The four days with the Bermudian Firefighters is an experience worth a complete and separate "Blog" entry. Parts of the training were some of the most rigorous I've ever undertaken. After a day of theory we hit the boot camp training facilities including a 5 floor tower complete with a basement where a real fire was set alight and flooded the miniature high-rise with intense heat and smoke. After running up and down stairs, fully suited up in fire gear, gloves, helmet and the 24 lb SCBA set, carrying full 5 gal pails in each hand and arriving at the point of exhaustion, we were led into the black smoke of the third floor and the "cages". We gaspingly entered this maze from hell on all fours, blind and totally dependent on our BA sets. The maze included holes to drop down and others to climb up into. To jack up the excitement a notch, our sets 25% whistles started to blow only half way through this nightmare and panic began its insidious takeover of our sanity.
The rest of the four days included hose drills, casualty recovery, HAZMAT training and heat exposure limitations. The last day included a casualty recovery drill at the Tynes Bay Waste Treatment facility whereby we were required to enter the seven levels from below and we were to enter blind! (The Lieutenant covered our faceplates with plastic) Thus, I received my first tour of my new place of employment, being dragged along by a young Bermudian, tripping over my own feet.
The image shows me dragging my body off the killing fields of Bermuda's fire training facility at the end of a day.