope they have? Are you comfortable with the fact that the guy riding in the engine next to you on the way to a call may rely on you to save his life if the **** hits the fan?
    I can say with full confidence that I am willing and ready to do whatever it takes to save lives and protect property. Can you?


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    Wait let me get this right, You were upset because you had to go into the burn room twice? If you don't want to fight fire why are you there? You need to rethink your career path and make sure you are going into this profession for the right reasons.

    When you receive your SCBA check the air pressure, check it before you put it on, Check it when you turn it on, check every time before you enter a IDLH environment, in your case the burn room.

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    when i have a problem, i relearn it or ask for help

    i have guys in my crew who arent as inept to it all as me and i LOVE to be asked questions, what they dont know i give them and vice versa. i could do 100000 things correctly and i dont WANT or EXPECT to be praised, beacuse its my job. I know if i do something wrong, to expect a tongue lashing or worse, but i rather catch my mistake with a foot in my *** then later with a folded flag handing it to his or her son.


    you arent meant for this job, im on here reading what the vets do and applying it to what i know, or better yet, how little i know and using it. You're on here complaining. wanting to have all of us say NO! keep going you're doing great!
    But we arent going to say that. we're going to say, oh so you cant work the hose. learn how to. oh they pick on you, lifes tough get a helment, and do your job. thats all there is to it.


    put it this way, we're in the same boat, if it sinks, i want to look at you and you know what to do and thats what they're watching form you, you're trying and i respect that, but try harder, and i mean HARDER and not only will they respect you, but you'll have a sense of self respect which is what i think is your main problem. the pain of this academy is temporary, the guilt of giving in and quitting is someting you'll never forget


    bottom line

    put up
    shut up
    show your self that you can do it
    show them you know what your doing.




    good luck

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    Just know that you CANNOT please some people no matter how you perform. Try hard and learn from the experience.

    Some people just have a bad way of teaching or a style that doesn't jive with everybody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ACMI25 View Post
    But if youre gonna constantly break me down, when are you gonna build me back up? I cant be the whipping boy for the whole class all the time.
    And you want to go to Navy boot camp?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    And you want to go to Navy boot camp?
    my thoughts exactly....have you considered french foreign legion?


    sounds like, and i could be wrong, you're in this job for the wrong reasons

    there are no thank you's

    there are no big parades when you do something right or correctly

    you would be in a thankless group of men who do their job because its the right thing to do
    and when things go wrong and times get tough your brothers are there to help you and "build you back up" as you so desperately need.
    But not until you deserve it.


    so shut up and deserve it.

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    Boy you need to man up and get your priorities straight. No one on here was NOT yelled at while in the academy. It is there way of making you think while under pressure. A little fake and bake is not gonna stress you like the real thing, because in the back of your head your thinking "this is only training." In the real world there is not do over. If the $hit hits the fan, that's it, you need to adjust your game plan right there.

    Also why are you going in with less then a full tank? I mean maybe if your going in with it 3/4 that's doable. Did you ever use a backback in high school? Did you need help with that too? See how easy it is to break balls? The key is not to give the instructors any ammo to break your balls. STUDY the books, KNOW the books, LIVE the books. Let some other moron be the dumb guy. Don't let it be you. If someone asked anyone of us to take a second turn in the burn building i am willing a fight might break out to get one of those spots on the line. When all else fails you will revert to the way you trained.


    OH and it's "RIGHT IS TIGHT, LEFT IS LOOSE" Jr.
    The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men. ~Henry David Thoreau

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    ACMI25-man, you've got some pretty harsh and sarcastic responses from a majority of folks. EESH!! I don't think it's necessary, and I don't think people banging on you for your syntax or use of the return key is relevant to what you are looking for.

    BUT, there's a lot of truths offered to you by some of the response you've recieved.

    A little about me, as of today, I graduated from a local fire academy in 12/08, I've worked 2 spring fire seasons for the Wisconsin DNR, have Certifications for WI FFI, FF2, and Fire Officer I, am certified NWCG FFT2, am a first responder, and have been a very active member of a local vollie dept. since 12/08. I'm registered to take EMT-Basic and hope to enroll in the State Fire Inspector course in a day or so. While I have some nice certs, I still consider myself very 'green.' With that in mind, we do have some things in common.

