Fire & Rescue Special Ops – Howard County, MD

Hey Cuties,

Your girl was out trying to be a firemen at the Howard County Department Fire & Rescue in Maryland. Spoiler Alert: I’m not cut out for the job. I’ve always had respect for the fire department but I have even more respect for them now. Do you know they do so much more than just putting out fires? Don’t get me wrong putting out fires is no walk in the park. They also help trapped animals, work medical emergencies, accident scenes, water rescue, hazardous materials, collapse rescue, mass casualty emergency response and more.

MimiCuteLips CandidBelle

Much love to the Howard County Fire & Rescue Department.

Our morning started out with breakfast and words from Fire Chief John S. Butler. He was eager to share all the amazing things they do beyond fires. I must say it was comforting to know that they’ve thought about everything. We also heard from Jackie Kotei, she is the Public Relations Officer.

HoCo is all about the #PODPower, after September 11th the department wanted a more suitable delivery model for its growing Special Operations Team.  They started out using a single Emergency Support Vehicles {ESV 10}. Trying to cram all the tools and equipment for all seven disciplines {Hazmat, Trench/Building Collapse, Technical Rope, Swift Water/Flood Rescue, Mass Causality and Overland Search} into one unit was impossible. They weren’t able to be fully prepared when they arrived on the scene. Enter the POD Concept, they are large containers. They are easily transported with a hydraulic hook/arm system and pulled onto a truck chassis. This is a method used by the military. This method is very affordable and allows them to be 100% prepared when they arrive on the scene.

HoCo 3

Mass Casualty Emergency Response Pod

Mass Casualty Emergency Response Pod – Equipped to provided oxygen and spinal immobilization for 50 patients. This pod carries two large carts of equipment designed to establish immediate/delayed treatment. The ATV is set up to pull the carts to remote areas for quick access. They can stabilize and transport injured patients.

HoCo 2

A sample of some of the items on the Mass Casualty Pod

You can see the orange boards for stabilizing. The black collapsible wheeled stretcher is one of 25 in the pod.  These carts reduce responder fatigue; in the past this task required two to four persons. The totes you see are each labeled and filled with additional supplies.

HoCo 4

Oxygen Mask

Oxygen delivery system that allows you to give oxygen to multiple patients at a time.

HoCo 6

This POD had all kinds of tools and machinery.

Collapse Rescue Pod – This pod is equipped to respond to building and trench collapse rescue incidents. This POD has heavy rescue equipment capable of constructing rescue systems and handmade shoring for light weight, heavy time and concrete construction and trench collapse incidents.  This pod is equipped to be self-sufficient for a 24 hour operational period. They have tools made for breaching/breaking and cutting concrete and steel. They also have generators.

Fire & Rescue

CandidBelle & I suited and booted.

This was a hands on day so we suited up to cut concrete and steel. This suit was hot as hell and heavy.

Howard County

Getting ready to go to work on this concrete.

I was getting some instruction on how to work this power tool and keep myself safe. When doing this in the field there is a person that is responsible for watching you to make sure you are okay.

Thanks to Nae {I Choose the Sun} for capturing me in all my glory!

Howard County

That middle line is all me, it looks good. Not bad for my first time, it wasn’t as heavy as I thought.

Fire & Rescue

This is my piece of metal I cut off with the torch.

Howard County

Me and the Hazmat pod. A’int nothing funny about hazardous materials.

Hazmat POD – Without unloading the POD they ‘re equipped to pump off and store 180 gallons of diesel fuel from leaking trucks


They thought of everything and put it in this pod.

The Hazmat teams are responsible for incidents like fires involving hazardous materials, incidents involving chemicals and biological agents and medical incidents involving chemical use {and misuse} in the work place, homes and roadways.  The team has responded to hazardous material emergencies such as train derailments, suspicious package investigations and facility incidents.


Hazmat equipment and suit.


What are your thoughts? Chat with me in the comment section below or FBIG or Twitter.


Article written by:

Mimi Robinson is the Lifestyle Media Correspondent and editor behind MimiCuteLips®. She is a wife and mother of two. You can find Mimi working media at your favorite events, traveling and trying out new adventures, or working on a dope DIY project.

Join the discussion

  1. Aisha Adams

    Great post! I would not be cut out for the job. Firefighters are so important to our society and we owe them a lot. They often arrive before ambulances and are great with kids.

  2. Myeshia

    That seems like it was cool to have a day in the life of a firefighter. I always find it interesting to step into someone else’s shoes to see what they have to do day-to-day. I know I probably couldn’t do all that they do. It gives you a new found respect for them. Very informative post because I did not know they did all of that either!

  3. Myeshia

    That seems like it was cool to have a day in the life of a firefighter. I always find it interesting to step into someone else’s shoes to see what they have to do day-to-day. I know I probably couldn’t do all that they do. It gives you a new found respect for them. Very informative post because I did not know they did all of that either! Good post!

