Fire Fighter's... wow.

I’ve just returned from a sea survival course, prior to going to sea. The course is Navy run as my organisation, the RFA (Royal Fleet Auxillary) work closely with the Royal Navy. As part of this course I spent two and a half days learning the theory and practicalities of fighting fires at sea…

Bugger that for a game of soldiers.

I knew firemen don’t have it easy, and its different fighting fires on land but by gods its a tough gig. In full BA (complete with a hang over) you end up sweating like G W Bush in a spelling contest. The hoses weigh a ton, refuse to move and generally are gits, vindictive gits. Water and foam every where, shouted orders you can’t hear, its hellish!

So to any firemen dopers out there, and firemen in general. I doff my hat towards you’re general direction.

Not to detract from firefighters in any way shape or form, but welcome to “a firefight”, whether it be with infantry, a fighter pilot, or the cyberspace geek trying to protect a network from an attack.

The ability to assimilate massive amounts of incoming information and correlate that with a team goal is a skill few posess. Even more admirable, is that they do it for others’ safety and well being.

But I agree with the OP. For firefighters, my hats are off. It’s a rare occurrence, but thank you for protecting those who can’t themselves.

My hat is off.

I went through 2 weeks of shipboard fire fighting training when I was in the Navy. And because I was in the Nuclear Power program and could have possibly ended up serving on a sub, 2 days were spent on submarine fire fighting. We fought real fires in realistic shipboard conditions, sometimes it was pure hell. I finished the training then spent the rest of my time in the Navy on shore duty and on a sub tender that rarely went to sea.

Which base did you do your training at ?

It used to be at Horsea, right out on a little spit of land.

I remember how it could be a sweltering hot July day, and yet it was always bloody well freezing cold.

It’s a minor miracle of modern physics, how is it possible to be bordering on hypothermia whilst firefighting in an enclosed space, in fearnought suit and breathing appuratus in the middle of summer ?

It doesn’t seem to get any colder in winter either, its just frigging cold all year around.

Did you do the search and rescue (SAR) exercises, where they black out the visor on your BA and you have to locate and rescue casualty in a smoke logged compartment with a tray of diesel fuel buring away in the corner ?

That is quite stressful, personally I always found the worst routine was going into a smoke logged comartment with no BA, crawling on a cold wet dirty concrete floor, dragging a 2 gallon gas/water extinguisher alongside, and then having to wait until the last of your group of 5 gets into position, and then you are allowed to attack the fire.

Crap in your eyes, nose, ears, and it takes days for it all to wash out, which reminds me, why was the shower room so bloody cold, and yet the tiny trickle of water from the showers so frigging hot, a choice of freeze or boil at the same time.

The canteen didn’t exist, lunch was just a packed meal from your own ships canteen.

When you get back to your own place, you are tired, cold, dirty, hungry, your eyes are sore, and you’ve probably bashed a few fingers, ankles, shins on hard stuff, which you won’t notice until the following morning all at once, you’ll be lucky to get back without any black fingernails.

Ah, the joys of RN firefighting training.

The damage conrtol training is differant, takes place at the same location, you get far wetter, and much colder, but not as dirty - more squashed digits, bashed heads, scraped shins and big splinters from the shoring up beams.

Take my tip, bring at least three sets of spare clothing and woolly hats.

Such fun.

Some of us girly types prefer firefighters. :wink:

  • BiblioCat, Firefighter/EMT

Oh stop it. I call you a fireman. :smiley:

I know what you mean, but in the current day of female professionals from rookie to Chief, career and volunteer alike, the PC term is firefighter. Just sayin’

Some people call me a Fire Chick. Depending on who it is, ‘Fire Chick’ is okay, too.


My nephews call 'em “fighterfighters”.

A friend of mine who served in the US Navy told me about a film he watched during his fire training. It’s called ‘Trial by Fire’. It’s about the fire on the USS Forestal during the Viet Nam war. My friend says it is the best movie ever made. The drama of fighting to save the ship was just better than any other movie.