I've gotten bogged down with my reading lately and Essentials of Fire Fighting, Fourth Edition, edited by Richard Hall and Barbara Adams (1998) is one of the main reasons for this. I've been taking some written tests and looking into making the transition from lawyer to firefighter, but it's a long process with lots of waiting , hoping, and down time. Now that I've finally figured out what I want to do, I want to start right away, but in the meantime I've been keeping myself busy by trying to get physically stronger and learning as much as I can. I was considering taking either a Firefighter Certification course and/or an EMT Basic course at the local community college. While looking up the course, I got the name of the Firefighter text book they use and decided to get it from the library and read it on my own. I figured I could get an idea of what I will need to know and be able to do as a firefighter. I've also heard that Fire Academies are pretty intense; it's going to be a pretty steep learning curve already considering my lack of experience, so the more I can learn now the better.
Now I realize a text book on fire fighting is probably not a typical Cannonball read, but it is a book and it is over 200 pages, so I'm definitely going to count it. (I'm also already a little behind if I'm going to read 52 books for the year, so I want those 700 pages to count for something).
On the whole, I was impressed with Essentials of Fire Fighting. It was well-written, had tons of good, explanatory pictures, and gave me a good idea of the general responsibilities and tactics of firefighters. I do realize, however, that so much of this will have to be learned by doing. I often found myself thinking, "That would be good to practice with the actual equipment." This was especially true for the chapters on forcible entry and fire hoses--actually most of the chapters. I just won't know what it's like until I try it.
Sometimes I get really interested in a subject because I don't know much about it, but once I learn the basics, my interest wanes. This is not the case with fire fighting. The more I learn, the more I know I have finally found a career I'm excited about. Now I just have to make it a reality.
P.S. Oops, in finding a picture of the cover, I just discovered that a 5th edition came out a couple years ago. Hmmm...I hope there's not too much new information in the latest edition.