LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a day the recruits at the West Metro Fire Rescue academy knew was coming. By the looks of the smiles on their face at the end of the day it was likely some of the most fun they’ll have.
“It’s interesting because all the pressure that builds up behind that door just kind of rushes out at you really fast, and then it goes completely black,” said recruit Paul White.
On Monday, instructors used eight gallons of environmentally sensitive dish soap to fill a four-story tower with bubbles.
CBS4’s Jeff Todd suited up to get a sense of the training.
“We’re foaming the tower; doing a little bit of search training. It inhibits communication by quite a bit, but overall it has the same sensation as you can’t see in front of your face. It’s a little different and kind of fun,” said Lt. Andy Jensen covered in bubbles.
White said the recruits had practiced searching in a room full of smoke where visibility can been a few feet, but the bubbles surprised him.
“It was way worse than I thought because I thought you were going to see something. Complete black. Can’t really hear your partner unless he’s literally next to you so it definitely hampers communication,” White said.
The recruits get on their hands and knees and practice searching techniques. Instructors put rings in the stairwell for recruits to find.
“Just to see your partners and you’re covered in foam. You can see your outline in your shadow and you just look like a big foam ball, it’s really fun,” White said.