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"What a week"

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Sat 08/03/08 at 19:03
Regular
"RIP English_Bloke"
Posts: 297
Just had the busiest tour of duty since I started on station just over a year ago.

The first day was pretty uneventful and just gave me a chance to get a few things done around the station. The second day we had a hazardous material job where a worker complained that he had been working in a plant room where he had a sudden strong smell of apples before coming over sick and dizzy. This involved several appliances going and keeping the area cordoned off before special teams went in to get some air samples. It was declared safe about 3-hours after we got there.

My first night shift was absolutely hectic. We didn’t have too much until around midnight when we were called to a car fire, which took about half an hour to put out. On the way back to the station following this we were called to a house fire, which was luckily just around the corner from where we were. When we arrived all the people from the house were standing outside in the street and they told me as I was going in that their freezer was alight. I made my way to the kitchen to put it out, but when I got there it was a little awkward. The room was full of smoke down to about 10” off the floor, so I got on my belly to see if I could see the fire. I saw that it was the underneath of the freezer that was alight and so with one hand I had to lift up the freezer onto an angle so I could direct water to the bit that was burning. My main priority, (other then putting out the fire), was to use as little water as possible to limit flood damage. Once it was out I then opened the windows in the house to ventilate the smoke before the fire investigation unit arrived to…investigate.

We returned to the station and about an hour later we were called to assist the police. When we arrived there were police officers standing in the street armed with fairly large machine guns. We spoke to them and it turned out there was a man in a house threatening to slit two people’s throats and set fire to his house, so we were there just in case he did. We sat around for about an hour before being told we weren’t needed anymore.

I had one more shout that night, which was where some guys burnt their breakfast and their alarm went off.

The next night, (last night), was really quite interesting. Only one job, but it was a big one. At around 9pm we were called to a fire in progress in a hotel. There were already 4 appliances at the scene and we had been requested as the 5th and 6th pumps to attend. While en route we heard over the radio that they asked for a further 4 pumps and 2 hydraulic platforms as well as us to attend, so we knew it was a proper job. As we neared the scene, (about a mile away), we could see the flames and smoke punching into the nights sky. We were ordered round the back and told we were going to supply one of the platforms with water. A platform is basically a huge cherry picker with a big water cannon on it. The fire was spreading across the roof fairly quickly so until the HP had arrived we kept it under control with 2 fairly heavy duty hoses. When the HP arrived I was told to rig in breathing gear along with 3 other fire-fighters. We were briefed to go inside the hotel and up to the 4th floor, (which was the top floor). We were told to take a hose up with us and set it up for the next crew. We were to make a safe path for searching crews. This basically meant putting out any pockets of fire and ripping down heavy roof panels which were full of water and a potential collapse risk. Once we were up there we set about doing this. After about 20 minutes we heard a creaking above us and about 10 feet away from us part of the roof collapsed, which was a slight “clenching” moment. We withdrew from the building and informed the officer in charge of what we had found. All the fire was basically out at this point and the only danger was the roof. Further crews went in and searched in the safe area we had made and it was declared clear.

We left the scene at about 20 past midnight having worked our butts off, but the fire was out and we had saved a huge amount of the building, so it was a good result.

BBC News report
Sun 09/03/08 at 12:53
Regular
"Sure.Fine.Whatever."
Posts: 9,629
Glad to hear it :)
Sun 09/03/08 at 11:48
Regular
"RIP English_Bloke"
Posts: 297
God yes. I actually look forward to going to work in this job, which is good seeing as how I've got another 33 years to do.
Sat 08/03/08 at 21:31
Regular
"Sure.Fine.Whatever."
Posts: 9,629
still glad you made the switch from the police then?
Sat 08/03/08 at 19:03
Regular
"RIP English_Bloke"
Posts: 297
Just had the busiest tour of duty since I started on station just over a year ago.

The first day was pretty uneventful and just gave me a chance to get a few things done around the station. The second day we had a hazardous material job where a worker complained that he had been working in a plant room where he had a sudden strong smell of apples before coming over sick and dizzy. This involved several appliances going and keeping the area cordoned off before special teams went in to get some air samples. It was declared safe about 3-hours after we got there.

My first night shift was absolutely hectic. We didn’t have too much until around midnight when we were called to a car fire, which took about half an hour to put out. On the way back to the station following this we were called to a house fire, which was luckily just around the corner from where we were. When we arrived all the people from the house were standing outside in the street and they told me as I was going in that their freezer was alight. I made my way to the kitchen to put it out, but when I got there it was a little awkward. The room was full of smoke down to about 10” off the floor, so I got on my belly to see if I could see the fire. I saw that it was the underneath of the freezer that was alight and so with one hand I had to lift up the freezer onto an angle so I could direct water to the bit that was burning. My main priority, (other then putting out the fire), was to use as little water as possible to limit flood damage. Once it was out I then opened the windows in the house to ventilate the smoke before the fire investigation unit arrived to…investigate.

We returned to the station and about an hour later we were called to assist the police. When we arrived there were police officers standing in the street armed with fairly large machine guns. We spoke to them and it turned out there was a man in a house threatening to slit two people’s throats and set fire to his house, so we were there just in case he did. We sat around for about an hour before being told we weren’t needed anymore.

I had one more shout that night, which was where some guys burnt their breakfast and their alarm went off.

The next night, (last night), was really quite interesting. Only one job, but it was a big one. At around 9pm we were called to a fire in progress in a hotel. There were already 4 appliances at the scene and we had been requested as the 5th and 6th pumps to attend. While en route we heard over the radio that they asked for a further 4 pumps and 2 hydraulic platforms as well as us to attend, so we knew it was a proper job. As we neared the scene, (about a mile away), we could see the flames and smoke punching into the nights sky. We were ordered round the back and told we were going to supply one of the platforms with water. A platform is basically a huge cherry picker with a big water cannon on it. The fire was spreading across the roof fairly quickly so until the HP had arrived we kept it under control with 2 fairly heavy duty hoses. When the HP arrived I was told to rig in breathing gear along with 3 other fire-fighters. We were briefed to go inside the hotel and up to the 4th floor, (which was the top floor). We were told to take a hose up with us and set it up for the next crew. We were to make a safe path for searching crews. This basically meant putting out any pockets of fire and ripping down heavy roof panels which were full of water and a potential collapse risk. Once we were up there we set about doing this. After about 20 minutes we heard a creaking above us and about 10 feet away from us part of the roof collapsed, which was a slight “clenching” moment. We withdrew from the building and informed the officer in charge of what we had found. All the fire was basically out at this point and the only danger was the roof. Further crews went in and searched in the safe area we had made and it was declared clear.

We left the scene at about 20 past midnight having worked our butts off, but the fire was out and we had saved a huge amount of the building, so it was a good result.

BBC News report

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