Dive Phase 2 / 5

This was a long one…

Last weekend was quite uneventful, lots of resting and relaxing. A few people headed back to Comox while the other half of us hung out in Victoria.  Which ended up being much needed. It got to the point this week where everyone is kinda zombeeing around, we’re exhausted.

Every morning this week we ran, far. The morning runs have been around 10km each, plus remember that we have to run everywhere we go… And swimming? geeze. 2 days this week it seemed like all we did was swim haha. Every little thing that “went wrong” we were in the water and swimming. “To the dock and back!” (about 600m). Or 90 seconds of swimming 90 seconds of rest over and over and over… We’re doing pretty good, we missed a few timings this week and paid for it via swimming. Which let water into your dry suit, which made you cold…

This doesnt include the swimming involved in SCUBA diving. This week we did some underwater searching. The instructors would throw some tools and stuff in the water, we hop into the water, and a guy on the surface with a tether gives us rope signals to tell us where to go. Sound like a terrible way to communicate? It actually works quite well, assuming you can remember what each number of tugs on the rope means. It was pretty fun, i found a badass knife that i plan on keeping. Some people found some interesting things, one dude brought up what looked like a giant white board.

The days have been pretty cold aswell. constantly cold and wet. Seems to be impossible to take enough hot showers to warm back up, and the mess doesn’t make enough soup haha.

It all got interesting, however, at night.


Twice this week we dove at around 7pm, pitch dark, you literally can’t see your hand infront of your face. You get a glowstick to check how much air you have left and thats all. Down you go to 40feet below the surface and follow what they call a “Jackstay”. It’s a rope laying on the ocean floor in a giant square. You basically have to get over knowing that you’re swimming through darkness with sea lions and otters and you name it, and just swim until you’re out of air.

We also got some experience with underwater navigation. This was pretty cool, swimming with an underwater compass. The thing that sucked is you had to really swim. The currents are strong and the boat drops you off in the middle of nowhere. if you don’t swim hard enough, you wont move. It’s quite disorienting, sometimes you feel like you’re swimming in circles when  in reality you’re swimming straight… and every now and then it’d feel like you’re swimming straight  (meaning you were going in circles )


The remainder of the week was made up of classes and lectures on various aspects of diving (decompression, physics etc.)

But 2/5 weeks done, we all have about 10 hours underwater. We begin next week with another pt test and a full schedule of exploring the shallow green ocean of western Canada…


Dive Phase 1/5

In the pool

Happy new year every Happy new year everyone!…

We started Dive phase this week. As a military requirement, since Sar Techs spend a lot of time in the water, we have to be qualified as CABA divers. (Compressed air breathing apparatus) it’s SCUBA diving… don’t know why the military insists on being different but it’s scuba diving.


Everyone had mixed feelings, driving down to Victoria Sunday morning, about starting dive the next day. We had no idea what to expect for day 1…


The start was quite calm… some administration stuff, everyone is coming back from holidays so a little disorganized. We got lockers, unloaded all our gear (we have A LOT of gear). I’ll try to attach a photo of the locker space. It’s ridiculous, and when you hear what we end up doing in the space it seems impossible.


Yes thats my ass… Then an instructor came in and said “akward PT gear”. An akward is changing as fast as you can. So this ment change as fast as you can into shorts and a t-shirt. The akward comes from an old Navy thing where people on ship have to change quickly. The name probably comes from how akward and funny everyone looks trying to put on neoprene suits that are crazy sticky to get into. They took us for a run to show us the 1.5mile route they use. After the run the instructor said “welcome to your first PT test”. We now had to race the 1.5mile run as fast as possible. After which we did max sit ups,  pushups, pullups… “Akward Wet Suit!”… no way!, it was so cold, couldn’t use my hands very well and I knew the ocean was even colder.


We changed into our wetsuits as quick as possible, utter chaos! We had to set the dock up, raise flags the whole bit… as fast as possible. Our first time took 10min. Not too shabby… on Friday we did it in 3min 32 seconds.


After we got ready we jumped into the ocean and swam 1.5miles as a race… this is called the “morning swim”… I kinda look forward to it now, we want to get the akward under 3min. All of this was before lunch. Needless to say, it’s very easy to get a good night sleep.


There’s pt every morning, you have to run everywhere you go… no walking. Always moving, lifting etc. Very active course, should be interesting. I like moving around doing shit, makes the day go by a bit faster…


Tuesday/Wednesday we spent in a swimming pool learning about all the equipment and emergency procedures for scuba diving… spent the 2 days underwater. We practiced sharing air in the event you’re out. Practiced changing into different masks etc..


