Monday, February 16, 2009

Water on

Over the weekend, I took many action photos at the Otago Southland Fire Brigades competitions. Very well hosted by the Mosgiel Volunteer Fire Brigade, this annual event attracts teams of Fire men and women from all over the two provinces, and sometimes from further afield. All of them are volunteers, in other words they get paid not a cent for turning up to many emergencies. And they train, practice and work at doing set tasks for the competitions. All of these tasks are related to what happens at a real fire. Over this weekend there is real competition, with only seconds between the teams. Time penalties are applied if it is not done exactly right, and one small error can shift a team down several places.
In the above photo, too much water pressure has been let out before the coupling has been attached. Some water must be coming out, as the hydrant has to be proved to be working, but if there is to much, it becomes very hard to put the coupling on. In this case, the man with the hose was powerful enough to force the coupling on, thus having the advantage of a fair bit of water already in the hose before the next step.
I can tell you that the other teams studied this and other photos very carefully, to see if they could see how it was done.
I think this is the 14th time I have covered this event. However, each one I learn a bit more , and when I have it right, they change the events so I have to learn them all over again. Being in the right place at the right time does not happen by accident, at least not in this job.
The event was won by the enthusiastic team from Kaitangata, with Mossburn a close second. Both teams have father and son members, so it is real family sport.

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