JOTAME SELI'S short stint with the NFA over the past two years empowered him to guide 11 passengers on board a bus that caught fire near Savusavu last week to safety.
Sharing his experience, the church pastor of Revival Fellowship said the passengers and the bus driver started screaming when flames burst out of the engine compartment.
"It was scary and I was sitting right at the back seat. When the bus approached Waisali Hills, I first heard an explosion from the bottom of the bus and then flames oozed out from the engine," Mr Seli said.
"I saw the women stand up and wanted to rush outside but flames that had already covered the seats in the front kept them back.
"So I ran towards them and told them to just run out because we were still trying to break down the exit window. I then directed them the way out and ran back to break down the exit window and by this time, the smoke had filled up the bus."
Mr Seli, who is seen in a video footage of the burning bus, said when the exit window broke, he put a student out first before he jumped out later.
"I made sure no one was in the bus before I got out.
"As soon as I came out, I told the men around the bus to help me close all the windows because in a scene of fire, there are three things that we should try to reduce," he said.
"These three things are oxygen, fuel and heat and if we are able to reduce one of these elements, then we can contain the spread of fire.
"The passengers helped out with buckets and bottles of water but it didn't work out because the flames kept spreading.
"It only stopped when we closed the windows and I thank the NFA for such a good training given to me during my short time with them."
Mr Seli described his courageous act as a gift from God.
"That morning I was in Labasa for a church conference.
"My trip to Savusavu was not planned but when I got to the bus stand early in the morning, I decided to board the bus and travel to Savusavu to pick some food from the farm," he said
"After collecting the food, I got back to town and boarded the same bus for Labasa and that incident happened.
"I thank God he allowed me to be in the bus when the incident happened because he used my fire training skills to help save people."