Wow what a first week, 22 very tentative new recruits doing their ice breakers!
Turns out we have a few legends in the team, one of us lived in Charles Dickens’ loft to a pro squash player with some very interesting folk in the middle and enough singers, guitarists and drummers to start two bands. Alongside the first week we also had National Pie Week deliciously supplied by Terry and Jan, International Women’s Day very fitting, as we are the most diverse course ever to run...
We seem to have jelled quickly as a group with the banter and nick names already starting to get banded about. We have been split into two squad’s, half of us being Red squad and the rest the mighty Blue squad (not biased at all).
So, after what seemed like forever in the classroom with lecture after lecture, we finally got outside to get our hands on all the equipment we had talked about in the classroom. The afternoon saw both squads getting stuck into hose running. But some of us quickly learned the importance of ensuring you check and have the correct Personal Protective Equipment PPE. It soon became apparent that you cannot run out hose with two left handed fire gloves. A mistake the Instructors were keen for us to take on board and a mistake not to be made again. We had a mixed bag of hose runners with some good, some bad and some indifferent performances. Those who love a walnut whip would have been in their element. After four hours or so of hose running I am pretty sure 80% were longing for that classroom again.
On Wednesday we were issued our pumps, so as a group we decided to fully strip all lockers and mint up the insides and all kit (start as you mean to go on with pride in your pump). Three hours later we had finished the task with some very happy team leaders.
As the week went by we had various night lectures and were given time to prepare our uniforms and kit. It’s during these times we help each other out and grow even closer as a group.
Friday came around quick and with it came the Functional Fitness Tests. Not everyone reached the required standard and we all realised the importance of the fitness needed to carry out the job. I feel sure that as a team we will address this by giving support to those who need it and they will in turn help others in the areas they have strengths in.
International Women’s Day was a fantastic celebration and Director of People and Development, Miriam Heppell and Jean Bishop aka the Bee Lady, an amazingly funny, truly inspirational and all-round egg, gave a speech via a video clip.
No rest for us lot though! Straight after gorging on the delicious cake, which was brought as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, we donned our fire kit and we were once again back outside for more hose running and pumping drills.
We ended the week on a very positive note with a tight knit group becoming even tighter. We also welcomed the safe arrival of a fellow recruit’s baby, which was the cherry on the cake. Roll on week two!