Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics
The Utah Valley University men’s basketball team spent Saturday afternoon, July 30, working out at the Emergency Services Building with the UVU Fire and Rescue instructors. As part of the workout, the players participated in the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Maze. The challenges pushed abilities of the entire team, but the tests themselves hit home to one Wolverine in particular, guard Ivory Young.
Young says his uncle Jeremy Jones has worked as a firefighter for “eight or nine years” at Station 44 in Houston.
“He’s real hardworking, dedicated and he’s everything for the family,” said Young. “Everything he does is for his family.”
Young was in the first group to make a run at the SCBA Maze, where he and teammate Brandon Randolph pushed through the four-story maze in full gear, including an oxygen tank and full face mask.
“That was probably one of the scariest feelings, because you can’t really see anything and you’ve got to rely on everything else like senses, your teammate or partner talking to you, talking you through stuff, so it’s real teammate driven,” said Young
At the top of the maze, Young experienced a new fear as he fell through a trap door that sent him plummeting back to the third floor to simulate a weakened floor falling out from under him.
“When they tell you, ‘Go through! Go through! Keep going!’ your knee hits a trapdoor and you just fall down from the fourth to the third level,” said Young. “All you feel is just falling and you don’t know how far you’re falling.”
Young described the feeling as “heart-dropping.”
After completion of the SCBA Maze, Young felt he had a much easier time with the CPAT, as he felt he really only had trouble with the dummy drag and push and pull, which simulates breaking through a weakened ceiling with a metal pike.
After completion of both the CPAT and SCBA Maze, Young said he viewed Jones’ profession in a different light with a new-found respect for the line of work. After he experienced the simulations, Young felt like he had a better idea of the stress a firefighter experiences during their work.
“I don’t even do it for a profession so it’s not real fires around me or anything,” said Young. “I know it could be nerve-wracking if a real fire with stuff falling down on you and it’s a lot of pressure. I could see where it would be hard.”
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