July, 2005 ~ "Life is a Beach"
August 2005 ~ Bermuda!, Fire Fighting Training
September 2005 ~ Bermuda Highways, Gone Fishing, John Smith Beach, Hurricane
October 2005~ Imagery, Visiting Bermuda
November 2005 ~ Hello - We are still Here, Our Place, What do I Do?
December 2005 ~ "All I want to do is Catch a Big fIsh"!, Our First Visitor, Peugeot Cabriolet
January 2006 ~ Happy New Year!, Sonesta Beach
February 2006 ~ Winter in Bermuda
March 2006 ~ BRrrrrrr!
April 2006 ~ April Showers?
May 2006 ~ May Daze
June 2006 ~ June Joining
July 2006 ~ July Joy
August 23, 2005
So we arrived on August 21 at noon. After months of confusion, misinformation and waiting, we had finally arrived. No place to stay but at least we were here ... on the Island in the middle of the Sargaso Sea in the Norh Atlantic. Our friends Mark and Anne Slater were waiting for us outside the airport as we emerged after a couple of hours of red tape. After loading our bags into two cars we were off to the "Swizzle Inn" to initiate a Bermudian tradition, that is, to get "swizzled", which involves drinking a concoction of rum and various jucies all of which went down very easily with imediate results. That night and the next day we lived with the Slaters and on the following day moved into our temporary digs at the home of Colvin Manning; a one bedroom suite in Hamilton Parish near Shelly Beach. Colvin is a Bermudian and the Electrical Supervisor at the Tynes Bay Facility where I am to start on September 1st, but all thoughts of acclimatizing myself to the 90 % humidity and 90 degree heat (32 celsius) were in vain as after only one day on the tropical island, I was scheduled to join some of my fellow engineers and train at the main Hamilton Fire Hall in the use of SCBA, or "Self Contained Breathing Apparatus"

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Fire Fighting Training

The four days with the Bermudian Firefighters is an experience worth a complete and separate "Blog" entry. Parts of the training were some of the most rigorous I've ever undertaken. After a day of theory we hit the boot camp training facilities including a 5 floor tower complete with a basement where a real fire was set alight and flooded the miniature high-rise with intense heat and smoke. After running up and down stairs, fully suited up in fire gear, gloves, helmet and the 24 lb SCBA set, carrying full 5 gal pails in each hand and arriving at the point of exhaustion, we were led into the black smoke of the third floor and the "cages". We gaspingly entered this maze from hell on all fours, blind and totally dependent on our BA sets. The maze included holes to drop down and others to climb up into. To jack up the excitement a notch, our sets 25% whistles started to blow only half way through this nightmare and panic began its insidious takeover of our sanity.
The rest of the four days included hose drills, casualty recovery, HAZMAT training and heat exposure limitations. The last day included a casualty recovery drill at the Tynes Bay Waste Treatment facility whereby we were required to enter the seven levels from below and we were to enter blind! (The Lieutenant covered our faceplates with plastic) Thus, I received my first tour of my new place of employment, being dragged along by a young Bermudian, tripping over my own feet.
The image shows me dragging my body off the killing fields of Bermuda's fire training facility at the end of a day.