Thursday/Friday we did the same in the ocean, aswell as some searching underwater… you’re attached to a rope that’s being pulled on a certain amount of times to tell you what direction to swim (since you can’t see anything). The difficulty is we all barely knew what the different pulls ment. The blind was leading the blind… very basic stuff, walk before you run. It’ll get more difficult and complex. .. we’re all looking forward to it.

Amongst all this we did some lectures on how diving can kill you. And we had some discussions on the different animals/creatures we will encounter while diving. Some physics lessons on buoyancy  (flims from the 1800’s), and some pt cock sessions.


Until Monday I’m going to rest up for the weekend, drink some coffee and see what next week holds. Scuba diving at night? Should be interesting.

On the dock


Here We Go…

Happy New Year everyone! And a Merry Christmas to you and your families.

The fun is just beginning…ruet

Now that the longest phase of the course is done, the blog will be updated more frequently as the phases get shorter and quite frankly way more fun. Don’t get me wrong medical was awesome and a lot of really good knowledge, but there are only so many things i can write about when it comes to blood and diabetes.


So last we left off we were finished medical and off to Nova Scotia for Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. That was loads of fun and we all went straight to Christmas Leave. Suppose to be a break… It was crazy! As most of you know, over the break I got married… So 12 people came from England a week early, spent Christmas with my whole family then the wedding. It was awesome! But now back to reality…


I flew back into Comox on Friday, did a bunch of laundry, ran around to buy some stuff I needed, and I’m heading into work this morning… The 49ers will be reunited today, get issued a bunch more kit. And we’re off to Victoria BC for the next several weeks. Dive phase.

I don’t know too much about SCUBA Diving other then what SCUBA stands for… So this will be a very interesting phase. There’s been mixed reports on whether the course is fun or not so only time will tell. I do know that it is January… so it’ll be cold -_-… but im sure they will find ways to “keep us warm”. This phase is run by the Navy instead of run by SAR Techs… it’s a long story… I’ll be updating every phase from here on out.



Course 49 Medical Phase

Medical Phase complete… wow!


One year ago yesterday I wrote a blog post on this site talking about how crazy it was that I was picked to attend Pre-selection. If you had said then that in a year I would be a paramedic, I would have laughed… Yet here we are…

The last 4 months have consisted of everything from how to talk to different types of patients (kids vs adults, trauma vs sick people) all the way to how to manage a traumatic event that you and a team member are responsible for administering medical assistance.


:Above, my lovely course-mates were practicing strapping patients to a spine board, that patient was me on this day… and they left me like this…

We have learned:

Needles, drawing meds, different meds and what they do/how they work, IV lines, drilling into peoples bones, fractures, spine problems, psychiatric, taking vitals, extricating people from vehicles, dissecting organs, cpr, shoving tubes down throats, how to give birth, how to stick a needle in someones chest… you name it (in terms of emergency medicine) and we covered it in quite a short amount of time. At times it was quite overwhelming… a lot of written and practical tests, a lot of studying after hours, and very long days.


:above is Alfred “Turn Around” Barr about to get his flu shot. Already has a sucker..


:Above, doing a skills station on head injuries and amputations


Above: We used animal bones with similar anatomy to that of a human bone to practice drilling needles into it.

The phase ended with all of us going to various parts of British Columbia and working on an ambulance… practicing our new skills on real patients. It was a blast! Depending on where you worked, you saw different types of people. Vancouver was a lot of drug addicts, homeless, and very very sick old people. The island saw a mix of calls, and all together all 11 of us interacted with a lot of different patients and saw a lot of cool stuff.

Emergency medicine is difficult to teach because you don’t have an actual sick person in front of you when you’re learning. But it was cool to goto real sick people and see how far we’ve come, in terms of our ability to help people who are in need, in just 12 weeks!


:Above is drPJ Seal and Big Daddy practicing breaking into a car. We also used the jaws of life and basically spent 3 hours destroying cars.

So i’ll tell 1 story and that’ll be that for now (there are far too many, so ask next time we talk)… I (well me and the crew i was with) saved someone’s life, I can’t describe the feeling and I’m not trying to boast at all! But it’s why I wanted this job and it was awesome!

