Saturday, March 6, 2010

Haz-Mat Hands On, Volunteering, EMTing, etc.

So as most can see it has been a while since I have updated my blog. Honestly due to lack of content. It's hard to make school work and class time sound exciting. Well that changed yesterday when we started doing hands on Haz-Mat training.

 For our Fire Fighter I Certification we have to demonstrate the abilities to establish a haz-mat hot zone, and create a decon area while being able to practice proper decon techniques. It was nice to get back in my turn outs and get to hands on stuff again. It's weird, I was ready at the end of last semester to get done with the evolutions but after 8 weeks of class room boringness I found I missed being in my gear. A good sign perhaps. Anyway, our first tactic was to spot the hazardous material, figure out what it was, then establish a perimeter for the hot zone. We used a gas meter to monitor the air for the mininum required 19.5% oxygen requirement. We also monitored for CO, LEL and other gases. Afterwards we went through decon techniques. Monday we learn how to take off our gear while still being on air. I promise to get pictures of that because it might be hilarious. Here are a few pictures.

Stewart, Wunderlich (Pronounced Wonderlick, yeah, that's his real name), and I practicing Decon techniques.

Me rocking the gas meter. Apparently there is a class I can do online to get certified in using that. I think I'm going to go for it. 

Getting decontaminated or practicing for Dance of the Sugar-Plum Firemen, I'm not telling.

So yeah, that's been it for classes for the most part. We finished the ambulance and we have our class finals this week. Three finals this week. Friday we start new classes. One class is Fire Tactics and Operations so we will be doing more hands on stuff so expect more writings and pictures for that. Now on to volunteering.

So Wednesday was my first meeting with the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department. It was a business meeting where I was able to introduce myself and what not. Not ten minutes into the meeting were people joking with me and carrying on so I think I am going to fit in really well. I was assigned a mentor who is basically just around to show me how MCVFD does it. The funny thing is, is that the guy assigned to me for mentoring is my roommate's boss. So we joked around about all the expensive stuff my roommate has broken and got along awesomely. I stayed after the meeting to help with the monthly checklist on Engine One.  Engine one is pretty cool but they just bought a new engine. Engine Two as it's called is dare I say it, a very sexy looking fire truck. I would love to roll to fires in that. It is the picture to our left here.  But yeah, I overheard the president of the business meetings and the fire chief talking and basically I still have to go through the hoops of  applying but they said it was a no-brainer on hiring us on. Now when I say being hired on I mean being voted into the organization but they call it hiring us on because for Wildland work we'll actually get paid if we are called by DNRC. So that is pretty cool.

 I am planning on attending the Wildland Intermediate class at the end of this month which I am pretty excited for. I will then be one step closer to my Wildland Firefighter I certification. It's backwards in Wildland fire compared to structure fire in that Wildland Firefighter I is the best where as in structure fires Firefighter II is the highest. 

My EMT job is going well for the most part. I have had a few problematic patients. One that was extremely heavy but decided he wanted to walk himself. He was starting to collapse as he was going up the stairs but I swooped in and managed to catch him. Good thing I work out because the 260lbs he weighed was a lot to shoulder. The next patient we had that same night kept trying to rip his I.V. out of his arm and touch my partner's private areas, so I had her drive and I dealt with the patient. He did not attempt to go for my privates. 

Scheduling has been kind of off as there are a bunch of us new folk. But it seems as if I will be partnered a lot with this girl named Anna. She seems nice. They like to have a guy/girl partnership because there are some patients that do better with males vs. females and vice versa. I did my first overnight shift though last night. It was good. I worked that with Mike, a paramedic. He's the one that is going to help me with my endorsements. We were on call at a local hockey game. One of the perks of the job is free hockey games, plus the folks at the concession stands give us free food and drinks. Afterwards we went back to the shop and hung out. the nice thing about an overnight shift is that we get to sleep. The bad thing about an overnight shift is that the beds are less comfortable than cots and sleeping is hard to do. The shop dog stays there too and decided that at 4am I was the best person to play ball with. He was mistaken. I work again tomorrow at 7am to 7pm. Long shifts but it pays the bills. 

Other than that not much has really gone on. I'm discovering that being busy makes time go by rather quickly as this past week really didn't exist, but the days are getting longer and the weather is warming up so things are looking up. I'll try to update about finals and such here this next weekend. Stay tuned!

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