I started my Fire Service career with a bad knee. I was afraid I could never get it strong enough to be able to Rescue my fellow Firefighters. 2 knee surgeries and therapy followed years of walking around in heavy rubber boots. I had heard about leather structural Firefighting boots but never seen any. Red Wing was my Salvation. The local Red Wing Store measured my foot and ordered me a 11c NFPA approved 11 inch Structural boot.
Knee surgery came early in my life. I was 18 the first time and it was old school. Cutting muscles and opening the knee up, installing staples and pins, and then missing one pin. The pin or at least half the pin is embedded in my bone. I learned about pain and pain pills. I learned to rehab and exercise. I was told no jumping. I was bad and loved to play basketball. I dealt with swollen left knee most of my growing years. Second surgery was after I met and married Roberta. She helped me find a way to pay for those new Leather Boots.
I started teaching in the New Forsyth County FF 1 and 2 class. I chose a couple of classes and wrote an outline to follow the State standards. I picked classes that were strenuous and had plenty of practical exercises. I got to wear the leathers several hundred hours per year. The stories those boots could tell. I wore them to Vienna FD calls and training and teaching all around our triad.
Those Boots protected me with a steel toe and insole. They had no ladder shin guard but I wore knee pads when training and they were really shin guards anyway. Training classes were Ladders, Safety, Ropes amd Knots, and Rescue. I taught through FF III, the New revision FF 1 and 2 ILSAC certification, and Multiple Rescue Revisions.
Those Boots were part of Hundreds of Structure Fires, Training Burns, Vehicle Fires, and Automobile accidents. All the time helping me keep my knee pain to a manageable level. My old left knee was strong and unyielding. Aided by the Boots.
There are stories in my Head, In my computer, and written in my various Blogs. I have hopes to put them all together one day