Yesterday was quite a day. Multiple fires, the ship filled with smoke. Dead and injured bodies lined the corridors. I laid out extra hoses for one of the fire teams, rescued an unconscious cook and performed rescue breathing (had a pulse, but was not breathing) until the medical team arrived. After they took over a hot spot erupted on an upper deck. I ran yet another set of hoses to fight that one. The original fire then flared back up, down in the mess and the fire team had to return and hit it again. It was one of the more involved and interesting fire drills I've worked in a long time and even though it took much longer than usual, it was well worth it. We all learned a few good lessons in how carefully the peripheral teams have to search for hot spots and perform boundary cooling. We also identified a few communication problems and figured out a quick and easy way to prop open automatically closed fire doors so they won't pinch a fire hose before it charges up. I also learned the cook needs to loose a few pounds if he wants to be rescued from a fire. Son of a gun was heavy. Turned my 12 hour shift into 17 hours, but I'm not complaining. This drill I began to learn the ropes in preparation for taking over command of the ventilation party and I'm happy to play a larger role in shipboard fire-fighting while here in Australia. I think it's some sort of maritime law, but while here, the Australian nationals we have to employ due to union laws, make up all the fire teams. I'm luck to be able to grab one of the peripheral teams instead of having to stand around at the muster station, waiting to assist as necessary.
Other than that, I've got little to report. We're kicking ass and taking names out here. The additional two people working for me are proving to be both a help and a hindrance. Both girls were seasick for nearly a week and it took a lot cajoling and lecturing to get them back on their feet, eating and drinking and able to work a full shift. Now that they're present, it's taking an enormous amount of time to train them, set up all the corporate crap, introducing them to the training and QHSE reporting programs, etc. The little actual work they can contribute really doesn't offset the time I have to put into them, but I'm hoping they stick around for a while and it pays off in the future. Whatever, I get a break for the next 5 days as they are farmed out to learn how one of the other departments operate. Everyone onboard is cross-trained in everyone else's job right from day one. The best part is I get my office back to myself and can enjoy a peaceful respite today, donning my headphones and jamming instead of answering 10,000 questions:)