September 10, 2001

"Good days, bad days. Up days, down days. Sad days, happy days--but never a boring day on this job. You do what God has called you to do. You show up, you put one foot in front of another, you get on the rig and you do the job, which is a mystery and a suprise. You have no idea when you get on that rig, no matter how big the call, no matter how small, you have no idea what God's calling you to do.
"You love this job. We all do. What a blessing that is. A difficult, difficult job, and God calls you to it, and he gives you a love for it, so that a difficult job will be well done."
-Father Mychal Judge

Father Judge was killed the following day, Sept 11, 2001.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

After a thorough soaking by the guys that were working that day, Chief of Department Dean Ellis spoke with us and let us know what he expected. Beginning that same day our academy set off hard and fast. It was a very short academy, only four weeks, so they had to cover a lot of information every day.

Things got cozy pretty fast that week. Our confined space training was as straight forward as it comes. It was basically "Get in that hole and crawl until you find the end." There was obviously a little more instruction than that, but that was more or less the idea. After the first time through, things got a little more challenging and the plain jane tube was looking mighty appealing.

Rebar. I love it!

First time off the drill tower. High angle rescue was a full day. Just enough to get the taste in your mouth, but not enough to make you good. Lots of practice.

Being the first to speak up in the academy isn't always the best thing. You usually end up strapped to a backboard, upside down in the shower. This time it paid off, though. That's me running the monitor...

...and that's Dan and Jon on the receiving end working their way towards the valve on that tank.