Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wildland Firefighting

It's been exactly one week since I arrived. More has happened than I can really convey accurately through this blog but I'll give you the abbeviated time limit. Unfortunately, my power cord is busted on my laptop, and I am limited to this computer lab computer that are in high demand.

First off, I applied and tested to become certified as a wildland firefighter. There were 34 spots, and in order to begin training and make it to the training team, one had to pass the pack test.

The pack test: involves wearing a 45 lb. pack vest and doing 3 miles of powerwalking in under 45 minutes. This was by far one of the hardest workouts I've had to date, and it was one of the most physically challenging tests I've ever attempted. FORTUNATELY, I passed, making a time of 41:39. Needless to say, I've found aide in the railings and walls in making it up and downstairs and into the vans, and moving in general the past couple of days since the workout. I'm feeling it big time.

The good news: The AmeriCorps firefighters were announced yesterday... and I made the cut! So my shoe size was given and I was given a schedule of two more days a week of PT, which stands for Physical Training. Before this, PT was going to be three days a week (MWF). I will now be training with the FireFighters-to-be Tuesdays and Thursdays additionally. 5 days a week of intense PT in the morning. My alarm is set to 4:45am on weekdays. Tomorrow is day 3 -- my exhaustion has sort of turned into numbness. My guess is that by the end of the week I'll be in the routine, and probably won't be able to get enough. I'm looking forward to being in pretty good shape by the end of month when I deploy on spike.

It has been hilarious, as I'm not the only one. Everywhere you'll hear "oooh" and "ouch" and "eek" from Corps members. There's nothing better than FEELING THE BURN together.

There's been a significant change of events as well, in regards to my living situation and team -- they weren't kidding about being flexible once again. But my time in the computer lab has come to an end. So until next time...


  1. i want to see a picture of you in the steel toed boots! i laughed out loud at the thought of you getting up every morning at 4:15am! better you than me.

    miss you very much.

    love, wendie

  2. That is so exciting!!!! You are going to get so much done this year. Sounds like a killer schedule, but it will be worth it I'm sure. I added you to my google reader so I can keep up with your AmeriCorps adventures. Mine are rather dull! I'm literally going to sit around campus late tonight and make sure no one steals roses I bought for a fund raiser! hahaha. :0)


  3. work it, jay!! congrats on making firefighter. what is the regular pt situation? i have a feeling i'm going to need to get in shape before i even get there...

  4. Hey Jay,

    My name is Matt and I will be participating in AmeriCorps NCCC class XX this October. I stumbled across your blog when I did a Google search and I have enjoyed it very much.

    I have been very interested in the wildland firefighting opportunity and I was wondering if you could give me any information or tips about applying.

    My email is zandbergenmatt@gmail.com