1. #1
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    Question Your Hardest Part of Recruit School?

    For all of you career firefighters: I will begin recruit school in February and wanted to try and get a jump on some of the more difficult topics to grasp.

    I have zero fire experience at this point and would at least like to have a chance to research some of the more trying sections of recruit school.

    So...if you can remember back...what was the most difficult portion of your recruit school/drill school/ academy?

  2. #2
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    Everyone is different. Some recruits excel academically but have difficulty with physical tasks, others can lift heavy objects all day but struggle with classroom work. Only you know your strong and weak points. Make sure you are physically ready for the program, especially if there is a PT component to the program.

    Good luck at the academy: suck up information like a sponge, do more than the minimum, learn from your mistakes.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  3. #3
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    I went through Connecticut's Fire Academy about a year ago. The hardest part for me wasn't the physical or mental challenges, but just the fact that you're life basically shuts down for the durration of the academy. The live in requirement seriously put a strain on my relationships with my friends and family.

    Besides that, I didn't really have many problems... the PT program was designed to improve everyone rather than make everyone fitness monsters and there is plenty of time to study and prepare for the academic parts.

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    Being a new person not familiar with the fire service at all I would recommend learning the terminology. IE: coupling, irons, dogs, haligan, hook, ............ This way you will at least know what your instructors are talking about. You should get a copy of Essentials by IFSTA. You should be able to find it somewhere on this web site. This is the basic book you will be using through recruit school. The dept that hired you may be able to provide you with a copy. Just let them know why you are requesting it and I think they will be more than accomadating.
    IAFF member, Love this job! Remember the oath!

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    lets see...

    you got the crappy pay but your really living breathing fire academy for however long your in it so u really dont have time to waste the money.

    I hate running with a passion, so thats the thorn in my side. But hey, get through it. Whatever your doing has been done hundreds if not thousands of times before you.
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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    Cool

    huh?...........

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    Default academy / probation

    1) keep your feet moving, mouth shut, and ears open.

    2) learn how to make coffee.

    3) If you don't know what to pump at, pump at 150. If you don't know what to bake at, bake at 350.

    4) If your not a half hour early, you're a half hour late.

    5) Remember - there are 1000 guys out there that would kill to have your job......don't make them go find number 999.

    6) If it doesn't have a pulse, clean it. If it does have a pulse, address it as "Sir".

    7) Control the heat in the box: Stay low & let it blow.

  8. #8
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    dealing with others who dont care as much
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

  9. #9
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    Talking

    Waking up at 4am to get the train ride to the city to be to class ontime
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Of all of the stuff we did, I struggled most with knots. I have no idea why, I brought a short length of rope and literally practiced knots every hour we got for lunch, every day. I still nearly blew it on our final practical day on a knot I tied wrong, even though I spent dozens of hours on them... Funny thing was I was the one in my class that graduated with the highest grade. Like was mentioned earlier, we're all good at some aspect, maybe not so good at another.

    One of my partners in the "company" that we were assigned to had a real issue wearing the SCBA mask because he was clausterphobic. He worked through it and actually took an SCBA home and wore it around the house to force himself into accepting it. Last I knew he was still on the job, so he beat that one.

    We all got through it, you may find nothing challenges you, you may find a couple of things do. Not giving up and working through whatever problems you have is what its all about. Ironically, the one guy that didn't make it all the way to graduation failed because he couldn't make it to class on time repeatedly... every other person that might have faced a challenge was given lots of opportunities to get through them and succeed.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  11. #11
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    I had some real fear issues with confined spaces and heights. All it takes is practice and patience with those and it gets better.

    Also learning about your body and your limitations is a huge benefit from academy. Gives you time to find and expand your limits when it comes to things like heat tolerance and you get a chance to get your head wrapped around this job.

  12. #12
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    I had an interesting situation when going thru the academy here....

    I had the same amount of experience as most of my instructors, and quite a bit more experience in the business than 2 in particular.

    These two were nothing but bullies. They had very little to contribute to teaching the trade other than how NOT to treat people. Some of the things they made us do was nothing less than abuse of power, and could be categorized as negligent.

    I remember one VERY hot afternoon...it was still August, and we were alone with those two. We were in our work uniform (long sleeve button shirt, tie, dress shoes, etc..). We had to crawl on our KNEES AND ELBOWS on the asphault and concrete lot around the drill tower....If anyones hands and/or feet touched the ground...not only did we have to crawl longer, but it was close 100 push-ups for each infraction.......

    I've been in this business nearly 20 years......I've spent plenty of time on my HANDS AND KNEES, but I can not recall a single time where I had to crawl only on my KNEES AND ELBOWS or someone might die!

    When the instructors realized our knees and elbows were getting burned...they helped us by flooding the area by opening 3 fire plugs. So now we are crawling in and out of about a foot of water back on to the scorching pavement...water logged from the push-ups, and blistered from the crawling.

    We lost 2 recruits from injuries....and it was too bad for them. "No provisions for getting hurt in the academy!" They were told.

    It was a difficult situation for me. I had quit my old department w/a family that I moved almost 200 miles. We (fellow recruits) didn't know each other very well yet.....I knew better that they could not get away with what they were doing but, it would have been my word against theirs...and I knew very well the Chief of Training would back his guys over some "new guy" he had no ideas who he was.

    I was so ****ed off that day.....I didn't deal with the situation I normally would have. I took it out on my family too.

    In the end......I should have handled it differently......Word of advice to you "green horns" in this business...............


    There is a fine line between reporting an incident like that to your superiors, and being insubordinate in the academy, but there is no excuse for putting up with physical and mental abuse by superiors. Even when potential Navy SEALS are going thru "hell week"....they are not made to do things that would intentionally harm them.

    Choose your words carefully....NEVER I mean NEVER raise your voice or get in a verbal agrument with them. ALWAYS treat them with respect and address them accordingly.

    We have one of the toughest academies around in the 1st place, but that certainly wasn't a shining moment for my department.


    Still.....I have no regrets coming here...it is a GREAT department...we have a new administration.....a new academy.....things are looking up.

    To coin a phrase from the NAVY SEALS BUDs training......Our fire academy is an experiance you will never forget.........and will never want to repeat!
    Last edited by fieldseng2; 01-13-2008 at 11:22 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Forming good habits...

    The people that did well in my recruit school developed good habits early.

    This statement encompasses everything from eating, to studying, to house work, to PT, to equipment checks...

    Developing good habits and having the discipline to stick with them was the hardest for me, but the most beneficial.

    Good luck.

  14. #14
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    Not knowing the terminology or "lingo" will be somewhat of an obsticle for you but not to much. That can be picked up pretty quick. I also would suggest learning some basic tool names and such.
    And as I recall it the only issue I had with Fire Academy was dealing with the instructors EGOS. But now that I am on the other side I see that they were no nonsence guys that wanted to teach us as much as they could in a short period of time.
    Hope my ramblings and run on sentences are of some halp.

  15. #15
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    Default Problems

    My biggest problem was the career cot jockeys and the guys who were volunteers with soooo much experience in their depts. Does "Back in so & so we did it this way" ring a bell for anyone??? Their "experience" eventually was that they really didn't have much.

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