Tuesday, June 27, 2006


On top of all the stuff going on with the maybe-house, Da Kid had also been gearing up for the tests at the end of his Firefighter II class. He felt comfortable with the practical part of the exams but was worried about the written portion.

Like his mother, Da Kid doesn't always test well. It doesn't matter how much studying has been done. We could know everything we're supposed to, but too often a sudden vacuum forms between our ears the instant we sit down to take it.

Herself and I had been giving Da Kid pep talks, not that he listened to a word we said. "I don't feel like I'm ready for it," he said Friday afternoon when he left for the final exam.

Between the two tests and work, Da Kid didn't get back home until late Sunday morning. He already knew he'd passed the practical but wouldn't know the results of the written test until it had been graded. Word came through this morning that he had, and with a rather spectacular grade.

Now, it's on to GSAR . . .

After he finished Firefighter II, Da Kid's plan was to sign up for E(mergency) M(edical) T(echnician) training. His Battalion Commander had no problem with approving that, but suggested he wait until later and take another class instead: Search and Rescue. This is the last time they'll have the funds (from FEMA I assume.) to pay for a slot in SAR training. If he wanted to take it later they'd give him the approval but he'd have to pay the $6,000 for it himself.


So, now it's on to GSAR!

One of these days I'm going to remember not to ask questions. It's like . . . oh, several weeks ago when Da Kid was heading out to attend an all-day class and I asked what it was about and he told me that day's training was on flammable gas containers. Propane and such.

Ahh! Propane! I remember thinking. "Like the cans we have in the garage for the Coleman lanterns and the grill!

Da Kid got home hours and hours later absolutely filthy with his clothing soaked completely through with sweat. Before he dumped his clothes in the washing machine and took a much- needed shower, he pulled out his cell phone to show me a couple pictures he'd taken with it at that day's training. Not that you could see much.

A flame, like from a lighter, against a totally black background filled the screen. I noticed a couple of very tiny specs, and tried to wipe them away with my finger. I tried again, but the flecks where the foreground was remained.

"Mother," (I hate it when he calls me that) sayeth my son. "Those spots you see aren't going to wipe away. That's part of the shot. That's firefighters."

Oh geez.

"What are you going to learn in GSAR?" I asked him a few days ago.

"How to repel down buildings . . ."

I have got to stop asking questions.


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