On Friday-11-August the Cadets of the Bogota Emergency Services Youth Academy traveled to Darlington Park to take part in the ultimate test for Class 07. Commonly known as "Black Friday" this comprises a series challenges which forces the Cadets to use all the skills, and knowledge they have learned so far. Purposely planned at a location a good distance from their home, and occurring as day turns to night, the first test is to be trusting of the instructors now that they are far from the comfort of their home. Once the caravan of vehicles from Bogota arrived at base camp the Cadets disembarked, stored their gear and fellin to formation. The first order was to perform a quick march around what would be the centre of their lives for the next four to five hours. After this maneuvers the Cadets were told of the Academy "Great Race Challenge" would begin. Then they were given their orders from Instructor Martin Perez. Instructor Perez picked out one Cadet from each squad and handed them an envelope. This Cadet was now the new squad leader and was made responsible for reading the instructions, charting a plan of action, and choosing which members of the squad would perform which task. The one special rule was that the current squad leader, or class commander, be picked last.
The challenge would start with four Cadets and would have to perform the first task together, then be handed another envelope with the next challenge. Another Cadet would be added to the team and the race would continue until all challenges had been completed. The challenges covered the topics covered in their Class work, or field activities, they received training in. Some stations they would have to answer questions asked of them, while at others the Cadets need to find a token symbolizing the field of training. Others station required the Cadets to perform certain task. That could have been applying bandages to a fellow Cadet, or performing CPR. Another station was to perform a quick short order drill to the satisfaction of one of the other Instructors. The final task was to locate Instructor Perez and present all the tokens to him as soon as possible. The squad that performed all the task, and presented Instructor Perez with the correct tokens would be declared the winner. This Challange winner was Delta Squad on the basis of arriving the fastest with all tasks perform properly.
There as another element added to this year's challenge as a slight rain started to fall at the beginning of the race. This would continue for the next several hours in varying degrees of strength. This weather situation would just added to the next test of the Cadets. In a field away from Home Base a series of fire hoses were set up and a giant water battle began. Not only did the squad need to face each other, but a fifth hose was deployed by members of the
Bogota Volunteer Fire Dept. All of this was taking place in an even heavier rainfall with the daylight now a thing of the past. While the hoses were turned off the Cadet returned to Home Base to dry-off, rest, rehydrate, and prepare for the final test....
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