This guy overdosed on an awful drug called fentenal. It makes you stop breathing and kills you. The idea from drug dealers is if someone overdoses on their drug laced with fentenal, more people will buy the drug for its “potency”… a couple deaths for more clients, awful… anyway…  girlfriend called the ambulance and she was freaking out. We show up and start breathing for him with a bag that pushes air into his body. I got a tube down his nose to make sure air would get into his lungs. We got access to his veins to administer a drug we carry called Naloxone.  This drug reverses narcotics, In this case the narcotic causing him to not be responsive or capable of breathing… very cool! So we give a bunch of this drug and he slowly started waking up. After a while he was more awake and started crying his eyes out (due to confusion and realizing he just died and shouldn’t be alive)… he explained that he took a pill he sort of knew what it was but didn’t realize it had fentenal in it… all of that was great and was really cool, but nothing beat this…….

A few hours later I was in the hospital and the guy saw me, he was still in a bed getting medication and he waved me over. This big tough guy started choking up trying to come up with words to thank us for saving him. He knew how serious Fentenal is, he knew he was dead… and he knew we saved his life. That will stay with us for ever…


:Above, me holding a heart… Not that guys heart… but a heart..

So what does this mean? Short answer is that we are SAR Tech paramedics… Long answer is we are very far from fully trained SAR Techs. Medical is only one aspect of search and rescue. If you cant find a patient, you cant get to a patient safely, and you have no idea how to survive with a patient… you can know all the medicine in the world and you’ll still die. So that is what the rest of the course will teach us…We now know what to do when we get to a patient, let’s learn how to find and get to them… it’s going to be fucking awesome.



Course 49 Update Pre-Med Phase

Hey everyone… I know its been a while since I’ve updated but we’ve been crazy busy. So basically in the last month our course has been to Victoria, Winnipeg, Kamloops, Jarvis, and of course Comox.

The first week of the course we got issued a shit ton of kit, basically every cool piece of equipment you can think of, we got. We also got sized for equipment we’ll get later in the course. This includes custom wet and dry suits for SCUBA.

The first video here is just a couple of us exploring the area and having some fun.

The 2nd week, we went to Winnipeg, Manitoba for high altitude indoc. Basically teaching us how our bodies react to not having enough oxygen. Some good laughs and an interesting enough course we were all eager to see how Jarvis Lake is the 2nd time around… Below is a picture of us in an altitude chamber and our group photo. Also showcased is our course logo, which is pretty bad ass if i do say so myself.


We then headed back to Jarvis Lake Alberta… As some of you might remember, this is where selection was. Everyone was kinda iffy the first hour or so heading into the camp but we quickly realised it would be a lot different. The instructors open this phase with “Welcome Home Gentlemen”… That was awesome.


The Picture left above is us heading in to cross the 750m lake swim with a “casualty”. And to the right; the whole course in Jarvis Lake.

This phase was quite a bit of work. Spent the whole week learning a LOT, and spending all the free time practicing new skills. It was also time to do maintenance on the camp, such as stock all the firewood etc… A very long week.


The 2 pictures above: The left one is me on my groups improvised raft, we went a little overboard and make a propulsion system which yielded a lot of extra energy spent turning the shaft to move the raft… but it worked. The right picture is us driving through Jasper, very nice.

Upon returning to Comox, we had a HUGE task ahead of us. We were expected to learn the CS200 Anatomy and Physiology course content (usually learnt in I think 3months) in 2 weeks, with a 100 question exam at the end. Passing the exam meant we were all able to move on to do the paramedic training. After an intense 2 weeks of studying we all passed. Real medical phase starts tomorrow morning. Yesh!

And lastly, the video below is our “Man Ops” phase, its worth the 3min watch.

Super Regionals, and What’s Next

So the CrossFit Regionals has come and gone once more… Another crazy year of training, and a new endeavour up and coming. Its moments like this when I really get to see how supportive friends and family are, and every year it blows me away! Anyone who thinks they were even a slight part of this, Thank YOU!

How Regionals went for me:


All my training was going perfect and as planned, my times for trial workouts were on par for top 10 to 15 for most regions. The Sunday before Regionals I was guiding a barbell to the ground when it came back direct on my thumb, dislocating the top knuckle. Ouch. Luckily I have an awesome support crew, cause I was F’n pissed. I didn’t train leading up to Fridays workouts, I just iced and heated my thumb. Come Friday I taped the shit out of my thumb, said fuck hook grip and just enjoyed, probably for the first time, competing.

I thought the new Super Regional was phenomenal! The last couple years the case has been that the first 2 heats are kind of boring, nothing happens, people don’t finish in the time cap, and everyone is waiting to watch the final 2 heats. This was not the case… AT ALL. All 4 heats were crazy, almost everyone was finishing the workouts, people from all heats were getting top 10 finishes… it was awesome.

