I was the only woman on the course of 19, so I had the lady's toilet all to myself. Woo hoo, private change-room! :) I think I was also the shortest by at least a head, as you can see from this photo, which amuses me no end. I'm the one in orange, just in case you were wondering.
A lot of time was spent in the class room, being taught by two local Brigade Captains, who were both experienced and entertaining. As if being a Volunteer Captain isn't enough dedication, these guys and ones like them also give up whole weekends to teach newbies. Brett and Michael, you rock!
After class time, we also got out into windy 36 degree heat (about 85F) to do some practical stuff, and on the second day there was relevance added to our training by the addition of smoke from several fires in the Perth Metro area, with a little ash actually falling on us at one point. Even more relevant was the recent death of four people, including a Firey, in very bad fires that are still burning down near Esperance in the very south of our state. So sad. They drill you on safety for a reason, but they also remind you that what you get back is vastly more valuable than the risk. I'm already learning that.
Anyway, first we did hoses. Roll it out:
Make it up:
It was bloody hot on that oval in all the gear!
Time in the shade while the next guys have a go.
Then we practiced using standpipes to fill a tank, and the below ground hydrant soon got full of water, making the next person's turn a bit more difficult. I didn't mind how long I had to fish around in there, it was nice and cool!
I've already done quite a lot of this sort of thing because we've been in the brigade doing routine stuff for quite a while now, but using the proper combo of signals was new to me and is needed for less visible or for hard-to-hear situations. "Water on!"
After all that it was good to get back in the relatively cooler classroom!
Andrew very kindly came and took pictures for us, including this group photo! (Yes I'm the short-arse front and centre. Thanks for coming along and sweating for the cause, Darl! It's good to have a reminder of these sorts of moments. One day I'll be a rickety old lady and will find it hard to believe I ever got up to such shenanigans.
Thanks also to the two other members of my brigade who are training with me, Steffo and another Andrew. You make it fun, and I'm glad we're in the same team!
I wonder if one day I'll write a book set in a Volunteer Fire Brigade? As Stephen King says, write what you know, and in the genre you like to read. Hmmm, lets see, Fireys and Fantasy. A Volunteer Fire Brigade set up to put out dragons' and wizards' accidental fires perhaps? :D That's ok, use the idea if you like, what ever I wrote, if I ever did, would be totally different. That's the beauty of fiction!