“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday”, are wise words from Pearl S. Buck. During an evening training Staging at Safety Region Limburg North, trainer Sef Hendrickx got a super nice surprise. Paul Verhaegh, one of the students, handed Sef one of the very first crackling sound boxes ever made. This is to be used in future staging training, to show participants where we come from and the development the training materials have actually undergone.
Fire brigades used to make their own exercise materials, much more so than they do now. This "antique" crackling sound boxes consists of a housing, a speaker, a transformer, a red light bulb and two fluorescent starters for the "crackling" effect. This "luxury" version even had a mirror in the housing to reflect the light in the right direction, a loop through possibility and a volume control by means of a mechanically adjustable grid! Consideration had also been given to how the cord could be neatly rolled up.
In the current year, we might laugh at this a little. But the simplicity and solidity with which this product was made at the time by a passionate firefighter is very inspiring. The premise that materials should sometimes be repaired a little more "with a screwdriver and a water pump plier" is not such a crazy idea. Looking back at the past, we at FireWare are able to develop even better exercise materials for now and in the future!