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Jo’s Blog Salamander Day 2

Tuesday already and another packed day. All greetings done in the classroom as if they haven’t seen each other for days we are ready for breakfast. It doesn’t take long for them to run up the stairs and get the tables ready for the first team to go and get breakfast. It doesn’t take long for them to settle down with their full plates and tuck in……silence……it’s funny after the mad 5 minutes that it can fall so quiet.

Then after clearing away it’s the pole drop. All had a go today with the exception of two who are still working on it, but it will be there at the end of the week.

Busy morning, straight over to get into full kit and onto the coach to head off to Westlea Fire Station for the high tower, smoke house and the sewer pipes. The old cars at the side of the station are given a good wash and are now gleaming! The pipes are fun crawling through and up through the top, then back down again and back to the smoke house.

But the main thrill of today is of course the high tower, with the first team strapped up and ready. Sorry can’t remember the order they came down as they all look the same strapped up tight but Nicky has the list and order. Very proud of Seamus and Louis who though it was their first time they were straight to the top. Nicole went from second level and gave us a huge smile as she came down, well done Nicole.

Oliver and Sam made it down from the top for the first time, so proud mummy moment for me, a proud moment for Nicky as Zac came off the top “with no help Mark” ( said twice in case Mark didn’t get it) and Zac did it.

The rest were all pro’s coming down from the top with smiles and woops of joy. Ben, Tom and myself also came down from the top and Cassey with a few nerves, but my star of the day is Katie who at one point I thought was going to take Mark down with her as she held him so tight, her nerves took over and panic set in, but with a little focus and Mark’s reassurance she went over the tower and down with ease. Well done Katie, you star.

I didn’t see who went in and out of the pipes as I was filming the tower drops, but I know they had fun with a little entertainment from Louis, and a moment with Nicole , saved by Fraser all was good and by dinner time we were packed back onto the coach and ready to head off.

The afternoon brought a sharp down pour of rain, but it didn’t stop play and photos were taken and teams were put to work, hoses, smoke house (with smoke), and high speed rides in the engine, I love being here. The faces of the young people are priceless as they achieve new things.

I headed into the tunnel following Sam and joined the teams in the smoke house finding their way round in the dark with only voices to guide them, and then back out through the tunnel. Thank you to Lee for getting me stuck in the tunnel as I crawled for dear life and found I was going nowhere!! Just couldn’t understand how I had got stuck? I looked back to see Lee hanging onto my boots.

I do hope all the young people get early nights tonight as we have another full day ahead of us tomorrow. There were a few tired faces today, we do work them hard and they are expected to do it by themselves with help only when really needed. This helps them all in those self-help skills they need in life.

Night night all and don’t forget those spare clothes tomorrow……just in case.