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Week 15: It's Alive

“Tales from the gas chamber”

Cadet in a gas mask in the gas chamber

2005-10-02

October is upon us and that means we start wearing long-sleeved shirts and our lovely ties. That means more ironing and taking more care when eating spaghetti, because there is no back-up tie! Speaking of which, yesterday I spent a good 20 minutes looking for my tie and tie clip. It's amazing how something so important can get lost in such a small space. I guess it had over three months to hide, and so it had plenty of time to find the perfect spot at the bottom of one of my trunks! It's getting a little annoying to be living out of trunks but I take great comfort in the fact that the end is approaching fast.

After 15 weeks, Staffing makes another appearance. It was a similar spiel to what they presented all those weeks ago but this time it seems to be a little more relevant. No longer does it seem so far away. On the contrary, we're into single digit week countdown and things are moving quickly (nine weeks to go!). The Staffing lecture did not feature any big surprises. The distribution of cadets will be what is considered normal with a good number going to Pacific Region, likely an equal amount to Northwest Region and a handful to Atlantic Region (surprise, surprise, Central Region is still closed). As for the divisions, we'll have to wait and see what's available. The troop will have individual Staffing interviews next week to help determine suitability.

This last week also marked the second PDT benchmark where we had a scenario with a potentially combative client. Anyway, everyone passed the benchmark and the term “client” will always make me smile. The next chapter in PDT involves learning carotid control - it's amazing how with the right technique a minimal amount of force can be so effective. This adds to my conviction that brain can always overcome brawn given the right tools.

Other excitement came in the form of obtaining and executing search warrants. At the Sam Steele residences we went in as teams of seven or eight POs in search of evidence for one of our files. Of course we did not only get to participate in the fun stuff (searching, seizing evidence and containing the scene), naturally we also learned how to fill out the appropriate paperwork relating to the these actions.

We kicked off the weekend with another fabulously full Friday: an interval run, followed by another Blues challenge and then it was off to the gas chamber. For the Blues challenge, it went all right, I suppose, but we're still waiting on the results, or rather Drill is still waiting on us for answers to history questions. Only time will tell, and patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to wearing those famous stripes. Following the Blues challenge we made our way over to the chemical agents chamber to experience firsthand the effects of tear gas. After getting issued our very own (scary-looking and bad-smelling) masks, we were tossed into the chamber and ordered to do jumping-jacks and read a poem. That wasn't too bad at all. Of course then came the time to remove the mask and actually contaminate ourselves. The experience was not really a pleasure. On the other hand, it was nothing compared to the OC Spray.