New York bravest, indeed!
In honor of International Firefighter Day, Rachael, her husband John Cusimano, Chef Anne Burrell and NY Jet Nick Mangold became firefighters for a day, undergoing four challenges at NYC's firefighter training school to help raise money for Denis Leary's Leary Firefighters Foundation.
And one of the many things they underwent, bravely attempting just a fraction of the heroic, dangerous things real firefighters do every day? A rescue mission — inside a simulated subway station.
THE SUBWAY SIMULATOR CHALLENGE
OBJECTIVE: LEARN HOW THE FDNY OPERATES IN A SUBWAY EMERGENCY
"This is a life-size train, built by the MTA," says Captain Michael Callanan. "This is the real deal."
"Here," he continues, "we train members on different incidents that can happen, from a single person being injured to a mass casualty."
Because it was a search-and-rescue mission, they came from one end of the dark tunnel, walking over the rocky tracks to get to the train. They then got onto the train and immediately got to work finding the bodies and then carefully, securely fastening them to stretchers.
All while lights were flashing and people were screaming (via a recording) around them — a way for the trainers to heighten the feeling of real-life panic.
"It was very interesting," says Rachael. "It was all about team-building, going into a subway and rescuing people. I thought we all did a great job with that."
(We couldn't agree more, Rach!)
"There were victims," Anne adds, "that we had to report. We had to say that we needed backup."