We all expect firefighters to be in peak physical shape, able to run inside a burning building, grab an adult-size human on their shoulder and run back out, but few of us know what it actually takes to develop that type of ability.
I stepped-in as a cadet with the Nashville Fire Department’s Battalion 81, to give us an inside look at their training as they prepare for the rigors of a job where physicality and endurance are a requirement.
It’s a job where the exercise they do now can help them save ‘us’ in the event of a worst case scenario.
This is the kind of stuff I live for, exercise and challenging myself physically. I knew it would be a grueling workout before we got started, and I figured they might enjoy trying to take an anchorman to the limit.
But I’m happy to report I hung in there with the cadets, even though some of them had 15 years on me.
“Firefighting is an extreme sport. You don’t do it every second of every day you’re on shift, but you have to be prepared mentally and physically to do it at any moment,” says Terry Hardin, the Instructor at the Nashville Fire Academy.
There’s no question the experience brought forth a newfound respect from me, for those that sign-up to serve our community and ultimately to save lives.
My new respect comes, not so much for the exercise aspect, which was cool, but for the type of young men and women that are joining the Nashville Fire Department.
From what I could gather in our short time together, they were warm and kind, caring and thoughtful, hard-working and gritty… all things you’d expect from a firefighter and all things that were refreshing to see from a fresh group of upcoming recruits.
What an honor!