Marines run to the sound of the guns. Firefighters run to the smell of smoke.
March 23 marked a day when both ran to the same sound, of a Chicago Fire Department instructor, Instructor Walker, as he ran Marines through the Chicago Fire Departments physical training test.
Split into two sessions, Marines from Marine Recruiting Station Chicago left their Dress Blues and benefit tags at their offices as they headed downtown to train with Chicago’s Finest.
The event began with a tour of the facilities. The Marines had the opportunity to check out the burn houses and training facility – Just the start.
Stripping off their blouses the Marines were shown the physical fitness course, a quarter mile run, fire hose drag, 185-pound dummy drag, tire chops, tire flips, a max set up push-ups, dips and ending with the Marines favorite, pull-ups.
Go—yelled Walker as the first group, Maj. Matthew Tracy, Chicago’s commanding officer, and Sgt. Joseph Darby, a recruiter from Recruiting Substation South Chicago hit the pavement to start the day, and they set the bar.
As the city stations finished the days festivities, cadets from the recent academy class ran thought he course with the Marines, pushing them harder and faster.
“In the end it was a great day of comrade between civil servants and the U.S. Marines,” said Staff Sgt. Devon Rycraw, the noncommissioned officer in charge, Recruiting Substation Oak Park, RS Chicago. “It shed light onto the daily duties our firefighters do for us, and the physical demand they are put through on a daily basis while protecting Chicago.”