This post is by CrossFit West Santa Cruz member and firefighter Adam Cosner, about a fire he responded to last week and the reasons he trains CrossFit. Thanks Adam.
I wake to the sound of the station tones. The clock reads 2:30 am, ughh. The dispatcher’s voice comes on over the loudspeaker, “structure assignment, Los Gatos district.” Out of bed, pull on my turnout pants, jacket, drag myself into the back of the truck. On the way I can hear my Captain and driver talking about the location. It’s in the hills, ughh. The Captain in the front seat tells us he can see a glow on the hill. Us in the back are facing backwards so we can’t see much. I hear the Battalion Chief’s voice on the radio, “IC to truck 5, this is a small street, you wont be able to get the truck up here, park at the bottom of the hill and walk up.” Ughh. The brakes on the truck set and we step out into the darkness. Damn, that is a steep hill. We grab hooks and saws and start trudging up a hill. We reach the top of the hill and the BC gives us our assignment, “get to the roof, the engine crews are getting pretty warm in there”. I pull a ladder off the closest engine and carry it around the $80,000 car in the driveway–this is Los Gatos–and throw it to the roof. My partner grabs a saw off the engine and we head up still winded from the walk. On the roof we walk along the peak until we get as close as we can to it. I fire up my saw and start cutting. Smoke is pouring out the hole so I have to lay on my stomach to see my saw cuts to finish the hole. We louvre the hole in the roof and try to punch through the ceiling, plywood, ughh. We continue to beat on the plywood with our hooks until a hole opens up. The radio crackles with the sound of engine companies inside the house trying to get to the fire. Without ventilation, they can’t see or get far enough in to attack it. Fire starts to leap out of the hole and we know we are close. One more saw cut and we are off the roof. A quick bottle change and the chief sends us inside to salvage valuables for the homeowners. One more bottle change and overhaul begins, we pull ceilings and search for hot spots. About 5:00 am the Chief sends us home, tired and happy.
Two and a ½ hours of work with 70+ pounds of gear that starts with a long steep walk up a hill, 15 minutes of intense strength work with saws and tools, including weighted roof burpees, and another hour or so of pulling, pushing and carrying. At the end of the day I feel good. I feel fit, I feel CrossFit.