Last night in Firefighter I class we worked with ladders. The 12′ straight, 14′-28′ extension, and 20′-35′ extension ladders as well as the Bergen County Fire Academy arial ladder on their truck. The truck is from I think the 1970’s and is a classic looking truck. Really nice, but I imagine completely unsafe for actual response outside of school. It has the open cab in the back so you sit on a bench in the open, and has only a metal bar as a door to that space. Still even if it isn’t the safest thing for anything more than school I really like old trucks like this.
If you don’t know what it looks like to climb up a ladder like the one on the truck at the academy, you basically just look up as you go, and just focus on your destination. It looks a little scary but on the ladder it really isn’t bad at all. I had to climb about halfway up and then hook a clip on a belt to a rung on the ladder. Once clipped on to the ladder you have to let go and lean back to show you trust the ladder and belt. Then you unhook from the ladder and go to the top. Once at the window that’s where it gets hard. You have to swing one leg out over the side of the ladder and in to the window. That one part is hardest for me and I think the source of my back pain today. At first I kept smacking my leg in to the rail on the ladder, but then I finally got the hang of it. Wasn’t bad at all in the end. Instructor Sulcov made the whole thing very easy and was an excellent teacher last night. Last night’s class was really good and the instructors all were great.
Next week is CBRNE class. That’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive incidents. Basically the same as the BNICE class I took in New York after 9/11. BNICE was Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, and Explosive incidents. I had to take that when I was on Hatzolah ambulance in New York City. That class was kind of a joke. The training I had in Israel was much better than that class. It’s probably better now. I was in one of the first versions of the class I think. CBRNE is going to be two evenings and a full day so it has a lot of stuff in it.