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ations as they arise. Additionally the instructors gauge the trainees for an understanding of fire development and how, through team work and correct use of equipment, they can be protected while successfully carrying out their duties.

The series of tests are physically demanding and require high fitness as well as clear and fast thinking. School instructor SGT Tim Hunt summarises the trial: ‘It’s about being able to go that extra yard when you’re feeling knackered and just want to say ‘’Bollocks’ I’m out of here”!!’

As the day goes on, a greater load is placed on the students and they are taken well out of their comfort zone. In one scenario they are put into confined spaces and exposed to heat and humidity with temperatures within their protective clothing reaching 60 degrees Celsius. With a fire raging inside a collection of containers, they are required to go in, fight the fire, navigate around obstacles in choking smoke and rescue an 80 kg dummy - all while carrying 18kg’s of breathing apparatus on their backs along with the full fire kit.

At day’s end, their faces and equipment are blackened with soot, their arms and legs are sore and tired. As trainees, they have met the challenge and successfully conquered the fiery threat and secured their passage to the senior level. The students will return to their postings at Air Force Bases and Army camps throughout the NZDF, armed and enriched with more skills and wisdom in the art of fire-fighting.

RIGHT: F/S Daz Horsley debriefs the trainees after a scenario.

AFN67 FEBRUARY 06

www.airforce.mil.nz

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