Holbeach councillor braves overhead flames on firefighters’ training day

Nick Worth (front row, centre) with traineee firefighters and instructors on the day he braved the fire container.
Nick Worth (front row, centre) with traineee firefighters and instructors on the day he braved the fire container.

A county councillor went beyond the call of duty by going inside a smoke-filled container with a fire blazing at one end.

Nick Worth, who represents Holbeach, is the executive county councillor responsible for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, and joined new recruits at a firefighters’ training day at Waddington.

As well as attending theory classes, where firefighters learn how to tackle different kinds of fires, Coun Worth felt the heat inside the “fire container”.

He was kitted out in full fire fighting gear, including breathing apparatus, and sat down in the container with the trainees as a fire blazed 50ft away.

Coun Worth said: “You sit in there and watch the fire develop.

“The flames at times come right over your head, as well as the smoke and all the rest of it.

Nick Worth (left) is kitted our with breathing apparatus before going into the fire container at Waddington.

Nick Worth (left) is kitted our with breathing apparatus before going into the fire container at Waddington.

“You would not want to stand up and you are advised not to stand up.

“They have a thermal camera in there and it gets to 420 degrees at the seat of the fire. It’s hot but it’s workable.

“I think the lesson is you don’t get too close – you don’t need to get too close.”

Instructors from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are also in the container to take charge of the exercise.

The flames at times come right over your head, as well as the smoke and all the rest of it.

Nick Worth

Coun Worth said: “It’s quite a scary experience when you first go in but, with the instructors there, it’s all pretty calm and well managed.”

He said there are vents in the container that can be opened or closed to simulate various conditions.

Recruits practice with the hose, learning how to put out different types of fires.

Coun Worth says a large amount of water can turn some fire scenes into a steam bath while using a smaller droplet will have a bigger effect.

“We have probably got the best training facility in the country at Waddington,” he said. “Fire services from all over the country come to do their training.”

The centre can stage a wide range of disasters, from a train on its side to a fire in a filling station.

Coun Worth said: “They also have rescue training facilities for earthquakes.”

He’s been the executive councillor for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue for a year-and-a-half and has visited many of the fire stations in the county, attending inspections with the senior management team, as well as trying to get a flavour of what firefighters do, which has included an ascent on the aerial ladder platform.

“I have got a huge admiration for firefighters and how well trained they are,” he said. “In a dangerous situation, most people will go in the opposite direction but in the fire service you have got to go into it.”

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