    First, everyone has a bad day, a bad couple of days, or a bad week. The thing is, you need to realize that you need to put it aside, learn from it, and realize that the 'bad day' becomes 'yesterday' and you can't focus on 'yesterday.' You need to move forward. It is concievable that your bad experience has made you a better fireman, and a better person. Use it to your advantage.


    Now, some of the truths, some things you need to realize, or things I'm scratching my head about.

    #1, Firefighting is not for the timid or faint of heart, and I'm not just referring to running into a burning building. You need to be assertive and perhaps, aggressive when it comes to learning. Take the initiative to know what you are supposed to do or how to react. I've said this 1,000's of times..this business is not for wallflowers or folks with thin skin. Any fire house you get in will sense this and eat you alive. I'm thinking you may have fallen short on some of your opportunities to learn, and your'e paying for it, now.


    #2 and perhaps most important, You need to be accountable for your skills because it may cost you or someone else their life! Further, unlike your opportunity (luxury?) to do your ventilation evolution over again, you don't get second chances or 'do overs' when there's a real fire or a real life at stake. At the academy, there were guys I would NOT get on a truck with, much less go into a burning building with. The old adage that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link holds true here....and if you are that weak link, well...no one wants someone on their team that will cause an accident, or worse....

    #3. I'm thinking the reason everyone at the academy has been so hard on you is because they've noticed your short comings. No one has time for anyone who doesn't do their job, or who doesn't take the proper steps to do their job correctly in this business. Has anyone tried to 'take you under their wings,' or hinted perhaps you need to up your efforts? At our volunteer dept., there is a guy who has been on probation for two years. The usual probationary period is one year (granted, if he/she completes a FF 1 state certification). None of the officers are comfortable with him. The chief will not let him finish his probationary period until the chief feels confident he can do his job, and do it well. Two weeks ago, at the request of the chief, I was asked to be a mentor for him. I agreed. I called him, left voice messages, and texted him 6 times over the weekend, he finally got back to me on that sunday evening. He gave me excuses (his "cell service provider is acting weird"), but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I felt we needed to meet, so that I could learn more about him, his goals, etc. It took a whole week to finally set something up to meet this guy..and this guy is unemployed and not taking classes, at the moment. We met, and it was decided that we would get together on Wednesdays at 9 am to work at the station on some skills, or get any work done there that needed to be done. His goal is to be on a career department. I showed up at 9 am that wednesday,....he showed up at 11:30 am and told me he didn't hear his alarm. All this difficulty and lack of effort leads me to one conclusion....he's lazy and well, he doesn't want my help. I have since left him to his own 'devices.' Chief understands and isn't suprised. I have no time for him, as the dept. really doesn't, so the clock is ticking on him. Bottom line, everyone at the dept. knows who the weak link is.

    #4.) It sounds as if some real 'elementary fire skills' are giving you issues. If you have issues with making sure you have enough air in your SCBA, getting your SCBA off, or a common fire attack and ventilation, you've got some glaring areas of concern.

    #5. Just to 'parrot' something that was already said, if you can't handle the fire academy, I don't think you could survive ANY branch of the armed forces.

    #6. Regarding the comment "what part connects to the helmet?"..I think on the syllebus (spelling?) of every fire academy or the employee entrance of every fire house, it should say "YOU WILL GET YOUR BALLS BUSTED!" It's the way it is. There are three ways to look at "ball busting". First, if you are getting your 'balls busted,' they are testing you. People with 'thin hides' or whom take offense to everything won't survive in the Fire Service. The second reason your balls might be busted is, they like you. We have four career guys on our vollie dept. The chief and one career guy show me very little mercy. It was hard, at first but I knew my place, and soon I took it as a sign of acceptance....once I passed the 'thick skin' test. Further, I give it back..within reason, of course. Our chief knows my career goals and appears to have my back when it comes to references and opportunities to get more experience. Two of the career guys are on departments I would like to be on one day, so why mess that up? The final reason you might get your balls busted (and I do believe this IS the reason you are getting your balls busted) is that you aren't meeting the standards that everyone else is held to and they resent you for it...and perhaps they are trying to get you to give in and quit.

