Novel use for old fire hoses at Ringmer

Dogs at Raystede enjoy playing with toys made from old firehoses.
Dogs at Raystede enjoy playing with toys made from old firehoses.

Firecrews in the county don’t just put out fires - they also find novel ways to help great community projects.

Their latest idea was to recycle old hoses by donating them to an animal welfare centre.

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare is using the hoses to make toys and shelters for its four-legged residents. Head of engineering Bill Brewster said: “These hoses couldn’t be used by firefighters any more and were taken out of service, but we didn’t want to just throw them away. We look for different ways this sort of equipment can be re-used and we are thrilled that the animals at Raystede are benefiting.”

Hannah Trayford, Raystede’s head of animal welfare, said: “Donations are always appreciated. This hose will be put to good use to make shelters for horses and alpacas and dog toys. We have already made ‘food balls’ with some hoses for our dogs. These are easy to make, and tough so can withstand even the strongest jaws – great just for chewing on or for hiding treats inside.”

In the meantime Uckfield crews were kept busy with more mainstream work this month.

On August 17 they went to a road crash on the A22 at Nutley. At 10.55am the same day Uckfield and Heathfield crews dealt with an overheated washing machine in Heathfield. On August 19 the Crowborough heavy animal rescue unit attended an incident in Kent while three days later Uckfield, Heathfield and Crowborough crews put out a fire in a stubble field at Broad Oak at 5.05am - two hectares, a baling machine and several large straw bales were destroyed.

Next day a crew was called at 4pm to a two-car smash on the A26 at Little Horsted. And on August 30 a call at 10.20am to a fire on the Bellbrook Industrial Estate seemed innocuous until the crew realised the large drum being used to burn rubbish contained potentially harmful chemicals.

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus to put out the fire using compressed air foam.

Advice on safe waste disposal was given and health advice offered to employees at neighbouring premises.