After 20 years at the University of Oregon, I have retired. So, I will begin posting about my new experiences here and hope you find them interesting.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jessica Davis makes firefighting look fun!

My great niece, Jessica Davis, is studying to be a municipal firefighter in Fairbanks, Alaska. She just finished a Rapid Intervention Technician course through the University there which teaches students how to rescue downed firefighters in a burning building. She said she had so much fun and learned more than she had ever learned in a class.

"We did emergency evacuations which meant we jumped out onto a ladder headfirst and turned ourselves around and slid down the ladder, we hung from a window, repelled from a window, rescued teammates through the floor (Nance Drill) and then one of the hardest, The Denver Drill, which is supposed to simulate a firefighter stuck in a very tight space and trying to get them out of a window with limited manpower."

Go Jesse! We are so proud of you!

Jessica is the daughter of my sister's daughter Traci Davis and Scott Davis of Ketchikan, Alaska. We all trooped up to Alaska a couple of years ago to see Jessica graduate from high school. It was the most fun I have ever had at a graduation ceremony. The Native American students wore their traditional ceremonial robes and many students demonstrated their unique personalities by their apparel and unusual ways they accepted their diplomas. One boy did flips down the full length of the runway to the Superintendent to get his sheepskin. Jessica accepts hers dressed in her Dad's firefighting regalia! We had a wonderful time fishing on a charter boat (we didn't catch much - a small halibut and some rockfish - but I got some great shots of feeding the bald eagles), panning for gold, visiting the Saxman Native Village where I danced with the Native American dancers of the Tlingit tribe, exploring the Discovery Center, shopping in all the tourist shops with people from all the big cruise ships, and barbequeing in the rain! My sister and I and Traci's twin sister Trina also enjoyed The Lettermen in concert. They sang songs from my high school days (like "Cherish" - it sounded as good as the original by The Association!) as well as many recent hits like "My Heart Will Go On" from the blockbuster film "Titanic".

For a complete blow by blow of my trip (and to watch a video of my Native American dancing!) read my post in my Incredible Journeys blog.

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