Year Eight discover the courage involved in becoming a firefighter

Sow Maryam, Year 8

Today, my class Year 8 went on a field trip to the Direction du Groupement National de Sapeurs-Pompiers. We were transported in the school mini-bus and accompanied by our class teacher, Mrs. Nneoma Mbaka, and Mr. Fassassi. We received a warm welcome by Capitaine Nassara Alban and Adjudant Yoro Gado. They led us to where the fire trucks are parked and explained the functions of the component parts. We were drilled on how to put out fire using a hose. The hose can be adjusted according to the intensity of water we need.

Next, they took us to the ambulance that carries accident victims and victims of other emergencies. The turned on the ambulance, showed us the neck braces used to keep a fractured neck and head immobile until the victim reaches the hospital. We saw an oxygen tank for people with breathing problems and the first aid box.

Further, we were taken to a special fire truck for tall buildings. It has a ladder which is about 30 metres high and is used to rescue people who are trapped in tall buildings. The telephone operator’s room was the last place we visited. The number is 118 and all distress calls in Cotonou are received in that room. We were told the danger of playing pranks with this number.

Looking back, people used buckets of water to put out fire. Some stamped the feet on burning objects or used their hands. Going forward, advanced technology which is more effective is used. Most importantly, we were taught that prevention of fire is more important than putting it out. I am grateful to firefighters who risk their lives for others during fire outbreaks.

Camilla Aboudou, Year 8

My class Year 8, with our class teacher Mrs Mbaka, and Mr Fassai visited the Direction du Groupement National de Sapeurs-Pompiers. Capitaine Nassara Alban and Adjudant Yoro Gado taught us how to prevent fire outbreak in our homes and what we can do to help accident victims on the road. They explained their work and the risks involved in what they do.

I never thought of becoming a fire-fighter, but the trip changed my perspective. We learned so much in such a short span of time. It was like knowledge on a gold platter. Sergeant Major Edoun Alexandre drilled us on how to use a hose to put out fire. They also showed us an ambulance, which they said is never taken for a ride except for emergencies.

I enjoyed the trip, and I realised that fire-fighters are very courageous people.

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