Fire Fire Fire – A Scorching Camp at DFTDC Manston
for Hot Shot Air Cadets
Cadets from 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron have just returned from what has been described as an " awesome" camp at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre, DFTDC Manston ( ex RAF Manston a famous WW2 RAF station - the nearest to the German Air Force) now the home of Fire Fighting Training for the RAF, Navy, Army and MOD Fire Fighters.
This was the 1st official Annual Camp at the station for many years, and the station was not used to having RAF Air Cadets on camp for such an extended period and thus treated them as Trainee Fire-fighters, providing them with exceptional accommodation ( single rooms with flat screen TV's , ( which was controlled by camp staff!), a fully equipped club and excellent camp office facilities - all the best I have ever seen!. The catering was also of a high standard with no complaints from the camp - the packed meals were of the highest quality and appreciated by all.
The programme devised by the ACLO Flt Lt East RAFVR(T) the local ATC Sqn OC and Cpl Watson RAF ( An Instructor at the station and also a Service helper at 489 Sqn ATC) was full, varied and made full use of the facilities on Station, and also some very interesting external visits (Dover Castle, ( including meeting royalty & dining with them) , Capel le Ferne, Spitfire Museum, Chatham Dockyard and an air side visit to Manston International Airport - ATC, Fire Section and their 747 simulator ). A session with an RAF Drill Instructor also reminded the cadets they were trainee fire-fighters!. A combined initiative exercise devised by 2433 (Ramsgate) ATC Squadron, was much enjoyed by cadets and staff alike, our thanks go to the cadet SNCOs and staff of 2433 for their involvement in our programme.
An exceptional day of advanced fire fighting training, where cadets became trainee fire fighters (in full operational kit), undertaking searching, rescuing, confined space manoeuvres, hose drills and practical fire fighting using all common fire extinguishers. We were all fortunate to be able to view at close quarters a demonstration of the consequences of Flashovers and front and side Backdrafts. The speed, force, intensity and the shock and awe of the resultant fire ball, has left an impact on us all, and I am sure that everyone has learnt valuable life skills in preventing such a catastrophic life threatening occurrence, which they will remember for the rest of their lives. Cadets where also treated to several full scale fire scenarios from the Royal Dutch Air Force fire fighters. Cadets and staff alike have learnt some very important life saving techniques, which they will remember for the rest of their lives!.
This was not a normal annual camp. However due to it being unique in the RAF , it was indeed a tremendous experience for the cadets and staff alike, and will be remembered by all for many years to come. All have expressed a wish to attend a further camp here in the future.
Due to the success of this pilot camp - supported by Gp Capt Morrell (RC C&E), discussions are underway for further such camps to be held in the future - hopefully starting in Summer 2012. Our cadets and staff played a superb role in proving this was a good venue for such camps and it went exceptionally well, and as such many other cadets and staff will benefit from their endeavours.