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Morning Lineup – January 29

Tuesday Morning – Let's Go To School

In the past I have referred you to an interesting fire blog published up in Ontario, Canada, called Waterloo Region Fire and published by an active volunteer FF and fire buff, Ian Haight.  He has been working while pursuing a graduate degree at the local university, but the great thunderbolt hit him, like it has to almost all of us early in life, and decided to follow his calling and go full-time in the firefighting business.

Kicking off the New Year, Ian wrote in his blog on the first of the month:

A few months ago I messaged my family and friends letting them know I’d been accepted into the pre-service fire program at Conestoga College. Since then, I’ve spent nearly every waking minute questioning and second-guessing my decision to enrol. The program begins on Thursday January 4, and I’m still quite nervous about my decision.

For the first time in quite awhile I am embarking on something completely different and entirely outside my area of comfort. I’m leaving behind the flexibility and familiarity of my graduate studies and am enrolling in a program which is very regimented, quick-paced, and physically demanding.

I am, however, looking forward to the structure, the routine, and the daily challenges of being back in the classroom. On the other hand, I am very nervous about the physical demands of the program. I am sure I will find myself at the upper end (if not the top) of the age range in the class and I know I will struggle to keep up with those who are younger and more fit than I. While I’ve been working very hard to prepare myself, I am still very worried about the upcoming physical challenges. It has been very hard to not let my worries cast a shadow over my excitement about the program, but until the course is underway, my concerns continue to be rather overwhelming.

The trend in the eastern Canadian provinces is to draw from similar accredited programs for new hires in the FD's, probably because of the expense and time required for a department to run its own recruit training school.  When Ian completes his course, which will take a little over a year, including a 4-month break in the summer, he can carry his ticket to any FD that is hiring and apply.  As I understand it, there are about 30 career departments within communting range of his present home, so there is good opportunity awaiting him.

The good news for us is that Ian will continue blogging and regularly posting entries in a diary style of his weekly activities and progress through the school.  He has run the proposal by the school officials and they have not only granted permission to him to do this, but they are fully supportive of the project.

For those of us in the lower-48, this will probably be a new view on how firefighter preparation and training is trending in some areas.  I suspect that once the smaller cities and municipalities find out that they can have "rookie schools" and have other people pay for them, we just might see some of them blossoming down here, too.

We don't need to wait any longer for Ian's narrative to start because his first entry has been posted.  So take a few minutes to CLICK HERE and read the kick-off entry of his travels through the fire college, Phew, I Made It!

After you do that, we will plod over to the apparatus and get it checked out for today and I will get the Bunn-O-Matic running.  Somehow I think that those two activites will never change completely.  See you back in the day room.

p.s.:  You can read about the Conestoga College Pre-Service Firefighter Training Program on the school's WEBSITE HERE.

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