A weekly reporter swapped her pen for a hose by joining a training session for on-call firefighters as part of the force’s recruitment drive.
Huntingdon Post journalist Lauren Nash pulled on a traditional firefighter’s uniform to find out more about how the on-call brigade mix their day jobs with helping the community tackle fires and save lives.
Heading for training at Huntingdon Fire Station with members of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lauren was challenged with escaping a mock-up house with a metal tank strapped to her back.
She described the evening as a personal triumph for herself and said she was full of admiration for those who give up their time to protect their local area.
“This was no easy task as the exercise included finding a ‘casualty’ and dragging the weight of a fully-grown man out of the building,” she wrote on the Huntingdon Post website.
“Added to the equation was the sheer weight of the kit.
“Escaping from the house led to the next training exercise – operating the hoses, aiming them at the tower to extinguish an imaginary fire.
“I was completely unprepared for the huge force of the hoses and the physical effort needed to sustain a grip on the kit.
“Crew commander Trevor Butland had to stand behind me to stop me being propelled backwards. It’s demanding stuff.”
Lauren also tried her hand at cutting out a car door following a simulated road traffic accident and a drive around the car park in a fire engine.
“With the blue lights flashing, it really was a childhood dream since my days of avidly watching Fireman Sam,” Lauren wrote.
“After over an hour outside on a cold, drizzly night, I was relieved to hear that we were retreating inside for a chat with the on-call firefighters.”
Lauren also interviewed other members of the public who had completed training courses or had already signed up.