Tuesday, March 24, 2009

getting physical

Most everyone, upon finding out that I am a firefighter give me this look of shock or disbelief. Sometimes I even wonder how I got here myself. I'm 5 foot 7, 145 lbs. Asian. And female. Not the first image that comes to mind when you think of a fireman.

A lot of what goes on at work is mental and of course most of it is physical. THIS is the test that most southern Ontario fire departments require the candidates to pass as part of the recruiting process. For those of you like me who still prefer and use the imperial system, the test simulates wearing a 20lb air pack, 30 lbs worth of gear, 6 lb boots and an 85 lb bundle of firehose. The department I work for also has an additional swim test (swimtrunks only cuz if you can swim with all that gear on I suggest passing on the firefighting career and become a navy seal) since we have rivers and border Lake Ontario.

I still remember the day I did that test... and running till I thought I was going to throw up. And wanting this job more than anything in the world. And I remember the day I got the call. And all of it not quite sinking in until I sat in class with the 24 other hired recruits. There are moments I still can't believe I got the job.

Whatever you do, don't pinch me.

I'm having the time of my life.

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