Jake Jaccard, YN3, USNR (Retired)
X-Division, [1962-1964] U.S.S. HANCOCK (CV-19)
Al Abram, Ed Rostine, Jim Lupo, Albert Spratley

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Firefighting School at T.I. (Treasure Island), San Francisco Bay, California

The Subject of Firefighting was brought up by Hancock Shipmate, Al Abram, who stated below that he was an instructor at T.I. there in the early '70's, which brought this Yeoman fuzzy uneasy feelings in the pit of his stomach... for I, too, was sent there in my early active Navy career, back in 1963... Jim Lupo and Ed Rostine and Albert Spratley followed the thread as well...

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Albert "Al" Abram's Firefighting Certificate

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Comment History on Firefighting School at T.I...

  • Jim Lupo 12:52pm Feb 1, "Wow! great find, I attended firefighting school in Norfolk, Va, pre Comm for the USS Ponce LPD-15 in 1971 ."
  • Al Abram 11:36pm Jan 28, "I was a firefighting instructor there at T.I that is where I made Chief."
  • Jake Jaccard 11:35pm Jan 28, "You go, Al!!! Went to T.I. Firefighting School, but sadly, no certificate :( and sadly a great Embarrassment!"
  • Al Spratley wrote, "Yuy I went to TI also met Admiral Nimetz while there too. I remember the instructor telling me "Goose Neck Goose Neck! - ha ha ha.
  • 3 hours ago.Kerry C. Dauphinee said, "The USS Ponce is still proudly serving!"
  • About an hour ago via mobile, "Al Abram I was a instructor there for 4 years!"

The original Post Al Abram made at 2:01pm Jan 28, 2012.

Jake continued....

"Here's some of my own recollections of that 'fated' week at Firefighting School in February, 1963...

Ed Rostine, a Hancock Shipmate I've known now for many years, who has followed me through most of the history of this Website that is now twenty years of Steaming (at this writing 2 February 2012), answered a Post by those in the Comment History above, who said,

"Firefighting at T.I. (sigh)... I had the "pleasure" of going through the 5 day course three times in less than 6 months. God bless Scotty my instructor, who made fire fightng classes so much fun and challenged me to excel."

Ed's comment brought back some thoughts of my own, regarding T.I. Firefighting School, which took place just after I came aboard the Hannah in 1962, when she went immediately into the now decommissioned Yards at Hunters Point in the southeastern corner of San Francisco (near Candlestick Park); we were there for Six dusty and noisy months, so the "Powers that Be" on the ship decided all of us new grunt Sailors should get in some TAD training, and I was sent to T.I., not knowing what was in store for me.

Jake - 1962 at Hawaii during the Pineapple CruiseWriting to Ed Rostine, "Ed, I sure had a time there myself. Was only there once, thank God! I remember it to be the most terrifying and embarrassing time of my young life (I've had worse since though), but back then, when you are only 18, and sent to a strange and scary place like that, with a bunch of other brave souls, it was a big challenge. What happened to make it scary and also embarrassing, is the fact that they made you charge an OBA unit, right before you started the climb up the ladder attached to the side of this three story simulated ship hull which took you to the top deck. Some of you will remember that place! and perhaps even the feelings of dread you may have had just before your name was called, to don the OBA for your ascent up that ladder.

It was, I believe, about 3 stories up, and when I discovered I had at least 4 phobias that day as I don't do heights very well (height issues): The ladder was bad enough, but the billowing smoke coming out of the upper deck (choking issues), and the thought I'd be on a guy-line going down that ladder into the abyss (claustrophobic and dread of the unknown issues), didn't help matters either, but when I charged the OBA, and putting on the face mask, I started up the ladder (lack of air issues), I got to such a terrible panic that my heart was about to stop dead in my chest. You can about feel how I felt that day - I was a real mess!

I couldn't breath with that unit, as I must have been huffing and puffing so fast that the unit couldn't keep up with me. No matter how hard the instructer told me to calm down and breath slowly, I could not stop the panic. I was so scared, all the blood must have rushed to my feet, climbing the ladder that he could tell that I was in danger (he was a very wise old Chief!) and thankfully, he yanked my butt down and off that ladder and tore off that OBA and all this was taking place in front of about 50 or so guys sitting in the bleachers waiting their turn with their eyes all on me.

I felt so small, I bet I could get under an ants body and tickle his underside. I crept back to my seat and remained mute the rest of the day. Gladly, though, not one of those sailors were mean enough to make fun of me or call me a "chicken shit."

I was the only little sailor there that day that freaked out...and yes, I did go to firefighting school once before, down in San Diego in Bootcamp, but that wasn't anything like the OBA training that day at T.I. Firefighting School.

What was really the crazy thing about that all this is when I got back aboard the Hannah, they assigned me to a Repair party in my own sleeping compartment (where the Post Office was), and placed me on an OBA Damage Control party. I tell you, being an even 'holier' person after that training, I had no problem praying constantly the remaining time I was aboard ship, that we'd not have any fires... and God listened to my prayers and sent me back home in one piece, and I never again in my life held a fire hose, or fought a fire. Thank you Lord for watching out for all of us on the Fighting Hannah and thank you Hannah, for the Memories!

Jake

Note: This Story has a later reference when several other Shipmates spoke about the Firefighting School at T.I.. Here, Here.

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payable to The United States of America, for an unknown amount, up to,
and including, his life.

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Submitted 2/3/2012
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