Just before Christmas, our cadets were invited to Swindon Fire Station for a taster evening, run by the Swindon Fire Cadets.
The evening started by changing into protective Fire Cadet uniform, which was quite a challenge, especially on top of our normal uniform. We were even given helmets to wear, which seemed to swamp some of our younger members!
Following this, we broke off into groups, each accompanied by members of the Fire Cadet scheme. There were three different activities for us to try including trying out some hoses, walking through a completely dark smokehouse and running up ladders, just like real firefighters do.
We were put to shame by the Fire Cadets, especially during the hose running tasks – they made it look so easy, when it certainly wasn’t. After running the hoses out and rolling them up again, we were given a quick ride in the fire engine. I think everyone loved the thrill of the lights and sirens.
The smokehouse tested everyone, and everyone conquered a fear of some kind, whether that be confined spaces or the dark. Many of the younger cadets even led their teams through the darkness and staying calm in the process.
In the final activity of the night we were taught how to safely raise, lower and climb a ladder. Even though it wasn’t very high, it certainly felt like it when we were up there!
Overall, the evening was a wonderful opportunity to meet the Fire Cadets and have a go at the kind of things they do every week.
After a very busy Christmas period, the Fire Cadets joined us at the squadron to take part in drill, fieldcraft (including starting fires, rather than putting them out) and try out our VR flight simulator. Although it wasn’t as physically challenging as their activities, they all enjoyed the night and hopefully learned a few things along the way.
Thank you to the staff at the Fire Cadets for allowing us to visit and to the cadets for giving us such a warm welcome!
Cadet Sgt Anna Talbert, 17