Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Owww Damn!

First, I finally finished my Instructor 1 class (NFPA 1041) this past Saturday after almost 2 months of class. I think I did pretty well on my final 20 minute presentation. Not so sure about the written test part though. It seems the parts I studied the hardest for weren't on the test. But I should find out shortly if I passed it or not. Although it sounds like a boring class, I actually learned a great deal from it and enjoyed taking it. Most of the focus was on the different learning styles of students and the adaptation you can make as an instructor to those students. Along with a whole mess of other information that will be useful to me down the road.

We had a good class with a great mix of experience levels from different departments in the NOVA region including Arlington and Fairfax counties. I found our instructors throughout the class to be outstanding and kept us engaged during class. If you have a few years in and you help teach the rookies at your station, or you just want educate yourself further. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is in that kind of role.

After class on Saturday it was off to duty crew for the night where things went downhill pretty quick for me. We did our apparatus checks and grabbed some dinner. Headed over to the training center for just a few quick drills on victim and firefighter removal/carry's. Its always a great drill to do and helps you keep those skills fresh in the event you need to use them. Myself along with Lt. D-Rob were demonstrating how to lift a firefighter up the stairs just using his Scott Pack. As soon as I hit the first stair after grabbing the fake downed firefighter straps, I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. In an area of my back I am very familiar with. I ended up at the ER for a few hours Sat night. After they gave me some IV pain meds they sent me on my way.

Must have been 5 or 6 years ago now we had a house fire, one of my first fires ever, over in Tavistock Farms. It was cold and icy that night and generally miserable. I ended up on a 2 1/2 inch attack line with one of the other FF's and that night started a whole chain reaction of injuries to that same area of my back. Same thing happened to the other FF who was with me on the line that night. We found out years later that the line was being pumped at a much, much higher pressure than it should have been due to an equipment malfunction.

Anyway, I haven't been to work at all this week and have basically been in bed the whole time. It hurts to sit for more than a few minutes at a time, since my day job is in a chair for 10 hours, not an option at this point. Looks like I will be getting an MRI tomorrow to check whats wrong since the general consensus is that I should be feeling better by now.

Prior to me hurting myself. I cant really think of any overly exciting calls that standout in my mind. Food on the stove, fire alarms etc. The usual stuff. I did make a new video last week just kinda having fun with the camera. The first video I have listed below is one that the Purcellville Volunteer Fire Department is putting together with some people from their department. I think its very well put together from a production perspective and obviously done with some high end equipment that I sure would love to have.

In our boredom after training last week, we did our own parody of it below. Which is hilarious. ;)

I think that's about it for now. A few weeks off of class and then to Officer 1. I have an article I am working on that hopefully I will publish this weekend on leadership in the fire service I have been working on for a few weeks.

Stay safe and dont hurt your back,

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