    #7. You said "I've only played with fire maybe once with a hose and that was a while ago." WHAT? Either A.) your academy stinks, B.) You don't show up for class, or c.) You are just standing in the background watching everyone else get the reps...and that's not good.

    #8. yes, communication is difficult with a scba on,...but so is talking over the buzz of a chainsaw, sirens, the crackling of a good structural fire, and so on. SPEAK UP AND LISTEN UP!!!

    #9. you said "There was a point where everyone was on the 4th floor but lost pressure on the 1 1/2 because there were kinks in the hose. I tried to fix the kinks. Finally everyone made it to the top of the roof which was our objective. They were yelling because I was holding them up."

    Question: Were you supposed to fix the kinks? Was that your responsibility? If not, I'd holler at you, also. In football, it's not the qb's responsibility to catch the football..he is to throw it. In hockey, the center is not responsible for protecting the goal. You get what I'm saying? Also, were you holding them up because you ran out of steam getting up to the 4th floor? If so, might I suggest you get a good pair of running shoes, a set of weights or invest in a health club membership, and perhaps, quit smoking (if you do smoke), go easy on the pizza, etc.

    #10. I'm not sure if you are, but...man, no one likes a whiner.

    SO, what might I suggest? If you haven't already, you need to talk to the instructor or a counselor there. If you aren't aware of your short comings, talk to them. They will let you know. Get feedback. ASK QUESTIONS! During hands on lessons, take the opportunity to get involved and do them. You might have to put forth extra effort. Come early to class and stay late, if time permits. At my fire academy (Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wi) I had the luxury of having access to the apparatus bay which had all the tools and gear I used and could practice or put in extra time. Get involved in a volunteer department, if you can. If you get on a good dept., you have a wealth of knowelege and educational opportunities available to you. Make use of it.

    IT'S YOUR CAREER, IT'S YOUR LIFE. WHAT YOU DO WITH IT AND WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT IS YOUR DECISION. BEST OF LUCK TO YOU.
    "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    First off, let me say that you need to learn about the enter key. Its just above the shift key on the right. Use it.
    Second, you haven't really given enough background, like why you're in a different Fire 2 than your Fire 1.
    I just put my reactions based on my current Academy experience (State tests on August 4th and 5th, started out in February) in red.


    yes.............

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    As a probie talking to another probie, just use the criticism as a learning experience. There is no excuse for not knowing how to use a pack, and reading it is your own responsibility, "your pack is your friend". I also have the upper hand on you since I was an explorer since I was 15 and my post did rigorous training even live fire, so I might have an unfair advantage.

    Use the rhymes like "right to fight" and righty tighty lefty loosey" to your advantage too. That's why they came up with them. As for your classmates yelling at you, they're right. I usually try to put myself in a real situation and it gets me pumped.

    And don't be afraid to ask questions, any veteran will answer them because its a sign that you want to learn. And if they don't know the answer, look it up be a sponge.

    I'm not perfect either, but every time I screw up, I get more determined to do it right the next time.

    As for the instructors, they are there to teach you, they don't want to see you end up dead or hurt. Instructors like to bust balls, the fire service is full of that. I remember once when I was in the maze trailer, I got my head stuck in this vertical trap door. I get out, the instructor says "you're head's too damn big, lose some weight" I just said "Yes sir!" and went on. I have the privilege of being friends with instructors I've had, even the head shrinking one. Then again, I am also less of a yahoo than you are.

    As for continuing to be a firefighter, you have a lot of shaping up to do. If you can't handle an instructor giving you orders, just imagine pulling up to a ripping house fire at 2 in the morning with a mother screaming that her kids are inside...I've never been there yet, but I can only imagine that it would be an emotional roller coaster.

