Report day 9: 15 januaryOrlando, Florida.
Today it is sunday. According to todays crew that means it is always a bit calm. While discussing this the alarm announces a person trapped in an elevator. Tower 1 is dispatched to the scene and I am riding along with Lieutenant Jay and his crew: driver Mitch and firefighters Dave en Mike. Tower 1 is a laddertruck and therefore a truck company. Just as in New York the engine company only goes out to fires. This means the truck company's handle all the other calls. Although it remains odd for me to drive a laddertruck to a stuck elevator.
The rest of the day is nice and calm. No more alarms till diner. The crew is busy cleaning and maintaining the trucks and firehouse while I am busy guiding people around the firehouse through Skype. Around 11:00 the intercom announces the start of todays hazmat class. The instructor tells a good story about Organic Peroxides. Dave asks me if I have seen the ins and outs of the diving van yet. I have not and therefore he shows me everything into detail. It's a beautiful truck and Dave speaks about diving in a passionate way. I have added some pictures of the van below. Lieutenant Jay asks me if I want to see the Orlando training facility. He and Mitch are working as instructors on this facility. After a short trip with Tower 1 we arrive at the facility. Jay is my tourguide and under the circumstances of bright sun and 18 degrees celsius the tour commences. It is a wide open built training facility with 2 big training objects and smaller objects around it. The place is really clean. I enjoyed the trip to the facility a lot and even got some inspiration for the SRTC facility back in Sweden.
Right after dinner we get a call for a cyclist under a car. When we get there the problem is already solved. Right after this call we get a call for a car accident on the interstate. This time it is not easy. A car has been hit by another car and slipped of the road. The driver is ok but his wife is stuck in the car. Within a few minutes the guys from tower 1 liberate her out of the car and into the ambulance.
When we get back Michael offers me to show me the bomb squad truck. Michael has an enormous amount of knowledge about hazmat and defusing bombs. On the same passionate way as Dave told me about the diving van he tells me about the bomb squad van. He hands me over a helmet and tells me I am holding 8000 dollar in my hands... A lot of impressive equipment is found in this van. The actual way of finding and defusing a bomb is very interesting to learn more about.
Early in the morning the dispatcher sends Tower 1 to a fire in a private dwelling. It is quite a drive. When we get there Engine 2 is already on scene and most of the flames are gone. Nevertheless: the number of fires is increasing everyday!
Unfotrunately this was my last day in Florida. Today I head on for Los Angeles. I feel sad to leave 'the big house'. I am happy to know I have met yet again a lot of very nice people, both in Jacksonville as in Orlando. I especially like to thank Richard and Bob for arranging my visit to Florida, it was an amazing experience!
My next report will be filled with experiences from the Long Beach training facility in Los Angeles, stay tuned!