CCF Leader Firefighting Training at HMS Excellent Portsmouth

6am! An early start! Miss Rodwell and I met CCF Officer Blacker, his colleagues and CCF students at the Whitgift School gates. A two hour journey led us to the Naval base – HMS Excellent

HMS Excellent is a Royal Navy “stone frigate” (shore establishment) sited on Whale Island near Portsmouth in Hampshire. HMS Excellent is itself part of the Maritime Warfare School.

Once introductions and welcomes were made by some very dedicated service personnel, it was off to get appropriate clothing for the training ahead. This consisted of overalls, a balaclava style head covering, wellies and socks.


Following an excellent interactive training presentation, the students were given the opportunity to see if they could dress in outer protective fire clothing at speed. We were informed that 8 minutes was the expected time for officers onboard a warship, to be dressed and at the scene of the fire, ready to extinguish it. Next was the opportunity to dowse several oil and electrical fires, which were well handled by the Cadets.

Later, a larger simulated fire in a door way within the ship was subdued by a large hose full of water; a very wet experience! Finally, we got to see the connected spaces and conditions on board an actual ship and were informed that ladders are used to access the lower decks. The Cadets also got to use a Thermal Imaging camera which identifies the exact location of the fire, even through walls.

Overall, it was an excellent training day and we look forward to more adventures with the CCF and Cadets.

Mrs Scott and Miss Rodwell – CCF Officers