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Fire-fighting drills test teamwork of Bath Rugby squad
Some of the world’s top rugby players were feeling the heat today (23rd August) when they took part in a team-building session hosted by Bristol Airport’s fire training team. Thirty six of Bath Rugby’s squad were put through their paces on the Airport fire-ground, taking part in training drills designed for specialist aviation fire-fighters. Challenges included crawling through a confined space while wearing breathing apparatus, climbing ladders while carrying a casualty, and tackling real flames on the Airport’s 767 simulator. Bristol Airport’s Fire and Safety Training team provides a range of fire safety and first aid training courses for all levels. The Airport location also offers an unusual setting for team-building exercises for organisations from businesses to sports teams. Players including captain of England Rugby’s summer tour, Lewis Moody, British and Irish Lion, Simon Taylor, and Bath captain, Luke Watson, took part in the training day, with the squad dividing into three groups to add an element of competition! Justin Lane, Fire and Safety Coordinator at Bristol Airport, said: “We know fire-fighters can face hazardous challenges as individuals, and sometimes have to put their lives in the hands of their colleagues. This means teamwork and trust form a key part in their training and development.“Sportsmen also need to know they can rely on their team mates under pressure, so it was fascinating to see the Bath players respond to the testing scenarios we placed them in through the course of the day.” Steve Meehan, Head Coach of Bath Rugby said: “The fire-fighters here at the airport really have to rely on each other and work closely as a team, as do the players when they are out on the field. This was a great team building exercise for the players. You can never underestimate the value that a change of scenery and experience can bring. We will all knew a little more about each other by the end of the exercise." Hundreds of Bath Rugby supporters regularly travel through Bristol Airport when following the team on in European competition, and this year the players themselves will be flying from their local airport on several occasions. Because of the unusually high number of large size items required, additional fire-fighting personal protective equipment (PPE) has been provided by specialist suppliers Bristol Uniforms, Heathcoat Fabrics and Southcombe Brothers.
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