Sunny skies welcomed crowds at Thames-side fire station's community open day on Saturday, (23 September).
Hundreds of families turned out to enjoy a variety of demonstrations and activities all designed to help keep them safe. The event provided the perfect opportunity for the whole family to get involved and learn about everyday hazards.
Organiser of the event, Thames-side Crew Manager, Jason Hills said: "We were delighted to welcome so many local families to our first open day in ten years. Our aim was to give people a great time but for our visitors to leave with some vital fire and road safety messages.
"Judging by the feedback, lots of people said they’d had a great day out. But, even more importantly, many said they would be going home to test their smoke alarms and to talk about fire escape plans. Others said they would be changing routines to include switching all non-essential electrical items off when away from their homes, or overnight, and closing their internal doors on their way to bed. It’s great to know that people are following our life-saving advice, which will help keep their loved ones safe.”
The day had an exciting and entertaining mixture of demonstrations, displays, exhibitions, and activities for all ages. Firefighters and paramedics displayed their joint response to a simulated car crash, with fire crews using their sophisticated cutting gear to show how a casualty is removed from crashed vehicles.
Jason added: "During the crash demo we explained the importance of wearing seat belts and not getting distracted or using mobile phones while at the wheel.”
Fire crews also showed how they work at height to rescue a casualty while tackling a fire in a third floor building. The crowds watched as a casualty was strapped onto a multi-integrated body splint stretcher (MIBS) and lowered to the ground.
Youngsters were able to climb on-board fire engines, use hose reels to put out pretend fires and identify everyday risks in the hazard perception room. They also got to test their agility, balance and coordination on a fun indoor inflatable fitness challenge course. Visitors enjoyed ice cream, face painting and the refreshment stall, which raised over £700 for charity.
Families were able to take a close look at the specialist equipment used on some of the jobs tackled by KFRS' highly-trained firefighters. They also got the opportunity to take a stroll through history and see vintage fire engines, helmets and equipment.
Firefighters, Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Kent County Council's Road Safety team, UK Power Networks, The British Red Cross and the Highways Agency were also on hand to show members of the public what they do, give advice and answer questions.
Visitors enjoying the open day