Thursday, March 14, 2013


We have a lot of new people on board right now. Nine have been hired in the last few months, there are several more who have been around for a little longer, but still have not completed their probationary period. Sadly, a couple of rookies have been let go in the last few weeks and if history can be counted upon to repeat itself, (as it usually does) a few more will be seeking employment before the end of their probationary period is over. That will create even more rookies.

We do not assign rookies to truck companies. Some agencies  put their rookies on a truck for  a few months for a truck company rotation - it helps train the rookie on truck ops during the probationary period. As we only run 3 on the trucks, one of whom needs to tiller, throwing a boot in the box is not an option.

Thus, coordinating drill time with the truckies is essential for a captain who has been burdened with the responsibility of training a rookie.  Some of the BCs have opted to facilitate inter-company training, by scheduling specialized drills and assigning companies to participate. Several drill of these sessions were scheduled last weekend and I was invited to photograph one of them.

There were a few training objectives to be met by this drill. First was to expose the rookies to the aerial ladder and to cover a few of the basics of it's operation.

Gratuitous firetruck shot. Truck 3, pride of the fleet, until the arrival of new Truck 2.

 Basics, such as plates:


and pins:

Some basic spotting stuff was covered as well. This was more for the engineers who don't get to work on the truck very much, as well as certified relief drivers.

Of course, no drill is complete without climbing the ladder and stepping off.

While some of the more technical stuff was presented to the engineers and relief drivers, the rookies used the time to work with the longer ground ladders such as this 28'.

This drill gave the rookies the opportunity to work together on the two and three person evolutions, practice coordination and to be in charge of the evolution.

Note: I think the last time I laddered this building was in 1983 or '84. It happened to be on fire and there were 5 or 6 people standing on the single story section, anxiously awaiting our arrival. I raised a 24', all of the people climbed down on their own. E6 (Dave Harlow, I think) ended up putting the fire out from the alpha side, on the second floor. I digress.

After the various skill stations were completed, it was time to pick up and go home. I spent a couple of hours there, hopefully the BC can use a shot or two for his needs.

I know I used a shot or two for mine.

Thanks to "C" shift for letting me shoot and thanks to you for reading.


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