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Summer? Hah!

posted Aug 22, 2008, 7:36 AM by Kevin Coughlin   [ updated Aug 22, 2008, 9:02 AM ]
Last night, we were down to 41 degrees. Night before it rained like heck - I love the sound of the rain on the bus roof. Yesterday there were reports of 2 inch thick accumulation of hail in Spokane Valley, and that snarled freeway traffic as well.

Yesterday evening it was nice. Cool, clear, and it was a good day to be out with the fire department doing drill. I have to wait for the local fire commissioners to rubber stamp my application into the local volunteers before they can start giving me gear and have me on their insurance so I can be covered and they won't be sued if I fall off a truck or drop a ladder on my head. The next meeting for the local commissioners is on September second.

The "recruits" here wear black helmets, with "Recruit" on the side (instead of "Firefighter"). It is a way to tell the new folk, and after a certain amount of time learning the local procedures and going through rookie training, they get a "real" helmet. Kind of a little rite of passage. We did the same thing in Snohomish, although our rookie helmets were spray painted silver with hi-heat bbq paint. Since I don't officially exist on the local roster, I just brought my own helmet, gloves, and boots. Mine is a yellow helmet, though.... with hot rod flames along one side. It was amusing to get back into doing a bit of training. Since I figure there might be issues with me going up on ladders (that insurance thing) I just stayed on the ground, and as we broke into smaller groups I tried to teach a few tricks on the right ways and the effective ways (sometimes not always the same thing) to use the ladders.... without seeming like the pushy new guy from the "big city" department.

It is going to be different..... I realized last night how MUCH drill and training we did in Snohomish. I was on two crews, and that equates to about 30 hours a week at the station. With large Thursday night drills, and all the time at the station while on shift, I am used to much higher levels of training. These folk are going to be gently brought up to a higher standard, I think. I can't wait!