Smoke poured out the front door of the old Lake Placid hospital. Inside, members of the Lake Placid and Paul Smiths-Gabriels volunteer fire departments crawled along the floor, using a hose as their only method of navigation, until they found Randy.
They heaved Randy down a hallway toward a window, keeping a hand or foot on the hose at all times so they did not get off track, breathing heavily through their air masks. They never made it. Fortunately, this was just a drill.
The smoke was from a smoke machine, the firefighters did not have debris falling on them, and Randy — well, Randy was around 240 pounds of hose, bunched up so he would have two arms and two legs.
All over the former Adirondack Medical Center building on Church Street, firefighters from several Franklin and Essex County departments practiced firefighting and life-saving situations, learning how to work together and discovering where they need to improve themselves.