Sunday, January 28, 2018

Quick fire brigade update.

Last Sunday (21 January), the fire brigade season resumed, with a competition in Mooroopna on a hot day.  The team did quite well, picking up a win and several minor placings.  My own roles were mostly quite different to previous years.

In the ladder 8s, I was one of the three who actually lifted the ladder into position.  I along with another guy got to do the actual lift, while the third person had to get to the foot of the ladder, hold the foot on the ground as we lifted, then help guide the ladder into position as it went up.  Despite this being our first lift together, and I personally hadn’t done one for a few years (no need for ladder lifts in C section), we got the ladder up fine, and the team won the event.

My next event was the hose and reel 8s, where I helped bring the second length of hose back to the hydrant.

In the sixes, I was the 7th team member, known as the reel catcher.  The catcher’s job is to grab the reel while it is in motion after it has passed under the disk, so the remaining pole can leave to do other work.  Then the reel needs to be safely guided until all of the hose has left it.  It can be a scary job, because for most of the run, the reel is heading straight at you at top speed.  :)

In the 4s, I ran a coupling.  I didn’t do a lot of couplings in the C side, but have been running this position well at training.

Finally in the Y8, I have been training a completely new (for me!) position.  Known as third coupling, after helping push the reel down the length of the course, I have to bring the third length back to the centre, where the first 2 lengths are joined at the time.  On the way back, I have to collect a Y piece from someone else, put my coupling in place and position myself next to where the hoses are joined.  Once in position, and after the second disc is hit, the two people on the other hoses have to break their coupling (while water is flowing through!), couple onto their ends of the Y, and I tighten the back of the Y (which has a long handle especially for that job), to complete the assembly.

Still working on the finer points of the job, especially catching the coupling and getting back as fast as possible, because we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to practice this part together.

- Tony via Tumblr

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