In what might be the most notable Mets photo op since Anna Benson gave a bunch of Queens schoolkids a most inappropriate Christmas eyeful, pitchers Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee and Bobby Parnell participated in FDNY training exercises on Randall’s Island, NY Thursday. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo bore witness.
Along with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, the four Mets players participated in a series of drills including forcibly entering a burning room, extinguishing a room fire and a car fire, climbing an aerial ladder, being rescued from a window and, of course, dropping feet-first off a five-story building. For Gee and Parnell, the experiences were not entirely novel — their fathers are firefighters for the Fort Worth (Texas) Fire Department and the Salisbury (N.C.) Fire Department, respectively. But for Pelfrey, Dickey and Wilpon, the day was a lesson.
“It was tough,” Pelfrey said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience — pretty awesome. It makes you appreciate the things that they do even more.”
Nearly all of the Fire Department’s “dirty training” takes place at its 27-acre Randalls Island facility, which includes a building equipped with oil-based smoke generators, a street lined with model storefronts, and a burned-out car that can set itself on fire.
There’s no truth to the rumor Jeff Wilpon — hoping to present Carlos Beltran with some sort of “lifetime achievement award” prior to the start of spring training, has requested blueprints of the self-immolating automobile.