Salamander Day 2 2015 Jo’s Blog

Another great day started the usual way with a great breakfast and lots of chatting and laughing. We don’t have to ask the teams to do anything anymore, as now they are quick off the mark to get knives and forks out and cups ready for the juice. Gone are the days when we had to get a team at a time to do jobs, now it’s done without asking. They are all so grown up and very independent. Well done all let’s just hope it carries on when you are all at home.
As soon as the room is clear after breakfast it’s time for the pole drop. Now they don’t hold back, it’s up front and who’s going first. Everyone completed the drop with ease. Today though we needed that all important photo, so they were all stopped half way so Fraser could get a great shot. You may be able to tell from some of the pictures it wasn’t an easy task and Mark’s face says it all.
After this it was straight over to get changed and into transport to go to Westlea Fire Station to do High Tower, Smoke House, First Aid and Tunnels. I love this day.
Lane was first up the tower with Blue team followed by Oliver, Myles and Michael. It is so easy for them now heading to the top and climbing over. The progress that we have seen over the last few years is amazing. I know it was only two years ago Oliver wouldn’t go further than the second platform, now with a little persuasion from Mark he is able to go from the top.
At this point I can usually say who went up next, but there is so many picture opportunities that I find myself with other groups and wondering around so I don’t know was next. I know it’s just not good enough. I think Nicky has a list but if not I did video them so all is ok really. What I can say is everyone came off the top with Sophie & Nicole making it to the second level this year. Well done to Sophie as this was her first time off the tower and she did it so well.
While all this excitement is going on there is the serious side of the First Aid!! Of course the teams are put through their skills with Abi and Phil but I have to say there is a great fun side that works so well with our young people. I hope you have seen the pictures of various stages of being bandaged up (thank you Phil for Oliver’s bandage). Soon they are bandaging the firefighters and James and Fraser are rescued and hands and arms are wrapped up.
I am going to give Lane an Oscar for his performance with the resuscitation dummy, he’s heart felt sobs (acting of course) and the screaming were just the funniest thing I had seen in ages. There was Phil pulling him away from the dummy shouting “Lane there’s nothing you can do for him” and Lane sobbing “I can’t leave him, come back to me” It was just as if we were on the set of Eastenders. That boy will go far with his acting.
Meanwhile back in reality! The other teams were doing well in the tunnels crawling through the pipes and into the smokehouse. I would like to say Charley managed to stay clean today, but I can’t actually do that as she still had a black face by the end of her tunnel experience!
There was also time to play on the old fire engine that is kept at Westlea. It is the one they use for weddings and parties. It is a beautiful engine and the teams loved sitting in there and driving (only pretend promise).
It was soon time to head back to the station for dinner, it all goes so fast. So packed up and back in minibus we headed back.

Dinner was ready for when we arrived so it was straight upstairs to the lovely smell of pasta with sauce, chicken and salad. They were all hungry and the room soon fell silent as they tucked into lunch.

We were met by a photographer from the Adver when we got back, but to be honest they had their minds on food not photos so the poor chap had to wait while they had lunch. This does make for happier course members and great pictures were taken after dinner which we have been told could appear in the paper tomorrow. They are all so good at looking down a camera and coming up with the perfect shot, wonder why?

The teams had a go with the hoses and they were aiming at a target only Nicole found Mark & the photographer were better targets…..say no more!!

There are more opportunities tomorrow to get wet as it’s that day! Coate Water day.