Jo’s Salamander Blog – Day 2 2016

Our second day has come around quickly and before I knew it I’m sat back at the laptop ready to tell you what went on.

I hope you have been able to see a couple of the pictures I put up during the day and especially the last video clip. It really does show the fun we have.

Anyway back to this morning. Once again it’s straight upstairs to our wonderful breakfast cooked by Nicky & Denise. The three teams are ready and team by team they go to fetch breakfast. Another day of clean plates all round. Once the tables are cleaned we head straight over to the classroom. There is no pole drop this morning as time is tight and its high tower day, so we need to get changed and get onto transport.

So with full kit on we all pile into the mini bus and head over to Westlea Fire Station. This is my best day, I love the high tower.

Red team were first to head up while Green Team covered First Aid with Abi and Blue Team headed into the smokehouse and tunnels. This year Abi talked to the groups about what we would do if someone choked. They acted out how to help the person choking and who they would call. Some were very enthusiastic with their back slaps and poor Jules was beaten up…..Well she didn’t choke! They all had a go at putting each other into the recovery position and bodies were rolled into the correct position. Many of them remembered how to do this especially with Abi’s prompt. You may have to ask her to find out what it is but it really helps people to remember what to do. Some patients were easier to turn than others as a little resistance was given.

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Meanwhile in the tunnels Blue Team was crawling around the pipes. The pipes go horizontal and vertical so lots of challenges.

Red team all came down with ease from the top run of the tower. Oliver came down with no problems for the first time. Zac is a pro now and goes over the edge on his own. Ryan completes the task with ease and Marchello has no problem coming from the top, it’s hard to believe it’s his first time as he is so confident at doing this. The smile and joy on his face was just brilliant to see. He was one really happy young man. Sophie was happy to come down from the first level, which by the way is equivalent to the roof of a house. She smiled all the way down and was very pleased with herself as were we all.

Then it’s time to move around. There are so many pictures to take that at some points I didn’t see who was doing what. I do know that it was Green Team up the tower next with Red Team in the tunnels and Blue Team doing First Aid.



All made it down from the top run with prize going to Seamus for the most interesting position coming down and I am sure he was asleep by time he got to the bottom. Nicole is still unsure of the tower and we never push the young people into doing something that frightens them so next year Nicole, you can do it.

Again it is all time to swap around. But as this is happening I am aware of Oliver waving at me from the pipes. So I wave back and Abi waves. It is at this point I hear sobs. Oliver was wedged down the back of the pipes and couldn’t get out. In fact it took me a while to stop laughing; well I am his mother so I can! Jules came over to help but still we couldn’t move him. George came over and it’s getting like the story “The Enormous turnip” we are all pulling and still he doesn’t come out. Fraser to the rescue, but first some pictures so we can remember this moment, and at last he came out. I’m still chuckling now.

Last team up the tower and Blue Team pull it off with all coming down from the top. Soon it is time to pile back onto the bus and back to the station for lunch.

Lunch today is jacket potatoes with beans, cheese, or tuna mayonnaise with salad. If any of you have doubts that your young person won’t eat the food we provide you are very wrong. Platefuls of food are consumed with fruit to finish. Don’t ever let them tell you they don’t like something as we did have a couple say today that they don’t do jacket potatoes, well they did!

After lunch it’s down the pole and I even managed to get some good photos in. All but one completed the drops and proud moment for Lane as he can now do it without help. Well done Lane.

It’s over to get their kit on and start our afternoon of activities. It’s onto the ladders where they were able to climb onto the roof of the classroom up and over then down the stairs. It comes so easy to them all now. Another team were lead through the smoke house in the dark and while feeling their way around they have to find the baby. I am glad to report baby was found and rescued and all is well.

Meanwhile the team on the hoses are having far too much fun and there is a lot of kicking of water and splashing around. You can see the culprits in the pictures. It was all in the name of a good photo, and no Firefighters were hurt in the making of the video!!


I think they should all sleep well tonight, I know I will.

Tomorrow is Coate Water, so lots of fun ahead. See you all in the morning.