Instead of the Traditional ...”Happy New Year , 2018!”

Sun, 31 Dec 2017Satu Mare, Romania
Author: Ioana Anamaria Ungur
Photo: Agenda Pompierului

In loc de traditionalul     La multi ani  2018 | imaginea 1 The Romanian firefighters greet the New Year at Moftinu Mare. There, along the fire-belching monster, literally, they will do everything in their power to guard and protect their fellowmen.

The “flashover” phenomenon, or why the Earth is shaking

Saturday, December 30th 2018, in the middle of Moftinul Mare village, the sound of the gas drill was deafening. In the background, one could hear loud thunders. Hadn’t we known the situation, we would have thought it was a giant boomblaster with a huge bass sound, ready for the New Year’s party. It was the gas drill burning ceaselessly for the 13th day in a row.

After thirteen days since the fire start, from underground, sometimes, together with the gas are brought huge amounts of water. These trigger, in the meantime, a low intensity, a regression of the fire, leaving room to a mixture of gas and steam which, when reigniting, explodes: the “flashover” phenomenon, beautiful, but, at the same time, dangerous, loud and frightening. This explosion is accompanied by a loud thunder, louder than the 100-decibel hiss of the gas drill.

When the water which resurfaces is in larger amounts, so is the reigniting thunder, sometimes the earth literally shaking. The village people are rightfully frightened, but the firefighters met with them, explained why these phenomena occur and reassured them it was not a threat to their lives.

In loc de traditionalul     La multi ani  2018 | imaginea 2

The Canadian drillers grateful for the Romanian firefighters’ dedication and professionalism

After fourteen days of fire, the drilling platform at Moftinu is nearly cleared. Kilometers of water supply gear, tens of motor pumps, intervention trucks, tens of firefighters, an exceptional display of work power. The commander, colonel Daniel Marian Dragne, has by his side a strong and committed team. From the under-officers, to officers, brave men, ready to defeat the fire monster. The following days will see the difficult moment when the drillers will descend into the well, protected by the Romanian firefighters. For that matter, the Canadians expressed, during a press conference, their gratitude and admiration towards the Romanian firefighters for their professionalism displayed at Moftinu Mare. But, ironically, this faded at the news that the fire might last two more months…

Every cloud has a silver lining: the fire at Moftinu has united the firefighters

Beyond all that, the fire at the Moftinu drill has, paradoxically, triggered an extraordinary thing: one can notice there, on the incandescent front, a UNITY of the Romanian firefighters. A feeling we have not experienced since the times of general Vladimir Secară. I had the chance to witness him talk to inspector general, colonel Daniel Dragne. They were both alert, yet relaxed. They even made a joke here and there, asking and getting answers ranging from wages to techniques of putting out fire. There, on the incandescent front, they had the chance to see a different colonel Dragne. Not the inspector general – the “ogre” from the office, but the comrade who stood by their side, day and night, since December 19th.

Certainly, after such a difficult mission, neither the men in the front line, nor the higher-ranking officers shall ever be the same. For, there, on the front, a commander exists through his men, and their work has value to their commander. There, in that area full of explosions and danger, they only have one another to depend on, and God, the ranks dissipate and remain only the military credo, fellowship, respect towards the commander, not the one enforced by rules, but the one enforced by their work shoulder to shoulder.

Through the deafening noise at the drill, the Romanian firefighters have yet again started to speak with their heart, the heart of the front brother whose face, in a borderline case, could be the last they might ever see. In that inflammatory situation, they witnessed, after too many years, the feeling of stability in the Service. They had a commander who faced, by their side, the danger in the first line of duty. This is the picture I want to keep in mind when getting through the New Year: that of stability and unity. Thinking of them, my dear firefighters, praying God to protect and grant them a New Year worthy of their devotion and sacrifice.

Happy New Year, dear military firefighters! God bless you, wherever you are!

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