YAKIMA, Wash -- At four foot ten inches, Sarah Hovis is the smallest recruit for Yakima County Fire District 5. But like everyone else she is expected to work all of the equipment.
"The first time you don't know where any of the straps or button are," said Hovis. "After you put them on a couple of times, you get used to where they are."
After two weeks of classroom work, the recruits put their knowledge into action. They learned how to put on their bunker gear -- the boots, coat and helmet. And how to use their self contained breathing apparatus
"It was kind of hard to breath at first. It fogs up. It was just kind of real difficult to breath right off the bat."
The SCBA is the life line for firefighters. It provides not only oxygen to breath, but also helps cool the body in a warm environment. Its similar to scuba equipment except it also has a motion detector built in which beeps when a fire fighter hasn't moved in thirty seconds. A vital tool for protecting fire fighters.