Step Up Train as FirefightersOver the past 4 weeks the Year 10 Step Up group have undertaken firefighting training with the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. The aim was to develop their self-confidence, work as a team, learn to communicate in difficult situations and in doing so have fun. It also offered the opportunity to experience what it takes to be a firefighter.
Each week the group attended the Plympton Fire and Rescue Training Centre to undertake real life firefighting training, using the equipment that is used by the service on the front line. All adult firefighters within the service, will at some time, undertake training at Plympton.
The group had to tackle such tasks as:
- Using hoses to spray buildings from hydrants and the fire tender. The hoses spray water with such force it takes two people to hold them
- Searching for casualties in pitch black conditions. This is done using touch and verbal communication only
- Navigating through tight spaces, tight corners, over and under obstructions, all in pitch black. We had to climb down holes, through pipes, get up into hatchways, nothing was straight forward
- Searching buildings, set out as a normal house, wearing breathing apparatus. This is extremely difficult as you not only had to find the rooms you then had to get around the furniture, find the casualty and get out, you cannot see a thing!
- Attending simulated road traffic accidents and cutting people from wrecked vehicles. To get the casualty out we hadto get them on to a spine board whilst they were still in the car, then get them out through the boot. Cutting the roof off was pretty simple using the giant cutters the Fire Service has
All tasks were completed wearing full firefighting uniform and personal protective equipment (PPE). Everyone in the group admitted it was hard, sweaty and dirty work. They all said they had a brilliant time and found out something about themselves.
Our firefighting Instructors were very complimentary about the group and commended them on their performance, all of the group will be receiving certificates for their record of achievements. They should all be immensely proud of the way they acted as a team, communicated extremely well and helped each other when it got tough.
(Step Up Teacher)