Monday, 20 January 2014

Enoch's Fire Fighting Academy

Howdy folks!  Glad that you could come aboard to Enoch's fire-fighting academy.  My name is Fireman Bob and am I glad that you are with us today.

You see, we teach fire-fighters all about how to fight fires by actually having them learn from real fire-fighters in a completely functional fire-station.

We have a brand new fire truck that was donated by Uncle Ekhard from Japan and we are mighty proud of what it can do!

You will notice that we have a class room and computer lab on top, this is where the new recruits get their first lessons (and where they can watch movies for entertainment too).

The room in the back was supposed to have triple bunk-beds, but somehow the contractor (Enoch's Dad in this case) forgot about it and so it has been turned into a command centre and computer lab.  We will have to build a residential wing soon - but at present everyone is busy learning!

We are proud of our master trainers - like old Smokey Patel - and know that each recruit is just itching to get out and 'do something' - but class-room basics are vital for good fire-fighting.  Besides, if you can't pay attention in a class - how can you do so when there is a 30 story apartment building on fire in front of you eh?

It can occasionally be quite noisy if the command room gets a call and the big pumper is sent out!  But hey, that's why our recruits are here!  Old Smokey will always stop taking a sip from his coffee mug - and gaze into space for a while and tell the newbies that a fire-fighter has to be ready at all times!

 We know that fire fighting is a team effort - and are always glad to know that our fire chief is ready in his super fast chief-mobile.

Our chief vehicle designer Enoch has helped us build a small fleet of machines that quickly and efficiently get our team to where they need to get - as soon as possible - and with all the gear they need!

But I am not here just to yap away friends - let's take a look at the out-door training facilities!

The training starts with the very basics:  running and jumping.  Hey, it's not as easy as it sounds!  Many a gung-ho trainee has met the grass with his face over the years.  And as you can see this batch is no different!

 As a trainer I need to be able to help our future fire-fighters learn. 

You can be sure that today's action is well documented with my handy camera.

With the technology we have we can review every part of the training and help our recruits improve by showing today's bloopers on the big screen in the class room in the evening!

My do we ever get laughs at some of what goes on here.  And I have even found an industrious chap getting my shots and putting them up on his blog!

What these youngsters are up to these days is pretty beyond me... I am pretty happy that I can click with a digi-cam and don't know much about "what's up?" and other greetings that the recruits keep talking about.

Anyway, take a gander at our obstacle course.

We're pretty proud of the little hill that our candidates race up with their fire extinguishers in hand - and then see the next hurdle awaiting them - a lovely little swim!

You see if a fire-fighter is to get ahead - he or she can't be afraid of a bit of water...

And what better place to learn team-work than when you are trying to climb a slippery roof just after getting soaked yourself! 

Stands to reason that the young guns are pretty happy by the helping hand the guys above give them by tossing them ropes and encouraging them to come on up.

Speaking of up, there is some pretty scary stuff for the recruits at the next stage.

Our guys don't wear helmets for nothing you see.  We train them to climb.

And by golly do they ever do that!

You see it's not just going up a ladder.  Anyone can do that.

But at Enoch's fire academy, our master trainer Darab Ooparwalla gets all the recruits to go well beyond - the actually leave the ladder and keep climbing....

Just to reassure any mothers of our recruits who may be seeing these pictures - remember they are all well rigged up for safety - my camera angle doesn't seem to capture the safety harnesses and guide ropes - but ma'ams you can trust me that they are there.

Is Enoch's Fire Academy just a cross country endurance and rock climbing institution? 

No siree!  We are serious about fire - and about getting it out quickly and safely.

So what better way to learn and to fight things when they burn!

Under the supervision of Firemaster Aag Singh the trainees are taken to a lot where old houses are deliberately ignited - and they have to use what they have learned to put out the flames!

 It can be a tricky business of course - but you don't make omlettes without breaking eggs!

Young Vijay, for example, wearing the white helmet.

He has had to climb up with his extinguisher to get the flames under control.

His trainee colleague Martin with the black helmet is learning to operate a power saw used to get people out of accidents - but useful in this situation as well.

At least I think so.

Maybe Martin just likes cutting things.

But we will leave our charges to the watchful eye of Firemaster Aag Singh, and turn to the final test.

Yes, you may have heard about it, but it's the simple contest of man vs. fire:  the fire test.

At the end of the training at Enoch's Fire Academy, the trainees are brought face to face with their worst enemy - fire itself.

I must warn you that the next few images may not be for the faint of heart - but if you are willing to draw a deep breath and look - I am sure that you will see something worth telling the little ones on cold winter nights when you drink masala chai and munch on pakoras.

Yes, we are still under supervision - this time by Firemaster Jaywant Hamesha - but now its the question - can our just-about-to-graduate-trainee young master Anand E overcome his fear and face the flames on his own?

With the gruff voice of his teacher encouraging him on - young Anand plunges into the test.

The fire is hot. Very hot. 

But Anand is determined. 

He has his trusty fire extinguisher with him - and whoosh - on goes the button and out comes the fire-fighting chemicals.   Anand is determined to put into practice everything that he has learned at Enoch's Fire Fighting Academy - and he comes through with flying colours!

All that is left of the fierce place after Anand is finished with it... are some smoky embers (and even those are doused by a bucket of water by our intrepid chappy!)

What's next for Anand?  Well, if he gets hired (and Enoch tells us that all the graduates get jobs because they are so good in the training at his Academy), Anand by get to ride one of those big police motor bikes (after appropriate training of course)

In fact Enoch has designed a separate obstacle and training set up just for those fire-fighters who need to have good motor-bike skills.

I am not sure what a 'jump' has to do with fire-fighting, but we will leave that for another day, and another story for Enoch to elaborate on in his happy hours of playing with lego.

Thanks for coming along on the tour folks!  This is your host Fireman Bob signing off and hoping we will meet up again some day at Enoch's Fire Fighting Academy!

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