This is the 7th installment in chronicling my journey into law enforcement. If you would like to read from the beginning, it is best to start with The Foundation.
Since last week I have made several trips back and forth to what I will call South Place, USA, to wrap up what is remaining in the South Place Police hiring process. I have been told that I am to start working full time as a city employee in 10 days! Apparently we will be taking care of some administrative things for a few weeks before the academy starts. Yesterday I had to go to the doctor for a physical and stress test. This part of the process is new to me, as I had not gotten this far into the process yet with the other departments I had been applying to. I had to make the 90 minute drive after working all night and to make things more difficult I had to fast for 12 hours before the physical. This was challenging since I had to be up all night at work, so by morning I was exhausted and starving.
My appointment was at 10:00 am. After arriving and filling out the packet of paperwork that was waiting for me, they drew my blood and tested my hearing and vision. I think I have mentioned before that I am a pretty competitive person, so those hearing and vision tests are kind of fun because I always try to really focus so that I can hear the extremely quiet tones on the hearing test and see the smallest images on the vision test.
I also had to take some sort of breathing test. I can't remember what it was called for the life of me but I had this tube that I had to blow into that was about 4 inches long. I was instructed to take in a very large breath of air and then blow into the tube as hard as I could for as long as I could. Then when I was all out of air, and while keeping my mouth around the tube I was to take another large inhale. The data from this was recorded on a computer screen. It was more difficult than it sounds because when I thought that I had blown out all the air the I could, the nurse still urged me to "keep going, keeping going!" Toward the end it felt like I was blowing and no air was even coming out. I had to to three sets of this little exercise and she assured me that I did really well.
After that I had to have your standard physical done where they make sure you use all parts of your body without any pain or real discomfort. The last thing they would do that day is have me take a stress test, but this was not before I had to drop my drawers down to my knees and have my man parts violated! That was just pleasant (sarcasm).
The stress test was kind of fun but extremely awkward. I took my shirt off and they attached 12 electrodes to my body with cords running from each one back to an EKG machine to collect all kinds of data about myself. Then I had to get on a treadmill and run with all this stuff hooked to me. I also had a blood pressure cuff on my arm, which they used to take my blood pressure every 3 minutes while I was running. It was very awkward to try to run with all these wires coming off of you and some lady turning your arm sideways to get your blood pressure. I definitely looked like a robot! To make things even more uncomfortable I had to run in khaki pants and dress shoes because I was not informed about this stress test at all. They record all this information to make sure you have a healthy cardiovascular system and that your body can perform well under stress.
Before I could head home I had to stop by the South Place Police Station to give them the paperwork from the doctor. On Monday I will drive up there again to get fitted for our uniforms and bullet proof vests. I am told that the 4 of us that are being hired will be sworn in sometime during the second week of March. Everything is moving so fast, it's crazy!