After the delights of the fund raising process and our run from Malvern to New Road it was time for the academy to join the Young Fire Fighters at their bases in Redditch and Droitwich and embark on a weekend of activity.
Fortunately there were no Geography exhibitions or other such events this time so we enjoyed our full quota of players over the two days!
Saturday morning saw us undertake some parade training. We moved on quickly and our attention switched to learning the necessities of Fire Fighting as we set about making a dam using ladders, sheets, ropes and hoses. We were quick to learn and after a classroom session Saturday had come to an end. We were beginning to understand further the requirements of being a Fire Fighter.
Sunday came and with it another early start. It proved to be action packed as Adrian, Beccy and the other Fire Fighters had many drills still to show us. After further practice of parade training we moved on to the ladders.
After having done this we learned how to search a smoke filled room. The blindfold practice of this turned out to be particularly amusing as once again JEdward (Jack Edwards) did not disappoint! Little did he realise that what he was touching was not a dummy but in fact a real person....
USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) took the lead in the afternoon as we embarked on what was affectionately known as 'the rat run'. We were put into teams of four and had to carry objects though an obstacle course which can only really be described as a extremely large wooden box designed to mimic an earthquake. Consequently it consisted of many tight spaces. I was particularly nervous at this stage as I was repeatedly told that the size of my head would be a restricting factor in completing the course. The 'rat run' was challenging and there were plenty of relieved faces at the end of the course.
Sunday reached its climax when we put our training into action. Gas masks were fitted firmly as we had to work as a team to search fully a smoke filled room and rescue any casualties inside. This was a great success as all casualties were found and saved. As we exited the building we were greeted by a line of Young Fire Fighters all armed with hoses and a seemingly endless supply of water.
The day was concluded with a brief speech from Tom Fell after which we received certificates. We then handed over the cheque for £1153.57 to the Young Fire Fighters Association.
The opportunity of being able to work closely as a team after our winter training programme was thoroughly enjoyable and the whole fund raising process was a success. This was a great experience which will hopefully be beneficial to us in the upcoming season. Thanks must go to Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Staff, YFA Droitwich and to Lynsey our ECB Personal Development and Welfare Coach for arranging the event and also to the Young Fire Fighters for their warm hospitality.
Jack Edwards: "the fire fighting experience was packed with lots of brilliant and exciting tasks. Not only did it give us a taste of a life of a fireman, but also was a great team bonding event and incorporated the skills required for working in a team"