FDNY Fire Academy: a day in the life of a probie

(New York News

(New York News>

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - They're the best of the best. It is roll call at the New York City Fire Academy on Randall's Island. The first class of the day gets ready for PT: push-ups, sit-ups, and a mile-and-a-half run through buckets of pouring rain.

They're called probies, a class of 305 men and women who are two weeks away from becoming New York City's newest firefighters.

Their training ground, the academy, looks a movie set, complete with mock storefronts, high-rise apartments, and burn rooms that ignite at the push of a button.

You can see why being physically fit is crucial. Inside a burning building the circumstances are unpredictable. Crawling on the floor or climbing up stairs with up to 120 pounds of equipment, not knowing what could collapse or cave in at any minute. And the whole time, you're blinded by smoke and fire.

This is one of our mock apartments set up at the fire academy. And today the probationary firefighters are practicing their search technique. Their face pieces are blacked out. So it is simulating like they're in a blacked-out fire situation.

But it is not just fighting fires. It is rescuing victims in all kinds of situations, fire or otherwise.

Normally the probies practice on each other but this day i volunteered to be the dummy as they so snugly strapped me on to a stretcher for harness training.

With New York being a vertical city of commercial buildings and high rise apartments, that meant I would also be the dummy for a 4-story rope rescue. It's also important to know that heights aren't exactly my thing.

Of course I should have known to trust these guys. Trust is at the very heart of this department. People who need help put their safety and their lives into the hands of these brave men and women every day. It's why they do what they do.

From battling the most dangerous forces to risking their own lives to rescue total strangers and sometimes each other, that noble call to protect others is what makes them not only firefighters.

It's what makes them FDNY
By JENNIFER LAHMERS, Fox 5 News Reporter

Fire Line

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