My biggest highlight of the weekend was meeting CJ Martin. When I started getting serious about being a SAR Tech, I started following CrossFit Invictus/CJ Martin. I’ve followed this “imaginary” guy for years! I took all of his training ideas, and everything he offers to the fullest advantage and it paid off. Being able to meet this person and tell him what he helped me accomplish was incredible. I was losing my shit! CJ was quite humble, and I just told him that he helps people more then he thinks… he seemed quite proud.

I got back to work and BOOM… My occupational transfer offer was sitting at work waiting for me. It’s official! They actually offered me to transfer to SAR Tech… Naturally I accepted. It’s real.


What do I do now?

Time to start studying!!! And of course, training. I’m going to follow SealFit for a little bit, just for variance. My lovely Fiancé is also following SealFit for fun and because we like training together.


15.5 Prediction

Holy Handstands! 15.4 brought us a new movement in a wicked way… EVERYONE wanted handstand pushups, until they came up.

People seem to define themselves through their movement, “but I’m a good squatter!”, “skipping is my jam!”, “but I have the best wallballs in my gym!”… People fail to define themselves through their capacity. I believe that Dave Castro wanted to exploit this and show people what they need to work on, that’s what the open is for!

Everyone wanted handstands because they’re good at them right!? Castro said, “ok here ya go” and made a workout consisting nearly 90% of handstands for 8min… Awesome. Hopefully everyone who didn’t do as amazing as they thought they would, will focus on their capacity in certain movements, not just how “good” they are at them…

On to 15.5!!! 3 WICKED ladies going head to head to head… GAHHHHH I cant wait!! It’s going to be for time, its going to be tough, and its going to be amazing to watch on Thursday night…

15.5 Will be (probably not)


60 Cal Row

21 Thrusters 100/80

30 Box Jumps

15 Thrusters 100/80

15 Burpee Bar Muscle Up

9 Thrusters 100/80

Also predicting shuttle runs but not sure how they fit yet…


Well that was wicked! My 2 favorite movements (wall balls, muscle ups) and some old school skipping! On to week 4, regionals is tight this year so the open is messing up training. Usually it’s just 1 and done, but this year everything has to go as planned. I’ve only had to redo 15.1/15.1a but the anticipation of possibly having to redo takes up time. Non the less I’m excited for regional prep.

15.4 WILL BE!

For Time:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (increasing weight)


Hang Cleans

Shoulder to OVH

Probably not… but still, Bridges will win.

15.3 Prediction

Hey everyone! Happy “nearly” 15.3 and a shout out to Joe Johnson who crushed 15.2 and its his birthday today.

15.2 was nothing super special or exciting, but it’s always awesome to redo a workout and see how incredibly good CrossFit is. 14.2 is becoming the new Fran and its an amazing test of fitness… 435! Josh Bridges! My man, crazy.

15.3, it’s too easy to say “pistols/double unders” so I’m not. If Castro ever gives a hint, it’s always easy, then we’re blown away when he thinks of something we didn’t.

Here it is.

8 min Amrap:

30 Double unders

5 x 8 meter shuttle run

20 pistols

5 x 8 meter shuttle run

This sticks to his clue but then throws in something we didn’t expect. We’ll all know in just a few hours! 🙂

15.2 Prediction

15.1/15.1a Here and gone… MAN the open goes so fast.

Thoughts on 15.1/15.1a, brilliant workout! This wod tested how well you (as an athlete) knew your body and ability. The wod also kicked the open off with a 2 scored event, which really helps a lot of competitors. The worst is when week one is done and athletes that should be at the top already have 100 points because of 1 rep, you then have to wait till week two for the leaderboard to level out. This year, the board is nice and level 🙂

Moving on to the next week, 15.2…… 15.2a?

I don’t think so… I think last week showed us a new concept and we’ll be going back to classic CrossFit for 15.2… I hate that everyone thinks it’s going to be handstand pushups because I wanted to guess handstand pushups! But here is what I think will be 15.2:

7min AMRAP;

10 Double under

4 Handstand Pushups

20 Double Under

8 Handstand Pushups

30 Double Under

12 Handstand pushups

40 Double Under

16 Handstand pushups

50 Double Under

20 Handstand Pushups

Week 1 was too easy on the lungs, week 2 we’re really going to have to work. Engine, engine, engine…