Saturday, September 26, 2009

Smoke House Awesomeness

So there I was a week ago. Sitting, and thinking about my trip to Bozeman. When my instructor told us that we would be going to Butte this upcoming Wednesday to try the smoke maze there. Well, that got changed to Friday because the instructor wanted to make sure we got our weekly dose of PT in. So yeah, standard week, up until today. This morning was like any other morning, talk to my sweetie, made breakfast, then I drove to school. I got there, turned in my paper that was due, then brought my bunker gear to one of the vans that we had borrowed for our college field trip. Yeah that's right, a college field trip. Well anyway, we start loading stuff in the vans, then something happened that ended up making the whole trip extremely more hilarious.*

Student One: Hey, can I put my stuff in here.

Student Two: Nope, looks like we're full, you'll have to carry your stuff in your lap!

Student One: Well F#$% this I'm not going,. I quit this F#$%ing program.

Student Two: What the hell did I say!?

After that we were ordered to pile into the vans to meet our instructor in Butte (he lives there). As we were driving off, Student One was seen throwing everything he had. Sunglasses, His EMT Book, etc. He threw a giant temper tantrum. Then he got into his truck and drove to Butte himself. Claimed that we had left him. We spent a lot of the car ride ribbing on each other and poking fun at the situation. Nothing too crazy but generalized good times.

We got to Butte and toured the Whalen Tire Fire, and a few other burned buildings. After that we drove back to the maze building to get ready to run through it, but it turns out we decided lunch was more important. Now since the first day of school our instructor, Dave, has been talking about this sandwich in Butte that is supposed to be delivered from God himself via the wings of a unicorn or something. Anyway, it's called the Wop Sandwich. It's like a deep fried porkchop sandwich that is supposed to be amazing from The Freeway Tavern. It was pretty good. Afterwards, we went back to the maze to get started.

We donned our PPE and SCBA gear and got ready to go in the maze. I was the ninth person or so and people weren't allowed to speak of what happened to them in there. When it was my turn I was a wee bit nervous but more excited. I got in and the first thing that I had to do was crawl. See it was pitch black in there, so the other way we could figure out where to go was to feel around. I had to climb up two stories, the first time it was hard because I wasn't used to compensating for the extra weight my turnouts and pack added. But I got it figured out and went on my way.

I was going along fine, then something happened that scared the crap out of me. One of the things that the second year students did was come from behind us, and turn off our airpacks. I'll tell you this, nothing causes you to panic more than trying to breathe air in and having nothing come back but your mask suck in back at you. I started to freak out just a little, but then I checked my pack and turned my air back on. After that I got through the maze pretty quick.

We then went in again in teams of two, this time with the goal of finding something. That something, piping cuplinks. We had to feel around while staying in contact with our partner. I found the cuplink, then led us to the back door. We were told not to go that way and we were to go back. So we found the actual exit, and that was that. We were told to pack our gear and get ready to go back to Helena. But first we had to take pictures. The one below is of all of us, taking by a first year student in my class named Angie.

So once we were done with the snap shots, we packed in the vans and drove home. Nothing too exciting happened. We mooned the guy who drove his truck there when he was passing us. We also continued to joke around and have a good time. We got back, put away our SCBA's then went home. Thus ending the smoke house field trip. Stay tuned to Smoke Before Fire for more late breaking news.

* - There are a few more fires popping up here. It's really smoky out and it's making it difficult to breathe for some, itchy throats for others. News on the fire can be found here. - *

1 comment:

  1. I had to do something similar to this this year. I was awesome. We had tape over our SCBA masks and had to hang on to the foot of our partner and search for rescue randy. There were like 1ft by 1ft holes that we had to go through with our tanks on an everything. It was crazy fun.

    Sorry, I was just looking though firefighter's blogs and I stumbled upon yours.