Another Training Course

Today I went on another training course, the subject of which was Fire Safety, or Firefighting, or something like that.  Again, it was a Russian Federation requirement that I attend.

Those who work in an ordinary office environment are not required by law to attend this course, but for those people who will be working on a live oil and gas facility – as the LNG plant at Prigorodnoye is about to become in the next week or so – attendence is compulsory.  So a load of us had to go on this fire safety course.

Unfortunately, the course did not address firefighting in oil and gas facilities.  Instead we were told a lot about fire safety, firefighting, and evacuation plans in an office environment, which left us all wondering why the course is compulsory for oil and gas workers but not office workers.  Anyway, we now all have our little red books which certify us to put out a major blaze on an LNG storage tank with the little powder fire extinguisher which you have in your kitchen.  Or maybe it doesn’t.

Like my last training course, this one consisted mainly of somebody reading out the relevant Russian law line by line as somebody else translated.  Only the translator was late, so the first few minutes of translation was done by me, who is perfectly able to stand around a billiard table or barbecue pit ordering large vodkas and orange juice whilst making idle conversation with the locals, but is far from competent to translate such lines as “this fire extinguisher features an internal gas canister under pressure which propels the powder down the nozzle.”  Fortunately, the translator turned up before I told the class that the instructor was encouraging us to play with fire extinguishers for fun.  One interesting thing I learned was that any classroom with more than 20 people in must have two exits.  Our class of over 20 people were taught this in a room with just one exit.

Lastly, we all went outside to a patch of grass where a metal tray had been laid down into which a lady wearing a polyester office suit and high heels poured some flammable liquid.  Then a bloke dressed head to toe in combat fatigues and sporting a big Cossack moustache lit the stuff and the trainees had to don a child-size rubber coat, a giant-size helmet, and put the fire out using a half-empty fire extinguisher which Noah had tried fitting on the Ark but had been told that second-hand fire extinguishers which had gone rusty did not conform to the relevant Heavenly standards of Ark construction and operation.

All in all, a productive morning.

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13 Responses to Another Training Course

  1. Stephen Lock says:

    Something sort of similar is about to happen to us. Moscow Labor Inspection is targeting Western firms to check their Labor Code documentation compliance. At enormous annual expense, we have every conceivable labor code memo and certificate in place (a vast mound of paper)…but one it seems…

    “Where” my Chief of Staff was asked, “are your Group One Computer Users’ certificates for each member of staff?” Blank looks all round. Inter alia, this certificate attests that all staff have been on a course safely to use a computer. It includes such gems as “do not switch on with wet hands”.

    But this is the endgame. We, and all the other targeted Western firms, have been referred to the same private, technical training provider, in North-West Moscow, who will gladly sell us the certificates…the training I mean.

    No,surely no backhanders involved between Labor Inspection and the training firm, surely not…

  2. W. Shedd says:

    This is very interesting stuff, Tim.

    But I’m still wondering about your football team! :)

  3. Tim Newman says:

    Sorry Wally…Manchester United, of course. :D

  4. L.S says:

    Tim, reading your posts is such an interesting thing to do; I just keep laughing, what a talent you have in telling stories :)
    Now, you should be grateful they did not start a fire in the classroom as a “drill” :)

  5. W. Shedd says:

    Manchester United .. ah yes, I should have known … only the best for our intrepid Mr. Newman! :-)

  6. cgb says:

    this fire extinguisher features an internal gas canister under pressure which propels the powder down the nozzle.

    ???? ???? ??????????? ???????? ?? ???????? ??? ???????? ????? ???????? ???? ??????? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ??????.

    ???? ???????????? ????? ?????????? ??????? ???????? ??? ?????????, ??????? ?????????? ??????? ?? ??????

  7. Tatyana says:

    ??????? ?? ?????? ?
    Lllloooollll!

  8. Tim Newman says:

    I’m impressed!

  9. Shaun Bourke says:

    I did not realise that John Clease had done government training programmes for the Russian Government.

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  11. Gavelect says:

    Hi, and thanks for the info, I am coming down from Scotland to take in my first Man U game and can’t wait, I am looking into some Manchester Hotels at the moment and the I will be experiencing the theater of dreams, Com on united.

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