1999 Recruit Academy

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 15:15
Pullman Fire Department
1999 Reserve Firefighter Recruit Academy


During the 1999 recruit academy, a camera was brought to most of the Saturday training days. These pictures help to chronicle the transformation from average people into firefighters.

The training that was captured on film includes:

Other training photos.


Firefighters are known for three things, red suspenders, shiny red fire trucks, and ladders. It takes a special person who is able to climb up a ladder in order to crawl into a burning building. In order to do that task safely it takes training and practice. When fire fighters are not using their ladder to go into a burning building, they may use it to get to a better position to fight a fire.

Salvage and Overhaul

Making the flames disappear is the easy part of being a fire fighter. It is the additional hours spent working on salvage and overhaul that is the hard part. Salvage and Overhaul is, simply put, protecting what the heat, smoke and water did not damage from being damaged, protecting what was damaged from being further damaged, as well as making sure all signs of fire has been extinguished.

Vehicle Extrication

Pullman Fire Reserves take pride in vehicle extrication. That is one of our primary responsibilities while on the scene of a car accident. Many people have heard about the "Jaws of Life" but few have seen them.

Sometimes there is nothing wrong with the car other than the fact in needs to be stabilized before we enter. In those cases we use wooden cribbing and air bags.


Ventilation is a very important tool in the fire department. It helps fire fighters with fire control. After a fire, ventilating a building allows people to enter it safely without the necessity of wearing SCBA.

Fire Streams and Standpipes

Fire fighting is not necessarily as simple as putting water on a fire. There are different techniques used while fighting a fire. We are trying to protect property as well as put out the fire. The fire is going to cause property damages as well as the smoke and water. As fire fighters we have the ability to reduce the amount of water used in putting out a fire. That helps reduce the property damage.

Think about a lit matchstick. You could use a gallon of water to put out the matchstick, or a single well placed drop. That is in effect what we are trying to do.

Along with using a small amount of water, using a standpipe can decrease the time it takes to start fighting a fire as well as decrease the length of hose needed.

Learning how to use these tools and methods allows firefighters to decrease damage due to fire and water.

Confidence Course

The confidence course is a true measure of ones physical fitness. In the confidence course an SCBA is worn while doing a variety of physical exercises. The SCBA's that Pullman Fire Department use holds about 30 minutes of air under ideal conditions. While under stress of doing physical activity, the air tends to run out a little faster.

Events are timed to make sure the recruit exerts himself. Those events include:
  1. Carrying a roll of 50 foot 2 1/2 hose around the training tower.
  2. Opening and closing a fire hydrant.
  3. Climbing a ground ladder, a roof ladder, then starting a chain saw.
  4. Climbing up and down a flight of stairs.
  5. Climbing to the 3rd floor of the fire training tower. While there raise and lower a 50 foot section of 2 1/2 inch hose four times.
The recruit will continue breathing what air he can get from the tank until there is absolutely no air left.

The 1 Minute Drill

After the confidence course recruits are given 1 minute to get the SCBA gear on and ready to go inside a fire. This event requires the recruit to turn on the air tank, turn on the PASS device, don the air pack, don his mask, pull up his hood, put on his helmet, and put on his gloves. The time stops when the recruit claps his hands.


Before the day started and when there was a moment between exercises we had a chance to talk and get to know each other. Most of us were strangers with one another at the beginning of the class.

I called this section relaxing, only because we were not actually involved in an activity at the time of the photos. In some cases we really did have a break and were relaxing, sometimes it was just a few of us waiting for our turn to participate in an exercise.

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