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Jo’s Blog: Salamander Day 1 2017

The best week of the year has arrived again and Salamander 2017 has started. It’s so good seeing everyone back and welcoming some new faces as well. This year we have three teams.

Red: – Leading the team this year is Mark, the red team is made up of some of the experienced old timers that we want to push a little more. Phil- Forensic Paramedic and Simon a Volunteer assistant supporting Mark. The team is Seamus, Josiah, Douglas, Oliver, Michael, Myles and Zachary.

Blue: – Leading the team is Nev, in blue team we have Alicia who is new to the course, Andrew who we welcome back after a break, Sophie, Charlie and Luke who all know the course well. Helpers are myself (Jo) Fire Service Volunteer Lukas and Fire Service Volunteer Kevin.

Green: – Leading the team is Steve, with help from Abi – Advanced Ambulance Practitioner, PC Pav and Shannon a Volunteer assistant . Green is made up of Abbie who is on her first course, Rhys who we welcome back after a couple of years, Nicole, Sam, and Marcello.

Our team also includes Fraser and Nicky who are looking after everyone. Fraser is on camera duty as he is the best at tacking pictures ready for his famous DVD’s. Some of you may have noticed you haven’t see Nicky in the morning yet again. It’s not because she doesn’t want to it’s because she is slaving over a hot stove upstairs getting our breakfast ready.

We start with our usual cooked breakfast, the regulars all know exactly where to go and guide the new ones to the correct tables. They sit themselves down ready for the sausage, bacon, egg, baked beans and toast, juice and fruit so know one can say they are hungry as they all tuck into good platefuls. Whatever you do, don’t give your young person breakfast before they come! What they consume here is large but they do work it off during the day I promise.

After cleaning the tables it’s down to the classroom to find out what we are doing today. The board is set up showing the signs to what will be going on. This way everyone can look and see what’s happening.

So, we start with tours of the station seeing where everything is and getting to know the safety side of the week. Meanwhile the other teams are getting into kit and we can start team building exercises. “Shark Infested Custard” and this year a new way of getting through and across the boards and staying out the sea!! Blind Leading The Blind, which this year was more a whistle stop tour of the cones (for those who have been before we all know this is where Fraser grows his safety cones and we need to be guided around them not to upset the growing.) They took it in turns to blow the whistle to change the lines direction. To be honest blue group just headed off regardless of the of instructions. Then to benches, where it is big hug time! We also practise drill. Must work on left and right. But hay it will all be fine on the show!!

The teams have a look around the smoke house. As always for the first time the windows are open and the lights are on. There is a new layout this year so we have a good look round so they can try and remember where everything is so not to get lost when they go in, in the dark.

Soon it’s time to head up for dinner and everyone looks as if they have never been fed. Vast amounts of food is hoovered up. We have Fresh bread, ham, chicken, tuna, cheese, crisps and lots of salad with fruit and juice. We are trying for the healthy options this year and I must say it has gone down very well. So, if your young person won’t eat salad at home I may have the picture to prove they do. After clean up time it’s back down to the classroom and we can get ready for the afternoon’s activities.

Fire hoses – and my favourite a quick spin around the yard in the fire engine and thank you to Nev for taking us in blue group around again to stop me moaning it was too short a ride followed by getting the hoses out and spraying water at the roof and rolling the hose in the correct way.

Ladders – Up onto the roof climbing a short ladder to the first section. Well done to Alicia who was cautious at first but got to grips with it and made it up with no fear. They work together to put the ladders up against the wall and then one shouts “foot the ladder” and waits for the “ladder footed” response before they head up. Then we walk over to the tower where there was a perfect photo opportunity for Nicky to take pictures. Sorry to the full timers who waited until we had finished before they could do their drill.

All to soon the cars start turning up for them to go home. I do hope they all sleep well as they have worked hard today.

There were a few clean t-shirts left on the pegs. So if you are missing your clean t-shirt for tomorrow please collect it from your peg and don’t forget to take it home tomorrow.

Don’t forget to view all the photos in our gallery