I often bitch a lot about my job and the complexities it entails. That said, there are times when I get unique opportunities.
*A real pic taken today. No zoom function, I was this close*
Today was one such opportunity. I got to go out to SFO airport as part of my continuing Fire Specialization training. As an instructor for dispatchers learning Fire duties, it is my responsibility to teach all aspects of the response patterns. Part of that includes airport emergencies.
A group of managers and myself got to tour the SFO comm. center and Fire stations. We also got a field tour of the entire airport. I enjoyed the trip immensely. Beside being very educational, seeing such massive carcasses of metal taking off so close is a very surreal experience. To this day, it still boggles my mind how we can force such amazingly large heavy objects into the air.
*me sitting in the driver’s seat for the airboat. Click on any of the pics to hop over to my flickr account.*
I also got a chance to see all the unique Fire apparatus specifically used for fires on airplanes. Being on the water, the above pic is me sitting in the driver’s seat of a very large airboat. This badboy was about 3 times the size of airboats I grew up crashing in the swamplands of Louisiana. The bad-ass engine here is an 8.1 liter fuel-injected 525 horsepower monster. It could propel the boat down a dry runway at 60 miles an hour easy.
*look carefully at the long cylindrical pipe with the sharp point on the end*
The sharp stake here is used to pierce the skin of an aircraft and inject foam directly onto a burning fire. I kept picturing the brain bug from Starship Troopers looking at this thing. Only instead of sucking stuff out, it pumps foam. You can’t see it but the prong attaches to an articulating boom that can rise over 75ft into the air.
Needless to say, I an awesome time today. I didn’t want to leave. I could have spent the rest of my shift playing w/gadgets, poking buttons, pulling levers, etc. The trip gave me some great insights into how Fire depts. handle airport Fires.