Between November 2002 and March 2003, all three services were called upon to supply basic fire cover in response to the Fire Service strikes.
I was stitched for it at twelve hours notice, after the original draftee was excused games owing to grievous and intractable family problems (see RN Snowboarding Championships) and ended up in Basingstoke in an RN/RM crew, with a REME det to look after the Goddesses. The Booties were particularly chuffed to be tasked with putting out Basingstoke, as they had recently returned from Afghanistan.
I personally found it to be a rewarding and interesting time, as the relentless and life-threatening tempo of modern fire and rescue operations allowed me to finish playing Myst and Riven, complete an OU course, re-roof the bathroom extension and start a taxi-cab firm.
It was also a time when the Fire Brigade invaded ARRSE only to have their bottoms kicked and suffer humiliation in the most vulgar form. Users: Firemansam, DMO, Don Beeay, Mario, Hosepipe etc. all came across guns blazing and blue lights flashing, only to go home having had their families, loved ones, jobs and everything they stand for, ridiculed, mocked and generally torn the piss out of.
Also a time where fire crews fed their kids Kitecat and Aldi-branded cat food to supplement their children's diets due to a feeble income.
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