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Salamander Day 5 Jo’s blog

I’ve sat here for the last 20 minutes thinking how to start this. Trouble is if I start at some point I will finish and this is day 5 and I don’t want to finish. What a brilliant week we have all had. Who cares it rained? None of the team batted an eyelid each time the heavens opened. And today the sun shone along with our 16 young people who have amazed me again and again in their ability to achieve anything they put their minds too.

It’s going to be hard in the morning not seeing all the smiling faces, hearing Myles chuckle in the corner, watching Ryan’s super dance that makes me laugh each time I see it. Being part of Lane’s newest episode of Eastenders and that acting is just brilliant.

This morning started the same as it has done all week, a great breakfast and a pole drop. This goes so well now that they are quicker than some of the crew members! It is so good to see the confidence now and their passion to get it correct.

It is straight down after breakfast to a new treat, we haven’t done this for a couple of years so there is much excitement to see the ariel appliance waiting for us. I have to say I am the most excited at this point, I do love this appliance. You can see all over Swindon when you go up. So it’s kits on and the first of them are strapped into the harness and onto the platform. The sun was out and I have to say it made for some amazing pictures, even though we were blinded taking them. Everyone was able to have a go and they all took it in their stride and went up. They also came down smiling.

Then it’s time to run through the show just so we can get it right for you, you do know that there will be added extra’s though! The cars are ready to cut up, but we can’t do this until later so just pretending at this point. Then it’s time to screech around the yard in Fire engines, Ambulances, and Police cars oh I love this week so much. I really hope you enjoy the show as much as they do putting it on for you. They all work so hard to get to correct, and I have to say it pays off.

I must say thank you to all the lovely people on this course that has made it a great week. I’m not sure thank you is enough but you know we couldn’t do this without you great people. So too…..

Denise, who has helped out making wonderful breakfasts in the morning. Our day can’t start without your full English. You may not wish to see another fried egg for a while, but thank you so much for helping us in the mornings.

Next our senior crew, a wonderful crew who have put their hearts and souls into this week. This is not just any Salamander course it’s a learning curve for all of us. You never know what is going to happen and you have all helped in keeping it together, even if you are running through the smoke house for the 7th time or peeling off a pair of fire boots after a whole day of wearing them. (Yes they are fruitful by Friday).

Chris, you settled in from day one. It was if you had been with us forever. Nothing is too much trouble and the teams loved you. Thanks for putting up with the banter at meal times. Nothing is too much trouble and he gained some new mates this week looking up to him because he was there to help them when needed.

Charley, this is Charley’s 3rd course and once again she is a hit with the young people. (Especially my Oliver, nice screen saver)!! Her sense of fun has brought a smile to our faces and to be able to take on arm wrestling with our lot takes some doing. Once again this year she has shown us support when we need it, even when they nearly drop a ladder on her! Thank you Charley.

Charlotte, you really were dropped in at the deep end with a baptism of fire! The young people loved you as we did. You are helpful and kind and you have taken on the wildest members of the team and won! You have got on with everything that we asked, thank you for all your support this week you have been great.

David, a 2nd visit back for David after being with us last year. You have listened to what the young people say and helped where you can, guiding them into doing the correct thing. You always encourage the young people to be independent but you are there if they need it. Thank you for some great pictures as well. It has been good to see you this year and thrilled that you could come back.

Phil and Abi, the best ambulance crew there is. You guys are just brilliant. The teams love you and Phil your caring nature shines through every day and just holds the young people. You know Ollie loves you to bit’s. Abi you have shown that your fantastic teaching of first aid has paid off when Seamus remembered everything you have taught him before and he carried it out spot on. Learning through fun is so good and works with our teams. We love having you both on the course and so do all the youngsters. Thank you.

Jules, thank you for being there every step of the way for our young people always smiling and ensuring everyone is having a good time, and they do. You have been there with me for every kit change and I couldn’t have done it without you.

Tariq, you have helped the teams achieve and ensured they are all doing their best. Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

To all the firefighters who have helped in the week. You are incredible people and have so much patience. Thank you to Greg, Gareth, and Shaun, for your help.

Nev, who is just the best person ever! Nev’s smile and hugs always cheers me up. You are instantly loved by your team. Nothing is ever too much trouble and so caring and patient. Your team respects you and so do I.

James, we did miss you today but you are probably having fun somewhere so just to say thank you. We love your sense of humour and the team always works well for you. Your ability to keep them on track is great. Hope to see you again soon.

Sean, you are our calming influence who keeps his team under control without ever raising his voice. Every member of your team gets to try things out and you encourage them all the way. We love having you on Salamander it wouldn’t be the same without you. Congratulation for becoming a Grampy this week as well.

Steve, this year you had a break from Oliver, and you coped so well without him! Though he can’t resist messing your hair up! You always ensure every member of the team has a go and no one misses out. Nothing is ever too much for you Steve, thank you for helping our young people achieve all they can in this week.

Fraser, though you didn’t have a team this year it has not stopped you helping out where you can so every person is in the right place for the right picture. You never cease to amaze me with your new gadgets, we love the gadgets as we know they will make fantastic clips on movie night. I can’t wait for movie night to see what has developed and been created. Thank you for going the extra mile this year and putting a plan together for our calendar (watch this space).

Mark, our king pin, the man who holds it all together and keeps it going when all around is doing something different to the plan. Every one of our team members respects you and thinks the world of you. You care for them and ensure they are achieving everything they can and more. Nothing is ever too much trouble. You bring everything together perfectly. From all of us parents, we say thank you to you for giving our children this amazing opportunity and finding their strengths and letting them achieve their dreams.

And to my great friend Nicky who has helped us through this packed week of thrills and surprises, achievements and believing everyone can and will do it regardless of how long or how many times we have to do it. You are always there for me. Thank you, I raise a glass to you and say roll on next year.

Now I say goodnight to you all as I say a final thank you. Thank you to everyone for letting us be part of your child’s life for one week. I hope they have enjoyed it as much as I have. They really do inspire me. I raise my glass to them all and wish you good night.