Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This is a day off?

Between a full-time job (40+ hours a week) at an animal hospital, a part-time job (24 to 36 hours each week) at an animal ER, plus firefighter classes plus time at the station, a constantly emptied refrigerator and dirty clothes are about the only sign I have that Da Kid still lives here.

Between school and as many hours she can pull at her job, Herself, his fiancé, isn't seen much by her family, either.

Da Kid anticipates next month he'll be able to cut back on the number of hours he's working, after Herself graduates. (I think she might be her class's valedictorian or something.) Then she'll be able to pick up more hours where she works now, until she's hired as a Registered Nurse at one of the area hospitals where she's applied. (Several have expressed interest, but since she has graduated yet . . .)

Then since she'll be making "big money," the roles will reverse and he can concentrate on doing what needs to be done in order to become a full-fledged, paycheck-earning firefighter. Here.

Da Kid wants to work for this fire department, the one that serves this area because compared to other departments in the region, it pays "big money." But, it's rough as hell to get into primarily because of Florida's strict standards. Add to that, it selects those with previous experience before others.

So, right now Da Kid is getting training and experience with and through a volunteer fire department, and they alert those volunteers to job openings they're qualified for in Georgia, as they become aware of them.

Da Kid's on one Georgia county's eligibility list already, and he's in the process of trying to get on the list for another one.

As I understand it (and I'm not sure I readlly do) it's not civil service but a two-year contract during which he'll work as a firefighter, be paid as a firefighter and receive the same benefits as one, while at the same time they send him to school. At the end of the contract, he has a shot at civil service, there.

But, that's not where he wants to ultimately work, but it will definitely give him a better shot at getting his foot in the door, here.

A few months ago Da Kid realized he couldn't work and go to school seven days a week endlessly. Even if he had to add hours to other days, he had to have one day a week when he could sleep in, go to the bank, change the oil in his truck, maybe get together with Herself and go out to eat and maybe to the movies. Do stuff that they couldn't squeeze in during the other six days of the week between work and school. And Tuesday became that day.

Da Kid didn't sleep in this morning. He was up and out the door by eight, for his nine ayem physical in Camden County.

Physical? You're thinking blood pressure, the sacrificial drawing of blood, height and weight, right?

You're thinking a normal job. This is firefighting.

I don't know what the specifics of this "physical" were, but I imagine it was similar to the other one Da Kid took.

Although vitals are checked throughout, think Gladiator. Not the movie but the television program where contestants are subjected to any and every timed physical challenge that can be thought of, and you can't quit. If you do, you're out.

Not that I knew anything about what "the physical" entailed when Da Kid took his first one. I thought he'd be right back.

When he dragged in the door four hours later (before crashing on the couch) he entertained me with picturesque descriptions of some puking their guts out, others having to have IVs before they could continue . . . And once all of the "rough stuff" was completed, it finished with a timed, two-mile run.

Da Kid called around noon today to let me know he was fine. He'd completed all phases of this "physical" and had the "top numbers" in each . . . event?

His next stop was Ocala, where he and a buddy had made arrangements to review the Florida Firefighter I certification both had failed a month ago, before retaking it next month. (Da Kid got the third highest grade in the batch tested, and still failed it . . . by just one point.)

When they got back, Da Kid said, they'd be heading to the station ‘cause they'd said they'd take care of some "stuff" there . . . and somewhere in between getting back and going to the station, if Herself had gotten off from her shift before he had to be there, they were gonna grab a bite to eat.

This is a day off?

Then again, we, too, were once young.

Weren't we?


Blogger pamibe said...

Once. A long time ago. I can remember working all day, dancing all night and going right back to work...

Kudos to Da Kid for doing something better with his life than simply dancing... :)

5:40 PM  
Blogger oakland heidi said...

Its really intense. I was with a city firefighter for three years and it can be grueling, but once he is in, he's in for life. Its the best job in the world. If I were a boy (imagining I would be taller and more muscular) I would most definitely be a firefighter... The culture is crazy. Once he is settled in to a house, you will have a whole new adopted family.

Best of luck to the both of you.

I HATE the spammers too!

7:25 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

Pam: I can remember working all day, dancing all night and going right back to work...

Dear gawd, Pam. That's disgusting behavior.

I always managed to grab a quick shower before going back to work.

8:25 PM  

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