On a crisp morning the second day of this year, nearly a dozen firefighting recruits climbed to the top of Daisy Mountain, just one of many team-building fitness challenges in a weeks-long pre-academy program to prepare them to join Daisy Mountain Fire & Medical.
The 11 men are now in the middle of full-on academy training, an additional 14-week journey whipping their minds and bodies into shape. It’s not about benching 300 pounds or running a 6-minute mile—though weight training and conditioning are part of the daily drills.
“Recruits need to adequately perform the job,” explained DMFM spokesperson Brent Fenton. Among the thresholds:
- Don a self-contained breathing apparatus in 35 seconds or less.
- Hook up a fire truck to a hydrant within 1 minute and 15 seconds.
- Pull a hose 200 feet and get water flowing in less than 3 minutes.
Under the tutelage of 16-year DMFM veteran Captain Matt Wood, the newbies are also learning key skills of the trade beyond firefighting, from emergency medicine and vehicle extrication to hazardous materials response and search and rescue.
Just as only the most qualified applicants make it to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “Titan Games,” these 11 were screened before they hiked the mountain, and all are expected to pass the academy.
“The hiring process is a very competitive and rigorous process set up to weed out any individuals not fit for the position,” Fenton said.
The recruits will fill current vacancies and positions opening due to retirements. You may see them on fire trucks as “probationary firefighters” by late April.