Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here I Am...

Well... Here I am.
In Anniston, Alabama for Incident Commander training.
I left Sunday, flying out of Evansville. My flight took off almost 2 hours late.
The Atlanta airport is... big. I think I took a wrong turn when I got there, and ended up walking probably 42 miles from the Delta gate to the South Baggage Claim area (which I think is actually right next to the Delta gate). Anywho, I walked down a ways following the signs directing me to the Baggage Claim area... then the signs stopped saying anything about Baggage. So I went back a ways and asked directions. The guy so back a few gates and go downstairs. I did. Then walked to the baggage claim area.
And walked.
And walked.
And walked... thinking, well it's gotta be the next one - surely these trains don't run to the baggage claim area.
And walked.
And walked.
And, rode the moving sidewalk a ways.
And walked.
And walked. And I'll bet these trains must go to the baggage claim area.
And walked.
And walked to a sign pointing back upstairs to the baggage claim area.
And walked upstairs to another sign pointing another set of stairs to the baggage claim area.
And walked.
And finally arrived at the baggage claim area where I stood for about 10 minutes watching the carousel the flight attendant had said our luggage would be on. It never showed up on that carousel.
So I checked in with my contact and went to the help desk. He said the flight I arrived on it usually takes an hour or an hour and a half for the baggage to make it from the plane to the carousel, because they only have one driver... I asked him (just to make sure) which carousel it would be on.
Turns out, not the one I was told.
I went back and quickly retrieved my luggage which was waiting for me on the correct carousel.
I checked back with my contact that was waiting for me (and all the other responders attending the training). She handed me a ticket for a meal from on the restaurants in the airport and told me to back no later than 4:15 pm because that's when the bus was leaving.
I got on the bus at 4 o'clock.
And waited.
And waited.
And waited.
The bus finally left at 6 o'clock.
We watched "RV" on the way to the training center, about an hour and a half away from Atlanta.
Once we got here Sunday night, we did some check-in paperwork and we're quickly sent to the dining hall to have dinner (which was supposed to have ended at 7:30 but they held it for us because that's when we arrived!).
Then I went to my room and went to bed.
Monday was lots of sitting in a seminar room listening to different people give us overviews of the knowledge and procedures we'd be using in the exercises Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tuesday (today) was putting that knowledge to work in some exercises, and tomorrow is the final tabletop exercise putting everything from Monday and Tuesday together.
Thursday and Friday is a different course - Hand On Training!!! I get to put on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and get gassed!! (that's actually Friday).
Then Saturday I'll fly home, pending any delayed flights - which I'm told is the norm at the Atlanta airport.


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