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FRIDAY November 30, 2012 Serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra since 1984 11 Anthem singer Mark Donnelly joins ex-Canucks at a Coquitlam Express game Your source for local news, sports, opinion and entertainment: INTO THE BURN NOW reporter Jeremy Deutsch gets a crash course in firefighting from the pros in Port Coquitlam Lisa King/NOW A Port Coquitlam firefighter douses a controlled burn at the department’s new training facility as part of a demonstration for local politicians and media. I open my eyes, but there is only darkness. I close them for a moment, but when they reopen, the black remains. I take a deep breath, but it’s shallow — not the same as a getting a mouthful of air on a crisp fall evening. In fact, at this very moment, nothing feels like the serenity of a peaceful night. I hear the sounds of men shouting. They’re giving me directions, but it’s all just noise. I’m paralyzed in the moment — and the darkness. I take more deep breaths, but as each moment passes, they just get harder and harder. There is no nice way of saying it; I’m in full on freak-out mode. I’m just about to give up, when I get a tap on the shoulder. It’s a firefighter. He points down past a doorway a couple of feet away to the flickering orange glow. Finally, I can see light. I know where I am, and I know I’m going to be OK. I quickly grab a tight hold of the fire hose and move through the doorway. The smoke is heavy, but I see the target. “Point the hose at the fire, and just give it a one-second blast,” he tells me. Actually, I’m not even sure if that’s exactly what he said, but it’s what I heard. So I follow the orders and as soon as the water connects, the flames scurry to a trickle of embers. Just like that, we’re ordered to stay low and make our way to the exit on the floor below. I venture back into the darkness with the hose as my guide. In what was only a matter of minutes but felt like a clichéd eternity, I’m finally outside of the building. I pull off my mask and take the deepest breath I can, realizing I came within a hair of quitting. I didn’t quit. I finished the tasked, leaving me with a proud feeling. But if the above tale sounds a little melodramatic, that’s because it is. SUSHI OYAMA Ans on A ve. Lo ug he ed Hw y. Westwood St. Q CO Pin UITLAetre M eW ay CHRISTMAS PARTIES NEW M A L T I COQU ION! & CELEBRATIONS T • Private Private Party/Banquet Rooms LOCA 3055 ANSON AVE. COQUITLAM TEL 604.474.1054 TEL & FAX 604.474.1632  CONTINUED ON PAGE 4, see 3 HOURS FIGHTING. FREE MISO SOUP FF 5% O UT -O TAKE ERS D OR 5 ORDER (Order every $15, Get One Free, Take-Out only) FREE SALAD • Memorable/Exciting/Unique Memorable/Exciting/Unique • Lunch Lunch & Dinner Available for all Party Sizes BOOK NOW! I really wasn’t in all that much danger — I think. Oh, there was darkness, and I nearly had a panic attack. Every part of me, once inside the smoky burn building, believed I was fighting a fire. In reality, I was taking part in an operations exercise with the Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services Department. On this dreary rainy Saturday, the department invited a handful of city councillors and The NOW to take part in several operational scenarios to give the politicians and media a better understanding of what firefighters really do. $1 MIN. H ONLY • • CASOUR ADVANCE (Order every $30, Get One Free, Take-Out only) GON N DRA GREE ROLL SEE OUR MENU & DISHES AT A OYAML ROL TEL OME AWES LL RO 5152 KINGSWAY, BURNABY 604.568.1012 TEL & FAX 604.558.0412 1H

Coquitlam Now November 30 2012

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