    Most importantly, never give up hope...good luck and give it your best

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    Alright, a little update. Fire II is finished. I passed everything except my state written test and I missed it by one point. So now I have to retake that over again in a couple of months. I should have worded things differently the first time around.

    Ok, About my SCBA. Yes, I do know how to don and doff it. I was just extremely drained from going into the burn room twice, and my strap was tangled so I asked someone to help me get it off.

    Communication wasn't that great especially during our drill breaking 2 1/2 into 1 1/2 in our tower. Half of the class was a more older class. The other half was younger kids. Some were cocky as hell. I was just there to learn and get my cert. BTW this is an community college academy.

    We rarely put out fire in all honesty. In fire I we had a mock car fire that we put out. That was the only fire we put out or "played with" as my instructor put it. In fire II the only fire we put out was in the burn room.

    I actually got another chance to go in the burn room again. This time was a much MUCH different story because I knew what I was up against. It is true what they say, practice does make perfect and sometimes it takes more than one damn time to get something right. This time I had no issues and made it a point to do a damn good job.

    It's not that I dont get what I'm doing. Its just that we only go over it once and then that's it. What am I gonna do? Keep coming back and practicing at the Academy long after I'm done while I'm trying to get on a department. ( No Dept's are hiring, many cannot due to budget because the damn economy is dying and its 15.2 unemployment!)


    And to reitterate my whole story that day, we shared air tanks with a group that came before us. We switched and got what was left of their bottles which was at about 2500 psi. Mine might have been at 2000 psi. When I got to the burn room we started to spray and thats when my alarm went off. We had to go back out and I changed bottles. I got yelled at because he thought I didn't check my bottle, which I did. So, we had to go back in and start all over. Most pairs went in once and came out exausted. This was my 2nd trip in. I was working the hose and when we were finished my instructor made my partner go back in because he felt my partner hadn't had enough time using the hose. So my partner had to in for a 3rd time. We have a mock house at our academy. Actually it's a tower with 5 floors and each floor is sort of simulated like rooms. It's hard to explain so I'd have to get pictures of it. But the burn room is on the bottom floor at the opposite side of the entrance we had to go in. So we had charged hose dragging it to the burn room then we would put the fire out and come back. I mean to all the seasons vets in here thats nothing but for a rookie like me thats a lot.

    Finally, I appreciate your comments and I really should have worded things differently or maybe I'm not good at explaining things. Or maybe you would just have to walk in my boots to get the real picture how frustrating things were that day. I think firefighting would make a good career but as of now I'm focused on serving in the Navy. I can post some pictures up here from Fire Academy. I also have videos on youtube. I put some videos up of us practicing vehicle extrication. I think I'll make a different thread on here. Just look for my name.

  22. #22
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    Who goes into a burning building with 2500 in his bottle? I question your 'academy' and its instructors.
    "If the ladder goes up, the building goes down."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACMI25 View Post
    What am I gonna do? Keep coming back and practicing at the Academy long after I'm done while I'm trying to get on a department.
    Yes. I did that, my brother did that, as did two friends I serve with.

    its called dedication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breech31 View Post
    Who goes into a burning building with 2500 in his bottle? I question your 'academy' and its instructors.
    Well the drill only is supposed to last a few minutes.

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    Sharing B/A's (note: not masks) at training situations is probably not that uncommon. Some departments do not have the luxury of multiple refill stations (I.E. one refill station that can fill two bottles at a time for our entire department, plus one Air Supply truck that is available through mutual aid) and thus, bottles must be used completely up. In reality, a live fire training "evolution" should be quick, and the distance covered to reach the seat of the fire is usually less than 40 feet in the structure (at least all the burn buildings I have ever seen), so a bottle that is only at the 2500 or 2000 level should be sufficient (if not, get your butt back in shape).

    Also, if you think making 3 "evolutions" in a training burn wears you out, try making 3 attacks on a real structure fire and THEN spending 2 or more hours conducting salvage and overhaul. That's how it is in the real world, so toughen up.
    MCFD Station 1- "The Second-Due Saviors."
    ***My views and/or opinions on this site are those of myself and not my department.***

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