FDNY Academy (NY trip part2) @hope4warriors

Day 2 of our trip was a BLAST!  All of the Hope for Warriors folks went to the FDNY Fire Academy.  When we first arrived, we got to put on bunker gear and experience (on a VERY beginner level, of course) what it's like to be a firefighter.  We were able to go into a building a fight fires, cut up a car, and rappel off of a building.

So here are some pictures of what we got to do.  You may notice that there are NO pictures of me in the gear.  I did put everything on but, I was taking pictures and never stood on the other side of the camera (silly me).

Here's my husband in the bunker gear.  What I can tell you is... that gear is HOT and HEAVY.  I have NO IDEA how those brave souls wear that stuff on a daily basis...

So, here's my story at the academy.  I dressed in that CRAZY, HOOOOOOOOT, HEAVY gear (which I could compare to me wearing a large padded QUILT).  I was sweating my rump off for nearly 2 hours.  It was finally my turn to go in the building.  So, here I go...

The firefighter shines a flashlight on the 'line' (aka water hose).  He says, "Just follow the line."  Sounds easy enough, right?!  Well, then he takes the flashlight off and... I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING!!!!!  I wave my hand (remember, I'm wearing a helmet and mask so talking will do me little good).  I tell him that I can't see the line anymore.  He then tells us that we have to 'get low'... "CRAWL!" he tells us.  So, in the padded quilt, I get on all fours and start crawling.  I keep one hand on the line and the other hand hits my husbands foot (he was in front of me), so that I know I'm not alone.  I cannot express to you how much you CAN NOT see a darn thing.  It was pitch black.  I knew that the 'fire' was coming up soon, and I couldn't feel Will's foot (he had turned a corner).  I then made the decision that I don't want to be a pretend firefighter.  I waved my hand again, stood up, and TAPPED OUT!  Having a panic attack in that building was NOT my idea of fun.  

I was so mad that I wore that get up for so long and chickened out.  Will had a BLAST!  

Next, Will is 'jumping off a building'.  The chief kept saying that was what they could do... HA!  It was really just practicing being lowered down off the roof.  Practicing rescuing someone from a window.  I did NOT do this... slightly afraid of heights when it involves hanging from a rope.


This is a shot of the wall of 343 pictures of the firefighters that lost their live on 9/11.

These beams stand outside of the academy classrooms.  They are beams from the World Trade Center that have been inscribed with details.

This is a piece of the Pentagon.  If you notice, the plaque that came with it is in the shape of a pentagon.  One side however, is imperfect to represent the side that was hit on September 11.

Many of the New York Firefighters are military vets (some retired and some still in the reserves).  There are so many of them that they have developed their own FDNY VFW.  

These helmets (and there is another wall with the same number of helmets), represent the FDNY firefighters that have lost their life on the military battlefield (not just the current wars).

After touring the buildings, we all ate DELICIOUS food and hung out together.  It's pretty amazing to hear the stories that these guys have.  They are true heroes.

This is a picture of Hubby with Billy a newly retired NY Firefighter.  What a guy.  What a story.

This is a statue of Stephen Siller.  That is the firefighter that we ran in honor of on Sunday.  More to come about him.  Stay tuned...

What an honor to get to visit and get to know these guys.  They were all so supportive and encouraging. I was truly amazed by each of them.  What a blessing....

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