Today we had a fire drill. We’ve all done it – traipsed out of the office or classroom on a cold wet day to stand in a car park or field and wait to be told it’s safe to go back in. We learn our exit route and know our roles clearly. I have to make sure that two classrooms and an office is clear before I leave the building. In many ways it’s the same on board ship EXCEPT there is no 999 to call and roles can include BEING the fire fighter. It is important to know the procedures, your role in an emergency, a fire on board a ship is a VERY dangerous event. We were given a five minute warning, via loudspeaker, that the drill would take place.

Matt in his boiler suit after the five minute warning. Gael and Murray (poor Murray had been on night watch). Scientists go to muster on deck in safety.


Once the scientists are out of the way the crew suit up. The fire fighting suits are hot, heavy and cumbersome. The breathing apparatus sounds very like Darth Vader from Star Wars. The crew help each other to get the kit on.  Instructions and information is relayed by radio from the bridge to the fire teams.


The crew are told that there is a fire in the galley. They walk up stairs to the correct deck and liaise with the other fire fighting team.

Meanwhile, there has been a message that someone has collapsed. Another team of crew perform CPR and put the patient into the recovery position.


One of the fire teams enters the serving area of the galley and are told that they can see a chip pan on fire in the galley on the other side of the counter. They go round and try to get into the galley but are told it’s too dangerous to continue. The team then retreat another team will enter via the back of the galley. The crew explain their decisions to team leaders at each step and how varying circumstances may result in them taking a different course of action. Team leaders also question the crew to test their knowledge. Constant radio communication takes place with The Bridge. 


Another team of fire fighters enter the galley via the back door. They find a casualty and also put out the fire. 



The drill is over. The fire hoses must be packed away with care. Team leaders have a debrief on the Bridge.


It was wonderful to watch the crew working together; they are a friendly, dedicated,  supportive  and professional team.

Thank you for letting me tag along 🙂 Angela



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