  4. Kita

    So cool! Well not the suits. I often wonder how hot it gets wearing the protective gears but glad you got a chance to try it out and learn some things.

  5. Carin Kilby Clark

    What a fun & informative time. I can only imagine how much the Fire & Rescue workers really do. They are underpaid for sure!

  6. Christina

    Wow! Great recap!

  7. Jeanette

    Wow what a great opportunity! I would love to do this myself. It sounds like a lot of fun and also very informative! It really brings to the forefront what fire fighters need to do each and every day!

  8. Alli

    Thanks for showing all the different jobs that firemen have. I’ve always respected the profession and I’m so glad you featured the fire department today. Our local firemen always supply a fire truck for our huge 4th of July event at our church. The kids are always thrilled. And I’m thankful in case the fireworks show goes haywire.

  9. Chubskulit Rose

    I have so much respect for the firemen as well, they do so much for little pay. They are one of those who does a lot for other people and sacrifice their own time just to serve others.

  10. Jesica H

    I would not be cut out for this job, but my kids would really love to see me try! This is right up there alley of exploration!

  11. lisa

    What a very cool experience! I have friends that are firemen and you never really think about all the stuff they have to use and know what to do with. That’s a lot of heavy equipment.

  12. Chasing Joy

    Wow what an experience for you. I know it made it so real gor you to wear the equipment and use the tools. I’m thankful for our fire men and women.

  13. jo

    I’d love to experience that too! I’ve always had respect for them for what they do. And oh my, who’d like to put himself in dealing with hazmats? Not me! So kudos to them! Nice ‘souvenier’ you got there. 😛

  14. JoAnna

    As informative as it is, this looks like so much fun! lol Their job is not easy. My friend is a firefighter and it’s touch, but he loves it.

  15. lisa @bitesforbabies

    What a great experience! My friend has been trying so hard to get into firefighter…you need to be a special person to be able to do that job!

  16. rika agustini

    Fire fighters are doing a wonderful job. Protect us! I have so much respect for the fireman! God Bless them and their family

  17. Ayanna

    How awesome to be a firefighter for a day! I definitely couldn’t do the job, even on a trial basis so good on you!

  18. Liz Mays

    They really have a bunch of jobs in one. It’s awesome that you were able to get such a hands on experience when you met them.

  19. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    Being a firefighter is definitely hard work. How cool that you got to have this experience and try on the uniform.

  20. Tyra

    What a dope experience you got to have. I have a special place in my heart for firemen ever since I did a ride along with them in J School.

  21. Felicita Moncada

    What a great experience! I guess you really don’t know what its like until you experience it for yourself. My cousin is a fire fighter and he tells me all the time how strenuous the job is but he loves it.

  22. Mykidsguide

    I have great respect for the firefighters. Theirs is not an easy job and their lives are always at risk. It must have a wonderful experience to see all these and even try their uniforms.

  23. Valerie

    What a neat experience! It definitely is a hard job and not something everyone can do!

  24. Michele D

    How wonderful that you got a chance to suit up for that day. I really admire what Fireman do. It takes someone that is very brave. I am very thankful for their service.

  25. Ashleigh Walls

    That is an amazing behind the scenes look to this job. You must have had so much fun!

  26. Nickida

    This is such a cool opportunity. I love that they opened up their doors to you guys so we all can see what they do. Such an awesome thing.

  27. Angela Weight

    What a cool and unforgettable way to spend your day. Seems like you learned a TON.

  28. Ann Bacciaglia

    I think it really takes a special person to be a firefighter. I would love to spend the day talking to them and learning some new skills.

  29. Uplifting Families

    Firefighters have a tough job. Our firefighters are typically first responders for wrecks, accidents, and more. Thank you for sharing what all they do. Most people think they sit at the firehouse all day between fire calls.

  30. Kara

    I know I wouldn’t be cut for the job either (the FOTD alone looks like it adds some pounds, how I’m gonna take selfies in that LOL) but how cool that you got to experience this for the day!

  31. Teems

    That’s pretty cool. Didn’t even recognize you. I actually just felt the weight of a fire suit for the first time this summer.

  32. Yona Williams

    I heard and it looks like that gear wears a million pounds. I’ve always wanted to slide down the firehouse pole before. Very interesting all of the different pieces of equipment they use.

  33. Melody Robinson Wright

    My father in law was a firefighter so I know how much goes into it. I’m definitely not cut out for it and I have much respect for all that they do.

  34. Julian (@BoldFearless1)

    You can tell you’ve definitely got to be in shape to take on the work that firefighters do. We take so much of what they do for-granted. Thanks for shining a light on their work! And you didn’t look to bad in that uniform either, Mimi 🙂

  35. Nancy

    Mimi, you look good in the suit, lol…what an awesome opportunity to understand what they really do for us, the risks that they take and the challenges that come with that…

  36. Fadra

    I LOVE your photos!! I’m so glad you came out in the heat and suffered with us for a glimpse at how awesome HCDFRS is!!

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