Jo’s Salamander Blog Day 3 2016

Before I start I have three apologies (I know). First to Marcello for a spelling error on his name yesterday. Most of you know my spelling by now and more times than not my dyslexia takes over and I don’t have a clue until Nicky tells me. Now to Nicky and Abi who will never let me do their dry suits up again. Sorry ladies.

Today is also a special day as it is George’s 16th birthday. Happy Birthday George.

Back to today, breakfast as usual with appetites at maximum which is never good on Coate Water day as all those baked beans stay inside a dry suit for ages! No pole drop this morning as we need to get kitted up and it takes a while as there is a lot to get on. We start with a fleecy onesie, over our clothes then the dry suit (or not so dry Carlos), next shoes, buoyance jacket, gloves and finally helmet. The end result is a safe but chunky look. So with shoes pegged with their names on packed away we are ready to go. Everyone is squeezed into the mini bus or Fire Engine and off we go.

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The sun is out along with a crowd of people as we arrived but this does not faze any of them and it’s out the transport and lined up on the side where they are given the safety talk and instructions. Everyone walks down to the water and in we go. Before they can go swimming the air needs to be released from the suits by lowering yourself into the water and opening the neck a little, this is where you know who had baked beans and who didn’t!!

By now the inflatable walkway was in the water and they clambered to get on. Some now were ready to swim over to the other side with a couple of the instructors while the rest played on the walkway. There was a lot of pushing each other off. They all love it and are back on ready to be pushed off again. Some of us stayed in the shallow area where we could watch from a safe distance and film the fun.

Now I need to mention at this point that they are called dry suits as they are supposed to keep us dry. (Sorry again Nicky & Abi). But some of us came out a little damp. Well in fact one of us came out with more than a little water in his suit. Carlos, I have not laughed that much in a long time. I couldn’t hold the camera still for laughing. Carlos is a tall guy and no kidding the water INSIDE his suit was over his knees in both legs. I have to say the cancels were most impressive. There was so much water in his suit he could hardly walk up the ramp. Does he get changed first? No, he helps Michael out his suit but had to do it sideways as he couldn’t bend. Please look for the pictures.


Once we are all hosed down and peeled out of our suits we can start to get everyone back onto the transport so we can head off to dinner.

We have rolls and salad today with the choice of egg mayo, tuna mayo, cheese, ham or chicken with salad and Crisps. There was a surprise for George when his family came in with a birthday cake and we all sang happy birthday to him much to his embarrassment. Thank you for sharing your cake George it was lovely.

After lunch its pole drop time. Everyone is getting so good at this now and it’s great to see the smiles as one by one they come down. There’s always much praise by all the teams as their friends come down. The sense of achievement is lovely to watch.

Time to get their kit on ready for the afternoon’s activities. Its ladders, hose and DVD today. One team at a time Mark show’s them clips of the damage that fire causes and how fast it can spread. Mark asks them who they would call. What would they do? He talks them through the harm that fire can cause. It is all done with great sensitivity as some of the scenes are sad but they are able to ask questions and positive answers are given.



The other teams are hard at work on the hose and ladders. There is much preparation need for Friday so they start to get to grips with what is to be done from today onwards. Can’t tell you what but it’s always good.

Before they all go home we have to say a big happy birthday to George. A little plot was set and the young people gather around the back of the classroom and George is loured into the yard, then with a rush we all leap out and the hose is turned on full for a birthday soaking. There was no hiding as those fire water a long way!

I do hope they are all getting early nights as we work them hard and tomorrow is a good day…..wait until you see more photos.