Air Cadets have a SCORCHING! camp
at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre
Royal Air Force Air Cadets from 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron and cadets from other units within the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing spent what has been described as an “awesome” week at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre (DFTDC) Manston.
The cadets spent much of their time going through some of the training undertaken by the RAF's trainee fire-fighters. But as with all Air Cadet Annual Camps, there were also plenty of other activities on the programme.
The programme devised by the DFTDC Manston Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) Sgt Simon Watson RAF, was jam packed with lots of exciting activities and external visits including trips to Dover Castle, the Historic Chatham Dockyard, Capel le Ferne Battle of Britain Memorial and the RAF Manston Museum . They also managed to fit in plenty of time on the rifle range, sporting activities a trip to the beach and an initiative exercise devised by the Air Cadets from 2433 (Ramsgate) Squadron.
But this was no ordinary camp for the cadets. The ACLO Sgt Simon Watson who is also a Service Helper with one of the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing's Squadrons, knew exactly what the cadets had come to DFTDC Manston to experience and that involved learning how to fight fires.
So the cadets became trainee fire-fighters in full operational kit, undertaking search and rescue operations within the confined space of the cages, hose drills and practical fire fighting using common fire extinguishers. The cadets were all fortunate to be able to view at close quarters a demonstration of the consequences of Flashovers and 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.
Continuing their week long role as trainee fire-fighters the cadets also visited Kent International Airport (formerly RAF Manston) where they got the chance to see how the airports fire-fighters train in preparation for various incidents involving aircraft accidents and fires. This further fire-fighter training involved lots more hose drills which inevitably led to the cadets getting a bit more than damp around the edges.
Sqn Ldr Bryan Coats RAFVR(T), Warwickshire & Birmingham Camp Commandant, said, “This camp has been a truly outstanding experience for all the cadets and staff and I would take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for making our week at DFTDC Manston such a brilliant success”.
“DFTDC Manston's cadet accommodation was exceptional, single rooms with flat screen TV's, a fully equipped club and excellent camp office facilities, I must say, the best I've ever seen. The catering was also of a high standard and appreciated by both cadets and staff”.
“I am sure that everyone has learnt many valuable fire-fighting skills which we hope they will never need to use, but one thing is for certain, we are all going home with valuable knowledge that I know will help us all to prevent fires in the first place”.