Cayman’s Fire Services could potentially see 18 new recruits by the end of the month. This as they near the end of their three month-long training, Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter was at the training ground today and has this report.
“Push myself forward to help people save lives, that is actually excellent for me because that is what I love to do,” said Ameilia Gillispie, 22 year old Fire fighter trainee.
Ms. Ameilia Gillispie was among 18 recruits facing the heat running simulations at the Fire Department’s training ground fire in the hope of becoming firefighters.
“Because there is fire smoke in there, it’s real and when the heat gets intense, it’s real,” said Ms. Gillispie.
Ms. Gillispie says these simulations, like dousing a fire inside a building, to this one on a car is preparing her for the field.
“There are a lot of things that we have to bear in mind to save casualties and to make sure all team members come back out safely, so you know there are several things to grasp and remember,” said Ms. Gillispie.
John Christian has been in the department for over 30 years and has been training recruits for more than 20 of those years, he runs these simulations to see if the recruits are really cut out for the role.
“Breathe in the smoke, breathe in the heat and rescue people and if you’re not able to do that then again, that is one of the key elements of firefighters,” said Fire training officer, John Christian.
The training course used to be 6 months and it is an intense three months instead. Recruit Stephen McLaughlin is up for the challenge.
“They trying to compress 6 months of training in 3 months , so we are out here nearly everyday and we’re doing classwork, you have exams nearly everyday, it’s been real tough,” said Fire recruit, Stephen McLaughlin.
After the simulations, Mr. Christian tells the team about errors they made, so they will correct before going out to a real fire.
“Because you didn’t do a proper search, because you didn’t listen properly, you might have missed someone and they died, its a possibility you could probably end up going to prison because of negligence,” said Mr. Christian from the Cayman Islands Fire Service.
For Mr. Christian, he wants to ensure the next generation of firefighters can meet the standards of the current fighters.
The sucessful recruits graduate at the end of August, after which they will be on a nine month probation period in the Fire Service.