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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Station Life: B Shift's Field Day

Recently Brentwood Fire and Rescue’s B Shift took advantage of the beautiful weather Middle Tennessee has been experiencing to conduct some training outdoors. Firefighting takes a mixture of strength and skill, and B Shift’s drill tested both of those abilities. The shift was broken down into teams based on their apparatus before rules and limited instructions were given. Crews would have to call on past experience and training to determine the best way to complete a given stage of the course. Once the start command was given, each stage was completed without stopping between them. 
At different points in the evolution crew members were asked questions that tested either their fire or medical knowledge. Failure to correctly answer a question would result in repeating that physical evolution. This forces firefighters to stay focused and think calmly while exerting near maximum effort. At the halfway point each crew was tasked with completing a children’s jigsaw puzzle. While this would be a snap under normal circumstances, the pressure of a stopwatch coupled with physical exertion and competition amongst your peers ratcheted up the pressure on the participants. All evolutions were completed in partial turnout gear while breathing from SCBA, as crew members were all on duty and subject to emergency response; some energy reserves needed to be retained.
To start things off, Crews were tasked with moving a tractor tire a set distance. Some teams used tools to assist them while others used brute strength. If you look closely, you can see four distinctly different methods of moving the tire; rolling it was not allowed.
Brentwood Firefighters respond to medical calls within the city, so carrying the gear and knowing what to do with it once you reach the patient seemed like a natural evolution to include.
Grab your ladder and prepare to raise…

Up and down, 10 times, from the ground to overhead and back down again.

Fire suppression foam comes in a variety of types and uses, and after lugging it across the field firefighters were quizzed on many of them.
Success! Now take it back to where you got it and move on to the next stage.
The pullup bar does not care if your arms are tired from carrying equipment…
Firefighting is, afterall, a team sport. Accomplish your given task by whatever means necessary.
Should something happen to one of your fellow firefighters, it is up to you to get them to safety, regardless of how tired you are.

There are many different ways to accomplish the task, it is just a matter of finding the one that works best based on what tools you have available.
Firefighting isn’t all fun and games, but it never hurts to make training fun. If you see firefighters out training, feel free to say hello and spectate. Enjoy the nice weather while we have it!