I ordered a new lens for my camera. As my residential status is still in limbo, I had it shipped to the training division, where someone would be there to sign for it and I wouldn't have to worry about it sitting on my porch.
I have been wanting this lens for a while, so when it arrived, I couldn't wait to try it out. I unboxed it inside the classroom, then walked ouside and scanned the horizon. Damn, no giant columns of smoke were visible, I guess no fire action today.
I then walked out to the drill grounds. As it was about 100 degrees and nearing lunchtime, there were no units present, pulling hose or throwing ladders. I did see some activity over by some old conexes, so I wandered over there and found one of our newer captains hard at work.
Rich is toiling away on building us a flash-over training prop. The prop is being constructed from two used conexes, steel stock, cement blocks and cement board. The training division looked into having a flash-over simulator built and found the $80,000 price tag a little out of reach. Rich is building this one for $10,000.
Rich consulted with another agency that had built their own flash-over simulator and decided to get to work. Depending on the training schedule, he tries to get down to the tower in the morning and work until noon, then return to his station. He hopes to be done with it by December.
A couple of other guys are working on a vertical ventilation prop and a smoke maze. All are constructed out of old conexes and will provide needed props at a reasonable cost. If it weren't for the initiative and extra effort from these guys, we wouldn't be getting these props.
We are rapidly becoming a "young" agency. Most of the old bastards like me will be gone in the next few years and a batch of youngsters will be taking our place. These props will be helping to bring these youngsters up to speed, providing realistic training environment in a cost effective manner.
Rich sweats (remember it was 100 degrees when I snapped this pic) and the K.B.F.P.D. wins. Through his efforts, we are saving close to 70 grand. Sweat equity indeed.
Thanks for reading,
PS - think of the photo ops a flash-over prop will bring! Yee Haw!