Personal take on firefighting at TEEX

Friday, July 19, 2013 - 4:35pm

We all know that firefighters are heroes and after this busy fire season around the country, it's even more apparent how dangerous these jobs are.

"These folks are running towards the emergency to take care of it," said Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service guest instructor, Will Straub. 

So I wanted to put myself in their shoes, literally.

"The gear is about 35 pounds and I can just tell you I'm sweating bullets and it's not even that hot since it's after dark out so I cant imagine how firefighters would wear it when they're in the flames in the heat of the summer and it's 115 degrees and I don't even have the air pack on which is another 25 pounds. I just can't imagine."

Once I was briefed we headed out to the fire field where we were faced with a burning inferno, or as my instructor called it, an industrial fire at a chemical complex.

"We had liquefied propane gas fires and we had diesel spill fires as well so we have gases and liquids we have to deal with on a regular basis and we need to know how to fight those fires," Straub said.

It took about 20 to 25 minutes to get the blaze out and under control and afterwards I was ready to get out of my bunker gear...

"I feel so much lighter after having all this gear off, it's not even funny."

Straub said, "I think you did an excellent job. You were on that hose line and you were troopers there and you stayed there."

But after my crash course in firefighting, I think I'll stick to my day job and let the trained professionals handle it.


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