Thursday, January 15, 2004
Living It Up: Driving A Zamboni
Just go ahead and admit it, if you've ever watched a hockey game, you've wanted to drive the zamboni. Well, tonight, Jackie Johnson's getting the chance - she's Living It Up on the ice, in a profession where you're always guaranteed to get a cold shoulder.
Jackie: "So, I don't think people really realize you can take courses to be a zamboni driver. You are not just a driver, you are an operator."
Zamboni operatorJeff Remy Remelius: "Yeah, what they have now is a CIT, Certified Ice Technician. You have to complete three courses, it's recognized by the NHL."
Jackie: "OK, so during a game, is the pressure on when everyone clears off the ice, and you want to clear it, how long does it take?"
Remy: "It should take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes."
Jackie: "So how do these things run, gas, electric?"
Remy: "This particular one runs on propane, they have electric, they have natural gas, and they have regular gas."
Jackie: "All right, so we are going to clean the ice?
Jackie: "What do we start with?"
Remy: " Well, we'll just go up by the machine and show you the basic stuff."
Remy: "You've got four tires that have the studs in the tires, so the machine doesn't slip and slide."
Remy: "How the machine actually operates is there's a blade in here. The blade cuts the ice,so you are basically shaving the top layer off and laying water to lay a smooth layer."
Remy: "This is your main water, which is your ice-making water."
Remy: "So, Jackie, you ready to take your first lesson in resurfacing the ice?"
Jackie: "I'm ready."
Jackie: "Come on, zamboni, come on."
Remy: "The first pattern, you go along the boards."
Jackie: "And that's pretty tricky, right?"
Remy: "Along the boards is, so they have, also what they have is a board brush that kind of gives you a guide on how far to stay away from the boards."
Jackie:"Hold on tight, this thing goes up to 20 miles per hour."
Remy: "Once you start driving, you will drive slow; you'll put the conditioner down very easy."
Remy: "Once you have all that going, and you start going towards the corner, then you can turn on your main ice making water."
Jackie: "Which way do I turn it?"
Remy: "Just open it this way."
Jackie: "Now, does that kind of melt the ice a little bit?"
Remy: "No, what happens is cold water holds more air inside, so it won't freeze as fast, so we use hot water at about 150 degrees, so when the water's coming out it's hitting the ice and immediately freezing."
Jackie: "All right, Remy, how did I do?"
Remy: "You did great, the ice looks great."
Jackie: "Now, what would it be like, what would life be like without the zamboni?"
Remy: "People would be falling all over the place."
Jackie: "Well, good thing we got the ice resurfaced. And that's what it's like Living It Up driving a zamboni. A big thanks to Remy and incredible ice. I am freezing, so I am going home."
Next week, Jackie's getting rough and rugged.
She's pulling out all the stops, riding an A.T.V. That's next Thursday, at ten.
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