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Week eight

This week we have seperate accounts from Blue and Green Squads who were at Tees Barrage completing their Swift Water Training and Red Squad who were doing BA (breathing apparatus training).

Week eight

Blue and Green Squads completed Swift Water and Flood Rescue Technician Training at Tees Barrage. The week began at Headquarters with an introduction to the course and the basics of water rescue, which included an introduction on throw bags and tethering of boats/sleds used in water rescue. This highlighted the risks associated with water and the importance of safety around water. We checked our kit and packed the vans for travelling to Tees Barrage. 

Day two was our first day at Tees Barrage and the fun began as we put on our dry suit, something that cannot be done elegantly. We learnt different methods of swimming  and we used the flood raft and sleds, which we would use at incidents to rescue casualties. Through training and practice, we could now identify features in a river or body of water that we could swim to get respite and plot a route down the river. Day three was our introduction to the rapids course and we had to navigate from start to finish, using everything we'd learnt the days before. We then moved onto wading techniques that we would use traversing across low level water and moving a casualty to safety. We finished the day by completing a tethered swim to rescue a casualty in fast flowing water, which involves a crew member holding onto a line you're attached to and pulling you back to shore once you have the casualty. 

The last day of training at Tees Barrage was on the use of ropes to rescue casualties from water, such as tension diagonal across a river to Y and V lowers. We worked together to rescue casualties from the water, using all the skills we'd learnt and overcoming different obstacles which we could face as Firefighters. We received great feedback from the instructors and looking forward to next week when all Squads are back together, the first time in three weeks.


Red Squad were straight back into BA (breathing apparatus training) after the long Easter weekend with two days of assessments. 

Tuesday kicked off with two written and three oral assessments to test our knowledge of BA theory and procedures. Following that and throughout Wednesday, we were then all required to complete two practical assessment wears to demonstrate to the assessors that we were all safe and effective when carrying out BA procedures.

Thursday’s focus was marine firefighting. After a morning of theoretical input and a cosmetic smoke wear, the temperature was ramped up, literally! It was “redders”! It certainly demonstrated to us how heat effects the body both physically and mentally.

Our three weeks of BA input was finished off with a great final day at Humberside Airport. Working alongside the Airport Fire Service Team, we spent the day learning about aircraft and vehicle fires. Our hosts allowed us to use their specialist simulators to experience tackling aircraft engine fires. The day finished with a bang as the instructors ignited a car and we got our first experience of observing and dealing with a vehicle fire.