A Day in the Life of a Fire Cadet

Tyree Bell

As a reporter for CHFHS News, I, Tyree Bell, have been given the opportunity to step outside of myself to get the “story”, and that is exactly what I was able to do on October 5th, 2018. From 8:00 AM to 10:40 AM, I able to enter the life of a Fire Cadet.
Entering the environment, I was able to witness how the students transformed themselves from a scholar into a trainee. Soon after, they assembled to gather their equipment and headed toward the fire station. They began to put on their gear to gain a full experience of a simulation produced by the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institution. In preparation to enter “The Maze”, each student was given the proper clothing, as well as an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus), and suddenly, a loud “beeping” noise was produced. “Why does it keep beeping,” asked my fellow CHFHSNEWS Reporter and Photographer, John McCalla. “If you stop happen to stop moving for twenty seconds, the sound will go off. At thirty seconds, the sound will become even louder. The purpose of this is to alert other firefighters if and when you become unconscious. Standing along the sides of individuals who share a passion to help others is a truly a wonderful experience. Simply being able watching people mold themselves into an expert at their craft is inspiring to all.
Entering as one exits, each trainee goes into “the maze”.
Reporter: “How would you describe “the maze”?
Lanae Allen: “It’s really dark, and it’s like a box. When you go in, you must make sure you touch all six sides; meaning front, back, left, right, up, and down. There will also be times within “the maze” where you will have to crouch and climb.
As I asked the students how it felt going through the simulation, after they exited, many of them stated how it was scary, hot, and intense. Although, it was quite a terrifying process for some of the trainees, I was so amazed at the opportunities that are provided to the students in the Fire Cadet Program at Charles Herbert Flowers High School.
They all formed a group to partake in their Minute Drills as “the maze” simulations came to an end. Here, in this drill, they must get dressed, fully, in their equipment, and the SCBA.
To gain more insight into the emotions of the individuals who exited “the maze”, I inquired about going in. Without hesitation, the instructor allowed me to get dressed and go in, all without the SCBA.
Going up the steps, a chill began to run through my body, but it became even more horrifying as the doors closed. I was in “the maze. Darkness fell from the top of the trailer to the bottom and bounced off of the walls to the next. Although it was scary, the Captain and Fire Fighter was right there with me, as they were with the other students, to ensure that I was okay. That felt great. Going through, to keep my emotions composed, I decided to talk myself through it. One thing for sure, and two things for certain, Ms. Lanae Allen was telling the truth when she stated that “you must make sure you touch all six sides” because, without that tip, I would have run into walls and fell through floors.
So, how did it feel in the day in the life of a fire cadet…IT WAS EXHILARATING!