Tough Uckfield crews are flaming brilliant

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Uckfield firefighters successfully completed a ladder climb challenge during their Children In Need open day on Monday, October 29.

Having set themselves a target of climbing 2012 metres in one hour to raise £2,012 for the charity, the team of eight was cheered on by a large crowd.

A group of eight firefighters from Red Watch which included station manager Matt Lloyd and Wealden Borough Commander Mark Matthews climbed the 12 metre ladder up the training tower carrying Pudsey who then came back down to earth via a zip wire across the yard.

The cheers grew to a roar as Pudsey came barrelling down the wire from the fire for the last time when the clock stopped at 52 minutes and 40 seconds exceeding all expectations.

Time had been tight during practice but with a supportive crowd and adrenalin flowing the ‘hardy eight’ maintained a steady pace to complete the required total of ladder climbs.

The challenge took place between 11am-noon. To win the ‘never been done before’ challenge the team had to climb the ladder 201 times in one hour but completed the task well ahead of schedule. 

The open day itself was hugely popular as hundreds of visitors came to see fire engines and a police van. They learnt a little about fire safety by completing a quiz trail. There were also chances to win trips to the fire station on the ‘human fruit machine,’ fight the fire in the fire house and take a ride on an old engine. Face painting, badge making and the Black Museum were available to enjoy and inform.

In previous years firefighters have raised funds for the charity with bungee running competitions, supported by local company teams.

Ian Ritchie, Red Watch manager said: “We want to thank people for supporting our event which helped towards our target. We have raised £1,400 so far.” To contribute towards the 2012 target contact: www.justgiving.com/uckfield-firestation-ladderclimb.