This weekend, I had the chance to go back to my hometown for a few days. I had just finished off a brutally busy 24 hour shift driving the engine and headed back home to the sleepy little New England town where I was born, raised, and started my career. I rolled in to town at about 10pm and headed to the local watering hole for a beer with my dad. I hadn’t been home in quite some time, and I was excited to see some familiar faces, relax a little bit, and get away from the hectic pace of city life.
The place was typically half-empty when I walked in, and my dad was running a little late. I pulled up a stool, ordered my beer, and took stock of the other customers. It’s been three years since I left my hometown, and most of my friends have moved on, so I wasn’t really surprised that I didn’t know anyone in the place. A few girls looked sort of familiar, but one face in particular stood out to me.
A pretty brunette, in her late twenties, she was seated with her boyfriend and a few others to my right. She just looked really familiar to me, but for the life of me, I couldn’t recall how I knew her. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at first, not unusual to see someone vaguely familiar in this pub, we probably had a mutual friend or something. My dad and a few friends of mine arrived and we all started catching up on the small town gossip.
For some reason the brunette continued to distract me. I polled my buddies to see if any of them knew her, but no one seemed to have any idea. At this point I was really getting annoyed by this little mystery. I was sort of eavesdropping on her conversation, trying to pick up on any clue that might help me figure it out. She was really happy, she and her boyfriend had just moved in together, gotten a lab puppy, things were going really well in her life it sounded. No clues to her identity though, I decided to give up trying to figure the whole thing out.
Then she moved her arm.
I’m not sure how I even noticed, but on her forearm, next to a tattoo, were a few small scars. The memory came crashing back down on me.
It was a cold rainy night, on a back road. I remember the rain, it was the sort that soaked you the instant you stepped out the door. She was in the front seat of the car, grey, respiratory arrest, needle on the passenger seat. It was a pretty typical overdose, little Narcan, some oxygen, and she woke up in the back of the truck. I remember specifically how upset she was, crying, screaming, begging us to end her life. The girl, like so many others was hooked on drugs, and just wanted off the roller coaster that is addiction, even if it meant death.
I don’t know this girl’s story, but she seemed healthy, happy, and clean. Who knows what her life is like on a daily basis, addiction is a never-ending struggle, but in that moment she was just another happy girl at a bar.
One of the tough things in this line of work, is that you very rarely know what happens to the people you interact with. The people we serve, we meet on runs, you usually never see them again. It’s always said that you can’t keep score, how many live, how many die, good calls, bad calls. But it’s nice to know, that at least some of the time, things do work out.
I ordered another beer and got back to talking to my Dad, it’s good to be home.
Sean Peltier is the Chief of Operations for HeroPrep.com. He is a career Firefighter/EMT and works as a Fire Service Instructor.
As part of Station Pride’s continuing mission to support Firefighter owned small businesses, I took the opportunity to check out HeroPrep.com. When a company is created and operated solely by firefighters for firefighters it always tends to give me the warm and fuzzies. Without knowing any of them personally I already have an idea of what I’m getting into.
HeroPrep is a firefighter and EMT test preparation website where they guarantee a 100% pass rate on your IFSAC or ProBoard Firefighter 1/2 and/or NREMT test OR your money back! That’s a very bold guarantee for a company to make and I was curious to see how it all worked. HeroPrep.com has designed custom study-question test banks that provide thousands of questions across relevant topics.
One interesting facet of HeroPrep.com is that they also operate a Firefighter and EMT job posting website called Recruit911.com. Not only can you prepare to pass your emergency services exams but you can also FIND A FIRE JOB or EMT JOB, once you pass. Seems like a very convenient arrangement of services.
Upon arriving at the homepage, (www.HeroPrep.com), it appeared very clean, formal and professional. It wasn’t flashy or over the top. The style had a very basic feel about it. You immediately knew you weren’t there to be dazzled and you were definitely there to learn something. The graphics are neat, rustic, and professional.
The website consists of a “How it Works Section”, About, FAQ’s, Support, Job Board, and a section on learning how to become an EMT. All of the navigation tabs provided thorough insight into the process and answered all the questions I had for their service.
In order to utilize the multiple-choice, study-question test banks you must first create an account and purchase the desired service. After creating a log-in and password with a confirmation email you were ready to start. This process was easy and a standard across the internet with regards to purchases.
The Dashboard and Test Banks
Depending on the service you purchased you will be given access to your desired study test bank. For example, if you are taking the Firefighter 1 Test Bank; the bank is divided into function categories such as Fire Service History and Orientation, Fire Behavior, Ropes & Knots, Water Supply, Fire Streams and so on.
If you are taking the NREMT Test Bank the areas are segmented into Airway, Trauma, Medical, Obi & Peds, Cardiology, and a specially designed NREMT Test Simulator that mimics the NREMT exam.
I kept looking for an immediate response to my answered questions and then realized I was literally taking a practice test. All of my correct and incorrect answers were displayed upopn completion of each quiz.
Each functional area of the test appears to be thoroughly covered. After completing each quiz you can see a breakdown of the areas you need to focus on. You will see your grade, an explanation of the answer as well as graphs to show your progress.
Every quiz tracks associated data such as how long it took you to complete, how many attempts to pass each topics and so on. There is valuable, usable data that is displayed to help you hone your studying.
As I made my attempts I did not readily notice any repeating questions.
My Discussion with HeroPrep’s Creator
As with any discussion with an individual who owns a company I don’t like hearing their “pitch” I don’t like listening to what’s so great about their product compared to others. I like to form an unbiased opinion based on my actual experience with the service.
With that said, I had a conversation with the creator of HeroPrep. Currently they provide Firefighter 1, 2 and NREMT test preparation service. In the near future they plan to expand that service into Instructor, the driver operator series, inspector and officer test preparation.
He also explained changes being made with Recruit911.com and a possible package deal. With the purchase of a HeroPrep service you will be given access to Recruit911.
My Honest Thoughts
I’ve invested in several similar services throughout my career.
Taking practice tests or answering practice questions is one of the best ways to prepare for an exam, hands-down. While taking practice tests you become comfortable with physically taking the test while you are learning and studying. Flash cards are great but they don’t give you that test-taking feeling.
The student dashboard was very basic and simple to navigate. There was nothing flashy it was pure Quiz City. The questions in the test bank were nearly identical to questions I’ve experienced in actual tests.
To be entirely truthful…I actually learned a few things I didn’t know, which made me a little excited. I thought I was going to smoke through the quizzes with no issue but I was stumped a few times. Which, by all rights, is exactly what you want to have happen. We learn from our mistakes.
The test banks were exactly what you would expect from a test preparation website. I attempted to access my account from my iPhone as well as my iPad and the website IS mobile-device-enabled which made taking quizzes even easier. I was completing topics while I was out and about in my Ladder Truck.