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Journey to IFO: Manikins, Mask Confidence and More!

Catherine Best

3 min read

Apr 23

49

2

It's been a few weeks since my last post, but fear not, I am still after this with a vengeance. Strength and cardio training continue, from running, lifting weights, to training at the fire house, both on and off air daily. I am learning and experiencing new things every day.


As this journey continues to unfold, the two tasks that intimidated me the most were tackling rescues with a manikin and surviving the Mask Confidence course. These two skills were the driving force behind the endless hours of strength/endurance training and becoming comfortable with a Scott Pak-"getting on air." The manikin weighs about 150 pounds and is used to train for rescues and trust me, there are a variety of different rescues that can be implemented and performed after a search. There is the incline drag, the webbing drag or the extremities lift/carry using two rescuers to name a few but we will stop here for now. For this scenario, my personal goal was to gauge my strength/capabilities by applying the webbing drag and then adjust training accordingly. After firefighter J spent a considerable amount of time showing me the ropes, (including ladder window rescue), I successfully managed to drag this guy over to Tanker 8.





Now, onto Mask Confidence. What is Mask Confidence you ask? Well in a nutshell, its training for firefighters so they become comfortable wearing SCBA-self-contained breathing apparatus in an IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) atmosphere. We practice how to don and doff the SCBA while on air and navigate through some tricky and tight situations. Now, if you've been following my blog, you would know that I've been bonding with my Scott Pak for some time now for precisely this reason, making my way through the course at the training center. The course is designed to challenge everyone, and while I can't post actual pictures of what I managed to crawl through or share any specific details....the pictures below are samples of what was encountered. Climbing over joists, under joists, stairs, and through wires. Firefighters need to think quickly and low profile (remove the Scott Pak to reduce your profile) to navigate through anything. For the first run through the course, I wasn't completely on air, this gave me the opportunity to ask questions and learn from the pros. The goal here was not to panic and I didn't! Thanks S, J, J, J, and M, your patience and encouragement were appreciated. (I don't own these pictures and they are used for training purposes only.)




A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about Tactical Ventilation. Thanks to 2071, we were able to apply that practical knowledge by using the roof simulator at the Putnam County Training Center. After we grabbed all the necessary tools and equipment; a roof ladder, Halligan, New York Roof Hook and of course, a saw... the cutting edge. We worked in twos and started making some cuts. Yes, that is me.


Not bad for the first timer. The only critique, "my holes were too pretty and neat." LOL 2072.


With every day that passes, every drill, meeting and incident, a new skill is learned. Every day that passes, this firefighter family bond grows stronger. With every day that passes, I become more passionate about something that took me by surprise. I did not see this coming! I work with legends. My instructors are the A Team. I am surrounded by some of the most amazingly talented firefighters in the county. And that makes me truly blessed. #CFFD.


Time to hit the gym. Stay tuned for more.

Catherine Best

3 min read

Apr 23

49

2

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