Day Three: Firefighting
Our Third Day was devoted to the firefighting parts of Falck. This started with presentations from Industrial Firefighting, who work internationally, and Public Firefighting, who work in Denmark.
It’s great to see how the many different arms of Falck interact and vary. While all of Falck’s businesses share a common thread of helping people, even businesses that may seem similar (it is all about fighting fires, right?) can actual be quite different. For example, the vast majority of Industrial’s work is about fire prevention – when working at nuclear powerplants and oil refineries it is pretty important to prevent fires before they happen as well as be prepared to stop them if they somehow do. In contrast, there currently isn’t the political will for big public prevention programmes in Denmark, so there is little prevention work in the Public business.
These kinds of insights are all a part of benefit of having an extensive onboarding programme. Falck is a big business with many different parts – understanding how it all fits together is part of the challenge of our first rotation. They also provide us opportunities to see where we might want to work in our second and third rotations. I think it is fair to say that us grads hadn’t thought that much about industrial firefighting before, but after an inspiring presentation we all walked out asking about what opportunities there may be for rotation placements.
It was also fun to get the theory from the heads of the businesses, followed by the practice with actual firefighters immediately after. One of the reasons the graduate programme exists is to help develop better communication and understanding between head office in Copenhagen and the frontline in Denmark and around the world.
And so to the exciting part – actual firefighting training. Participating in the fire safety training was not only an action-packed, intense and (most of all!) hot experience, it also gave us a glimpse into the life-saving work that Falck Firefighters perform.
After arriving to the fire station in Greve and being introduced to its history and importance to the local community, we went into the changing rooms and emerged as fully dressed firefighters. While the uniforms, gas masks, helmets and oxygen tanks were too big to fit most of us, we all felt pretty cool in our new outfits.
Next, we had to opportunity to dodge controlled flames in a training facility (which most recently had been used by Danish Special Forces – Frømandskorpset). As we walked through the facility, we were explained some of the techniques and practices used by the firefighters when they enter a burning building and we got to experience first-hand how they navigate scorching temperatures through pitch-black smoke-filled rooms.
The experience left us feeling proud and impressed of the work that some of our colleagues do, and perhaps a bit eager to return to our comfy offices.