Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) got up close and personal to some rhinos this week as it donated de-commissioned fire hoses to Howletts Wild Animal Park. The community safety team from KFRS took a walk on the wild side to see how the hoses would be turned into curtains, toys and feeding balls for animal enrichment.
Due to firefighting activities, hose can suffer damage. Although some damage can be repaired, more serious defects mean the hose falls below the standard required to fight fires which means it must be disposed of. All hoses used by KFRS are regularly inspected and tested, and following the most recent checks hose that didn’t meet the required grade was withdrawn.
As part of KFRS’ commitment to helping the environment some hoses were deemed ready to be recycled, and when KFRS was approached by Howletts’ keepers of hoof stock animals it was perfect timing. To put the size of the donation into perspective, the various types of hoses stretched end to end measured almost 90metres which is the equivalent of ten double-decker buses.
KFRS meets the Howletts rhinos that will get to enjoy the hoses
Adrian Harland, Animal Director at Howletts Wild Animal Park said: “We are hugely grateful for the hose donation from Kent Fire and Rescue Service. This is a great example of recycling, as the hoses will be used to create a whole host of enrichment objects for our animals, including hammocks, swings and puzzle feeders."
KFRS Station Manager for Community Safety Rob Groombridge said: “As part of our vision to make KFRS as ‘green’ as possible we’re delighted we can recycle old, unwanted lengths of hose. The hose would otherwise be waste material but instead will be installed in animal enclosures and used by some of the animals as swings and perches. We are happy to help the park and this donation will mean they can spend funds on other essential items.”