Saturday, February 5, 2011

Basic Safety Training Week - Fire! Water! Ice! Snow!

Our last week in Texas and we're greeted with below freezing weather, a great environment to learn how to fight fires, right?

20 of our classmates (including Dan) spent this week going through Basic Safety Training - this includes water safety, firefighting skills, first aid & CPR training, and crowd management. Because the Africa Mercy isn't just a hospital, it's a ship, we must maintain certain maritime laws and certifications in order to be in operation.

Practicing up with the fire gear for the big day!

Notice the ice chunks floating amidst this fire!

Here's some photos from the practicum day of firefighting drills- putting out different classes of fires. This is Dan with his fire buddy, Deb.

They set this container on fire and have a pair of students enter the container in full gear, to locate "Buck the Dummy" in this fire simulation.

It was questionable whether they'd even be able to get water out of the hoses since the temperatures were in the 20s (and it is East Texas!), but the water came out.

Here's part of the team getting their instructions. Dan's passing the tests with flying colors, and enjoying the practical, hands-on aspects of class this week.

I've been working with some of the extra students in the warehouse. (Only 20 people can complete the BST training, and we have 33 in our class). We have sorted through donated textbooks to determine which ones the Academy on the ship can use, and which will go to Sierra Leone to be donated to a teacher training program with connections to Mercy Ships.

We sorted through five PALLETS of textbooks - inventorying them, weighing each box, and loading them onto new pallets to be saran wrapped so they're ready for shipping on the container. The other part of our week has been sorting through donated medical supplies that have been expired.

The girls have had a great week! Because of the cold weather, they had a two-hour late start on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we were blessed with a couple of inches of snow falling on the ground, so NO SCHOOL! They are enjoying playing in the snow with some of the other Gateway students (new big sisters!) and watching movies with some hot cocoa, a sleepover with friends, and sledding down the hill on campus.

Another special treat was making homemade pizzas with the Blackburns - Brian is the director of the Ship's Academy, his wife Warrie was my cousin Emily's kindergarten teacher onboard the ship thirteen years ago! They now live here in Lindale, have twin girls who are almost three.

Monday we wrap up our time in Texas and Tuesday morning we head to Dallas to begin our flights to Sierra Leone! Please pray that our flights won't be affected by weather on Tuesday and Wednesday, and that we'd continue to stay healthy as we start our journey and wrap up our time here.

View Journey to Sierra Leone in a larger map

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