Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Big Day

Today is a big deal for me. Since January of 2009, I've been preparing for the day that I'd get my red helmet. Today I found out I passed my written EMT-B exam, which was the last item on my list of requirements to move out of my probationary stage.

In my department, the color of your helmet signifies your rank, and is what officers use when deciding who to give tasks to on scene.

Orange = Recruit Firefighter

This is what I had during recruit class. It means that you shouldn't even be on a scene, it's just for training gear. It's a big thing when you get to graduation and get to adorn it with the decal that gives you the next level.

Orange w/ Green Stripe = Probationary Firefighter

I've been wearing one of these for almost a year now. As a probie, you get to fight fire with the best of them, but the officers will be sure to keep somebody experienced with you to make sure you don't slip up and get someone hurt.

Red = Firefighter

Less is more, as is evidenced by the step up in recognition you have when you drop the "Recruit/Probationary" from in front of your title. In our department, this means that you have your firefighter I & II certifications, your haz-mat awareness & operations certifications, you've demonstrated competence on every apparatus in your station to your company officers, and finally (the milestone I reached today), you've fulfilled all the requirements to obtain your EMT-B license.

It's a long road, but looking back on it I can't believe how quickly it's gone. Maybe next month I'll take a step back and plan what I'm going to do next. For now, I'm going to relax and revel in the afterglow of another completed journey.

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