The event ran from 10am to 4pm.
Hundreds of people flocked through the Southern Fire and Rescue Station as the staff opened up many areas of the building to allow members of the local community to meet the firefighters and watch demonstrations including fire fighting techniques, enactments of procedures when attending road traffic accidents as well as take part in games and challenges.
There was something for all the family and when the kids were not enjoying a ride on a mini fire tender they were having fun playing a hose onto brave firefighters who had volunteered to dodge the spray from a fire-hose. Adults and kids alike could enter a smoke filled ‘room’ and try and rescue a toy bunny!
Several appliances were on display including an incident response unit (IRU) which is used to deal with decontamination of both fire service personnel and members of the public. There was also a Scania Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP), one of just two appliances in the Service. A ‘reaction test’ challenge utilised apparatus that required participants to react and touch buttons that illuminated randomly and recorded the time taken to respond. They then repeated the exercise wearing a pair of beer goggles that simulated their vision should they have been drinking. Many were astounded how difficult it was to ‘touch’ the illuminated buttons and of course the increase in response time as a result.
Music and public address was provided via a mobile disco and refreshments were available courtesy of a BBQ stall selling hot-dogs and burgers.
Although the event was entirely free to enter, there were stalls with challenges and activities that could be undertaken for a small donation placed into a charity bucket. The charity benefitting from donations, raffles, etc. was the Firefighters Charity.
Every year thousands of fire fighters are injured whilst protecting the public. Every 30 seconds in the UK fire fighters are called to an incident, putting their lives on the line and often sustaining physical injuries whilst carrying out their duties.
Over the years, the charity has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals by providing world-class treatment and support services.
It costs £9 million a year to keep the Charity running and with no government funding they are completely reliant on the generosity and enthusiasm of their supporters.
The charity operates three centres in Devon, Cumbria and West Sussex, which offer a range of support programmes including physical rehabilitation and recuperation to members of the fire and rescue community in times of need. The centre in Cumbria also offers nursing care.
Some photos from the day: