Firefighters: The Men and Women Who Risk Their Lives to Save by Gary McKay

By Gary McKay

A behind-the-scenes examine the harmful international of firefighting. The Queensland fireplace & Rescue Authority obtained over 50,000 emergency calls in 2001. That quantities to a call-out each 5 mins - and approximately half these represented fake alarms. Drawn from interviews with over seventy five Queensland firefighters - from the recent recruit at the station-house ground to the realm administrators handling millions of hectares of nearby Queensland - "Firefighters" takes an unflinching examine what it takes to do the hugely harmful task of a firefighter. those "firies" recount their studies, from the rigorous recruit education and choice programme, to the tough rescues of heavily injured sufferers trapped in motorized vehicle injuries, and the extinguishing of condo fires by accident lit by means of the careless shedding of a cigarette. usually facing the hectic lack of lives, houses and worldly possessions, those firefighters face peril every day, operating to save lots of the lives of others. The professionalism, braveness and commitment of the lads and girls who position their lives at the line whenever the alarm bells ring is instructed frankly during this informative account. writer Gary McKay attended the 12-week firefighting education direction and brings an outsider's view of what it's prefer to be turning out to a hearth and getting to road-accident sufferers. He served in lots of fireplace stations from Brisbane to Cairns and distant localities to achieve an figuring out of the several suggestions used by firefighters to do their task around the kingdom.

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Grahame demonstrates to the men how the Swedish Fire Service has perfected a system of reducing the danger by applying water in a different manner to the unlit gases above a fire. Backdraught can also occur outside a building and Grahame moves on to explain the problem of gases and smoke igniting and creating danger not only to firefighters but to casual observers in the street. While waiting for the containers to be prepared the three Kemp Place crews are put through their training on the gas pad at Lytton and from the outset it is obvious that the men have worked closely together, as they efficiently attack their targets.

While the recruits are learning how to put BLEVE fires out, a shift team from Kemp Place station in the Brisbane CBD arrive with three appliances and are put through another phase of training by the Live Fire Training Unit. The fire simulation in this case is done in 12-metre steel containers especially prepared for the purpose. The training is conducted under the watchful eye of the senior instructor, Grahame Ray. Grahame is a station officer seconded for the last two years from Brisbane South Region.

His fellow firie, Scott Dewar, says: ‘We were told the course was just a stepping stone and we would get a lot of on-the-job training (OJT) and the real training would then begin. It was a good overview and gave us a broad range of skills. ’ One of the most difficult things to come to grips with in firefighting is automatic fire alarm control panels. No two are ever the same and even alarm panels made by the same fire company can be different. Warren says: ‘They should cover alarm panels in the course.

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