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  • Ladder days

    I am currently a Firefighter trainee in Houston.

    On monday is the day we train with ladders. Our PT instructors have successfully scared the **** out of me saying it will be the hardest day of my life. I dont doubt it but I do have anxiety issues which make it worse. I know I will get through it and give it all I got.

    Since every Firefighter goes through it, please tell me your stories. Right now, Im hurting. I have Achilles tendinitis but I have been assured that I will not be permanently damaged from this but I know it will be a day of hell.

    This may fit in the rookie forum but I want answers from fully trained and experienced Firefighters.

  • #2
    Psych!!!!!!!

    Without knowing the training schedule or the types of ladder being used, it is hard to elaborate and advise you of how to deal with it.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

    Comment


    • #3
      My Suggestions.....

      Here's what I'd do.....

      Take some pain relievers (insert brand name here), drink plenty of water, refresh and walk thru what my Instructors taught me, relax (take care of your body) and get ready for the training for the "best damn job in the world....."
      "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

      Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

      Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mikeyboy View Post
        Here's what I'd do.....

        Take some pain relievers (insert brand name here), drink plenty of water, refresh and walk thru what my Instructors taught me, relax (take care of your body) and get ready for the training for the "best damn job in the world....."
        Sounds like you had instructors who promoted learning and skill retention, not the kind the OP is dealing with.
        Career Firefighter
        Volunteer Captain

        -Professional in Either Role-

        Originally posted by Rescue101
        I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
          Psych!!!!!!!

          Without knowing the training schedule or the types of ladder being used, it is hard to elaborate and advise you of how to deal with it.
          Its one day of ladders ranging from light ladders I can carry, to 300 lbs ladders my squad will carry. 3 1/2 laps is a mile. We will carry each latter one lap.

          I do not know how many ladders they have till monday.

          Most of what they say is to weed out the weak, and only the ones who want to be there will remain. I understand this. I am adopted and the only thing I know of my birth parents is that my dad was a Firefighter.

          I have two days to prepare for this day. I drink lots of juice and water. I take the meds prescribed to me (advil on steroids) as directed.

          Basically I want to know whats your ladder days were like.
          Last edited by drhigh; 07-10-2010, 03:25 AM.

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          • #6
            If you were in shape for your CPAT or whatever, you can do this. 95% of this is mind over body in my opinion.

            Our ladders evolutions for my academy (which was in a suburb of Chicago) were tough but nothing impossible. We didn't do the laps you describe, but did carries across the training grounds and back which probably was a couple of blocks round trip. Did the normal throws by ourselves and as a group, etc. Climbed an aerial to the tip, threw a roofer off an aerial, etc.

            My memories were of sore shoulders where the beam dug in on shoulder carries, and the "funhouse" evolution where all we did was climb a 35 up, in the tower, down a floor, out and down a 24, up another ladder in, and out and down a roofer, repeatedly on air until we ran out. We did this often throughout the academy, and to be honest, the ragged antique 35 that bounced with three of us on it was a huge part of why I have confidence now on ladders.

            Don't pysche yourself out. I now run a volunteer academy and that's what washes most of our folks out, lack of confidence. I'm not comparing ours to Houston's, but I still believe most people fail out due to poor attitude and the fact that they beat themselves, not the tasks at hand or tough instructors.
            Last edited by npfd801; 07-10-2010, 05:09 AM.
            "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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            • #7
              Originally posted by drhigh View Post
              Its one day of ladders ranging from light ladders I can carry, to 300 lbs ladders my squad will carry. 3 1/2 laps is a mile. We will carry each latter one lap.

              I do not know how many ladders they have till monday.

              Most of what they say is to weed out the weak, and only the ones who want to be there will remain. I understand this. I am adopted and the only thing I know of my birth parents is that my dad was a Firefighter.

              I have two days to prepare for this day. I drink lots of juice and water. I take the meds prescribed to me (advil on steroids) as directed.

              Basically I want to know whats your ladder days were like.
              That must be a Houston Fire Academy thing.

              At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, there is no "ladder day" per se.
              They do have drills where ladders of various heights will be set up on the training tower and the students have to climb up and down for a series of "laps".
              ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
              Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

              Comment


              • #8
                Church raise!
                ~Drew
                Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
                USAR TF Rescue Specialist

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FiremanLyman View Post
                  Church raise!
                  SHUT UP!!!

                  O sorry, I was having nightmares of that again. haha Definitely a confidence booster.

                  I went through a large city academy as well so this is what I did. We did the laps with ladders like you. We all just repeatedly climbed them in and out of windows. We spent days raising and lowering them, raised the 45ft bangor ladder, climbed to the tip of the aerial(hooked in and leaned back), did a church raise(climb a 45ft straight up in the air over the top and back down), and we even climbed a tower using pompier ladders(not allowed to be used on the job anymore). It was a tough week with a lot of confidence building, but you'll be fine.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FiremanLyman View Post
                    Church raise!
                    Definitely would weed out the weak!
                    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FiremanLyman View Post
                      Church raise!
                      That was one of the most awesome things we did. Really taught us to trust our ladder and our fellow recruits. Scared everyone else, I had fun though.
                      Last edited by firefightinirish217; 07-10-2010, 12:12 PM. Reason: Fixing a mis-spelling, dumb keyboard (yeah right!)

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                      • #12
                        I once saw a photo of a neighboring department helping a local church change a light bulb with...you guessed it...a church raise. (I guess that's where the name comes from)

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                        • #13
                          Get a good nights sleep and keep a good diet over the next couple days. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hired. Make sure to drink water and bring snacks for the drills. If you've made it this far, you should be able to physically do this. Don't let it mentally get you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zzyyzx View Post
                            Get a good nights sleep and keep a good diet over the next couple days. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hired. Make sure to drink water and bring snacks for the drills. If you've made it this far, you should be able to physically do this. Don't let it mentally get you.
                            Also don't eat a bunch of protein bars. We had a firefighter do that when he went to a specialized school and he got sent home because he about passed out from too much protein in his system. Eat balanced meals. Plus, just rememeber how badly you want to be a firefighter, not just the job, but the life, and keep your head up, push forward, and don't give up. Keep on going and most instructors will help you out, just as long as they don't see you quitting.

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                            • #15
                              As others have stated keep hydrated with water eat a light meal in the morning and add banana or two for the potassium to prevent leg cramps and spend fifteen minutes in the morning doing proper leg stretching maneuvers to loosen your achilles and those calf muscles. They take a beating climbing and if their not loosened up can fatigue quickly.
                              Most of all have fun.

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