My experiences living in Cape Town and travelling in Africa

Learn to beat the burn

Yesterday I went along with my nephew and brother-in-law to the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) Open Day at the Newlands Forest Station. This wasn’t an entirely new experience for me as I had signed on as a new recruit with the VWS back in 2009 but ended up relocating to China before I could complete my training for that season. I really enjoyed the people who make up the volunteer group and vowed I would sign up again when I returned. You too can register for the next recruitment drive which should be in March next year for the 2013 fire season.

VWS Open Day-2

For my nephew though the Open Day was all about seeing a fire engine and watching the helicopter display (which I was really excited to see too) and we weren’t disappointed. We kicked off the activities with a ride on this old fire engine with sirens blaring, then it was on to the snake display, abseiling demonstration before finding a spot in next to the helipad for the main attraction.

VWS Open Day-4

The Working on Fire helicopter demonstrating how it can deliver troops as quickly as possible onto the fire line.

VWS Open Day-7

A second Huey helicopter showing how the Bambi bucket is used to drop over a thousand litres of water on inaccessible mountain top fires.

VWS Open Day-9

With some very skilled piloting the new recruits get their first taste of what it’s like to be on the fire line.

VWS Open Day-10

My nephew was amazed at all the action, loud sounds and flashing lights not to mention nearly blown away by the prop-wash when the helicopter took off just 20 metres away from us which frightened him a little but nothing this toy fire engine couldn’t help remedy.

VWS Open Day-12

VWS Open Day-13

Smiles all round tell of the fun that was had an on the drive home my nephew was fast asleep within minutes totally exhausted from all the excitement. Thank you VWS and keep up the good work.


2 responses

  1. Nice picture

    December 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

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