Monday, April 12, 2010

Playing with Lighters & Gasoline

wYep--and I was even at school!

So, in the middle of teaching, I was pulled out of my classroom and told to go outside where a small gathering of teachers and mothers had already assembled. They were standing & listening to a lecture from 2 men in uniform. Since it was in Arabic, I'm not exactly sure what was said, but I know it had something to with fire extinguishers.

As soon as I saw the extinguishers, I had a strong suspicion there was going to be real flames involved. Based on what happened next, I'm glad I ran to my room to grab my camera. Just as I was rushing back, I saw one of the men pouring a clear liquid into a trough. My jaw must have dropped 6 inches when I realized what this clear liquid was -- gasoline! Then I kind of choked on my own spit when I saw the lighter. I definitely haven't been studying explosive fire starting techniques lately, but I thought I remember reading somewhere that gasoline and flammable objects don't mix too well . . . Maybe I saw it in a movie or something?

A Simple Tutorial on How to [Start and] Put Out A Fire
(translated from Arabic to English by yours truly)
Step 1: Pour gallons of gasoline into a trough
Step 2: Ignite gasoline with a lighter; If a lighter is not available, a match is another acceptable substitute
Step 3: Stand with a wide base, pick up your extinguisher, point it towards the flames, depress the handle, and VOILA!

After the initial demonstration, the two men in uniform started talking to the teachers again. At some point in the 2nd portion of the lecture (right during the part when I wasn't really trying to understand Arabic anymore) they must have asked for volunteers. When I started hearing a couple of the teachers whisper my name, I snapped to attention. Too late! Before I knew it, I was pushed to the front of the crowd. Whether I wanted to or not, my debut as a firefighter was at hand!

Well, as this picture shows, I wasn't a natural. I had a bit of a hard time figuring out how to hold the darn thing. Apparently trying to support the whole canister is difficult. And unnecessary.
When the 2 men in uniform and the security guard started barking instructions at me, I could barely hear them above the laughter coming from all of the other teachers. From what I deduced, I think the men kept yelling at me to put the extinguisher down and just grab the handle. Nice . . .
Fortunately for my reputation, I was able to improve my extinguisher-holding skills and blast that blaze like nobody's business!

Miss Asma, Miss Esther, Miss Lisa, & Miss Molly will know what to do if any students play with lighters & gasoline. HALAS!

Never a dull day at the office . . .


David Krohse said...


Wendy said...

You need to change your profession. You can now put out any oil well fires if it happen near you. You always seem to have a blast at work.

Brie said...

Of course you got volunteered. I'm totally the one my staff volunteers too.

joanne said...

You have so many talents. And you look good with your extinguisher too.