Live fire exercise – video

I really did try to get more footage from our live fire exercise than I finally ended up getting. The reason is quite simple: our first attack was into such a hot fire that the GoPro case melted enough to leave the start/stop button inoperable. And since I’m not one to take my phone with me into that amount of heat, I had no way of starting and stopping the recordings. So the only helmet cam footage is from when I went into the smoke during our first attack.

Trust me, although it goes dark as soon as we enter the building, it was hot and smoky for the next three minutes until we put out the fire and started venting. But the video is also a realistic version of what it really looks like when fire fighters enter a burning structure. The high visibility and pretty flames you see on TV and in movies are fiction.

P.S. You can see what my helmet and GoPro looked like after the first attack on Instagram. Although note that I’d already cleaned up the lens to make sure the case was still usable.

May Day / Vappu

Fire truck, ambulance and spectators

May Day (or Vappu in Finnish) is a bank holiday in Finland and traditionally a day spent at picnics, watching parades and listening to political speeches. For a long time there hasn’t been anything going on in our town with everyone going to the nearest city to experience the crowds. This year however the local businesses organized some activities in what passes for our town square (a piece of dirt in the center of town that is owned by too many different parties).

1978 chevrolet corvette detail

helmet and harley davidson detail

I was there showing the colors of the fire department. Luckily we managed to avoid hearing any political speeches, but we did have to endure some karaoke. Some historic cars and modern bikes came to be shown in addition to the vendors.

charlie chaplin impersonator

And one of our local characters, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator made an appearance. As he always does when a crowd gathers in town.

kontio sisu, an old truck, detail

Day 20 – Prepared

Tuesday was again spent with big red cars playing firefighter in various exercises. I always like visiting or driving by our station during the evening calm. But still, while everything appears calm there’s a state of preparedness that never leaves a fire station.

Day 13 – Basic practice

This evening was spent at the fire station. First practicing the basics: how to respond to a structural fire. Then, later on in the evening by responding to an automatic fire alarm. This time we even had to do some work: move stuff from one freezer (compressor shorted) to another.

You really never know what will come up when responding to a call.