Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fire Watch

Fire watch is a very important job offshore. It could save a life or many lives. That being said sometimes fire watch isn't taken as serious as it should. It's not a hard job. If you haven't done it or been around one the fire watch is a job where you watch for fire while Hot Work is being done, anything like cutting, grinding, or welding. The basic things are monitoring a gas detector for dangerous gases, having a fire hose or fire extinguisher in hand or close by, and after the hot work is done then you have to stay and monitor the area for 30 minutes. Not hard huh? A job I don't mind volunteering for. But during fire watch you must stay awake and alert where the hot work is being performed. Now as exhausting as that may sound some people find it hard to stay awake during this time. For example, while doing some work on the plus 10 ( the area about 10 feet above the water line) some cutting was being done with a cutting torch. Some pretty basic work that was approved and and a hot work permit was filled out. The fire watch we will call "Johnny" loved being fire watch because he could catch up on his sleep. Johnny and Rick put on there work vest and proceeded to the plus 1o, where the torch and fire hose was lowered down and the hose was turned on. As Rick started cutting Johnny sat down on the stairs and proceeded to lay back and "do fire watch" as he described it, the rest of us called it sleeping. Johnny was good and asleep and from what he said he was dreaming. while holding the fire hose. After everything happened that I am about to explain Johnny said that he was dreaming that Rick was on fire. So Johnny woke up out of his dream still thinking that Rick was on fire dropped the hose and pushed Rick off the platforms plus 10 and into the water. Wearing his life jacket Rick was now floating in the gulf, and Johnny picks up the fire hose and throws the end of it to Rick to pull him back to the platform. Needless to say Rick was pissed. Now all of this sounds unbelievable, and I might not have believed it either if Rick wasn't completely soaked when him and Johnny came walking back upstairs.