Paul Damron, pictured above, moves in for the kill! He is sporting the ever popular Tri-Max 3 Compressed Air Foam (CAF) Extinguisher... all joking aside, it was a great day to light up some barrels and put out some fire during extinguisher training. The guys had a lot of fun... That is pretty evident by the look on Norman "Iceman" Allen's face in the picture below...
Paul and Ice decided to get into an extinguisher war... Tri-Max CAF against the tried and true ABC Purple K extinguisher... This was the next best thing following nailing each other with the extinguishers... which the boss (me) put a stop to early on! My dad used to have a fabulous saying,"A boy is a boy, two boys are only half a boy, and three boys aint no boy at all" These guys definately became half a boy while playing with "big boy" toys... but having fun is the best way to learn!
Ben Suerig (lead crewmember) had to jump in and have a little fun himself... you can only watch the fun for so long without having to join in with this crew!
We also did some time staring at maps and trying to orient compases... not an extremely exciting picture... but for the record, we did do some mentally stimulating math during our map & compass training!
The "Cap" to the whole 1st week was a friday full of Physical Fitness testing... of the morning we did our 1.5 mile run, pull ups, push ups, & sit ups... The afternoon brought us the Pack-out! In my opinion both Ben Suerig (below) and Ben Thayer (2 below) are way to happy as they wait to begin the Pack-out...
I was hoping to wipe those smiles off their faces as we began the Pack-out... but as you can see below, they still had their smiling faces about them as they motored through the 3 mile timed event.
The two leads led the day... finishing with a time that is near Pack Test pace... only 50 minutes for them to go 3 miles with 85 pound packs on their back! They liked wearing the packs sooo much that they even lingered in the parking lot for a minute or two before dropping the packs after the testing....
Even the boss seemed to be smiling as we powered through... although if you look closely you'll notice it is more of a grimace than a smile! Let me just say that the thumbs up on my part was simply a mind game I was playing with myself... the pain had definately set in by this lap... was that lap 8 or lap 9... I think I've lost count!
Speaking of losing count... the picture below is the crew rallying around me to see me across the finish line. It wasn't until later that I was informed that either by mistake or for the joke of it all (stories seem to differ on this point) I was given the wrong number of laps starting on around lap 8... I was just tired enough not to pay attention... and thus did an extra lap! So I may not have been the fastest... but I went the furthest!
Some may be asking about the track thing... as a crew we like to do the first couple of pack-outs on a track where people can monitor their pace... and we are close enough to respond if someone is having trouble medically... by week three of train up we will be doing typical terrain pack-outs where we don't time the event, but rather just look for everyone to complete it. Typical terrain is difficult... navigating various elevation changes, brush, and loose footing... I am looking forward to torchering the crew with that one.
Side Note - the bags we are packing are not the typical pack-out bags that most rappel crews utilize... however they are Metoleous haul bags that we use in our Cargo Let Down... I wanted to see if they would work for our long pack outs... we came to the conclusion that they are not the most comfortable thing to wear, however would work in a pinch to get your gear off the hill! My butt is very sore this morning as I sit writing this... the damn pack rubbed me raw! (no pictures will follow that commentary :)
Until next week... I am going to enjoy a couple of deserved days off!