This past weekend was simply and overwhelmingly just AMAZING. The ride down, hanging out with my brothers and best friends, class, late night Waffle house runs, spending time together, it was fantastic. I love those guys with all that I am.
Alabama Fire College Weekend is my absolute favorite time of the year because you get hundreds of people who think and have the same willingness and passion for serving and helping others, just like you. I can walk up to anyone there and not feel the least bit strange talking to them even if I never have before. Its one big family.
I took the Basic Rope Rescue class. I am terrible at knots and learning all of the lowering and raising rigs which can get very in depth. But this class turned out to be a lot more enjoyable and fun then I thought it would be. Our instructor was amazing. He was head of the rescue team for one of the largest departments in the state for over thirty years. He was also one of the most patient and ready to help people I have ever met (which was great for me in this class because I am fairly hopeless at rope). We only had about 10 people in our class, but it was a very wide range of people from all over the state. I don't think anyone knew each other going into the start of class. Most of the first day was classroom and looking at rigs and equipment on power points and tying some basic knots. But at the end of the day we got harnessed up and went out to the tower to repel. In rope rescue, as in all aspects of being in the fire service, you work as a team the entire time. To go over the edge, everyone had to climb over about a 4 foot guard rail at the top of the tower. We had this one lady in class who was very short statured. Her shorter legs compounded with nerves of repelling for the first time made it hard for her to get over the edge. However, everyone was right there for her with encouraging words, "We've got you, you aren't going anywhere little lady" and "You've got this. This is the only hard part, the rest is cake." Some of the larger guys helped pick her up to help her get to the other side of the rail, and we all clapped when she made it safely to the ground. The second day we did raises and lowers and everyone was more than willing to get strapped up to go over the edge. It was a fantastic class. By the end of yesterday we had all become friends and were joking and laughing with everyone.
Its things like this that make me love what I have decided to do with my life