Saturday, July 10, 2010
I did have other plans for cardio but a fire call provided a little more activity than I anticipated.
There was a fire in a hog barn which was located in a hilly area. It was owned by a Hutterite
colony and was full of sows and baby pigs. There were about 20 men fighting the fire when
we arrived. We had about 12 firemen plus a neighboring fire dept to back us up.
We were on scene for 1 1/2 hours. I spent about 30 minutes in full bunker gear before taking the jacket off and just working with the rest of the gear. The boots weigh 4-5 pounds each and the bunker pants
weigh about 10 pounds. The jacket easily weighs 20 pounds. It was hot and humid as well, Due to the terrain, that compounded the situation. It was quite an experience fighting the
fire and monitoring the men with me. I had 5 guys that I sidelined with heat exhaustion issues.
At least they all took my advice to sit down, cool off and "loose" the gear. I made them
strip down to bare skin above the waist and sit in the shade. They could only go back when
I gave them clearance. Best group of guys! We kidded around about "taking it all off".
Another fireman and I peddled water to the group, making sure everyone was staying hydrated, ourselves included. We did run out of water at the end but still had Gatorade on hand.
I even spent time doing crowd control as the women and children ventured into the area
several times, standing in the smoke and walking among the trucks until I asked one of the
bosses to explain that they needed to move away. That is a very delicate situation as the men
are in complete charge and women have very little say. To be appraoched by a woman and
told what to do is an uncommon thing. But it worked and all the men were very quick to
help. Since I was the only woman firefighter there, it was quite the movelty for them.
It was quite an afternoon and today I have very sore leg muscles-go figure. To think I used
to pack around those 40+ pounds all the time a few years back makes me appreciate
SP all the more! By the time I took off my bunker pants, my jeans were sopping wet. I should
have anticipated it but was still surprised.
Take the unexpected opportunities for fitness whenever you get the chance. Walk the
extra blocks or mile, go for a hike, ride your bike, pick up the grandchildren. Do a little more.
The payoff can be huge. Always make sure to stretch and cool down.
I hope today is a quieter day and I am sure it will be. Have a super Saturday and a wonderful weekend!