Swap Gigs with Sterling Riggs: Louisville Fire and Rescue
Louisville Firefighters are as close to modern day super heroes as you can get. Crawling through burning buildings is a risk these guys understand and embrace.
Capt. Ryan Graves says, "We pride ourselves on the lessons that we've learned from the past and we try to carry those on to our recruits. We want to make sure they are properly prepared to serve the citizens of Louisville."
The recruits have been diligently training for the past 6 months and this controlled burn exercise is as real as it gets.
For the afternoon, the instructors allowed me to join the ranks as a new recruit.
Capt. Graves said, "Ok Sterling our first evolution is going to be a fire attack. You are going to be on the hose. We are going to go in and attack the fire and put the fire out."
"We'll walk up here and jump in line. When we get to the fire. It will be going up to the ceiling and rolling towards us. I want you spray the ceiling first. Open it up and hit the ceiling and then shut it off. And I will show you what it does."
The classroom instruction is over.
Now it's time to see who can handle the heat!
"Look at that fire. Wow. You are starting to feel the heat a little aren't you? Yes sir!"
Capt. Graves says, "What's critical is that we teach guys right. Teach them the proper way. Teach them the professional way of putting out fire and saving lives. And that's what we strive for. That's why we say we try to achieve second to none."
"Are you good? I'm good. Do you still feel that heat through your gear? Yes sir, that was hot. Let's take our gear off."
You get hotter than you realize.
After a few minutes in the burning house, it was time for my review from the boss.
Capt. Graves said, "You did good Sterling. You stayed low like we told you. You kept moving and followed our instructions, kept your head about you. You didn't freak out. It's great. It's good."