Keeping safe was fun in Uckfield

Having a go with the hose
Having a go with the hose

Almost 1,000 people attended the Wealden’s Fun and Safety Day at Uckfield Fire Station, Bell Farm Road, last week.

Youngsters had a hands-on opportunity to learn about safety, meet members of emergency services, includiing East Sussex Fire and Rescue, Sussex Police, Freedom Leisure, Active Play and Wealden Children’s Centres, and enjoy fun activities.

Wealden’s organiser Sophie Hepworth said: “Our thanks go to everyone who worked so hard to make it a success – and the Safer Wealden Partnership who kindly provided the funding.

“It was both enjoyable and useful - everyone had a fantastic time, including us!”

Activities included simulated fire and car rescues, a children’s entertainer, badge-making, crafts and giant outdoor games.

Everyone joined in a sing-along with children’s entertainers while Stepping Stones Nursery provided health cakes and soft drinks from their stall.

Hundreds of badges were produced by community volunteers who were kept busy supporting the activities on offer.

Fire station watch manager Ian Ritchie explained: “The event is designed to promote healthy and safe lifestyles through active participation, demonstrations and information.”

As well as the excitement and fun on offer, children were treated to fresh fruit by courtesy of Waitrose and healthy eating information from Wealden and East Sussex councils.

Children bravely wielded a fire hose to put out a fire in ‘The Firehouse’ and visitors said there were lengthy queues for all the exciting activities.

Attracting particularly large numbers was the chance to see the inside of a police van and find out what it’s like to ‘drive’ a fire engine.

A new attraction was Uckfield’s ‘Hook a cat’ tree (though chocolate Easter Bunnies were used) which raised over £100 for the Firefighters Charity.

Uckfield’s firefighters demonstrated how they use hydraulic equipment to cut an injured driver or passenger out of a crashed vehicle and also showed how they rescue people from a fire.

Meanwhile Crowborough teams demonstrated their much-used large animal rescue vehicle, pressed into action on farms and in the countryside.

Other folk, including town mayor cllr Ian Smith, survived being locked up in their van by police officers, who, meanwhile, gave useful advice on safety and security.

Fun and Safety Days are held annually in Uckfield and numbers attending grow year by year. Crowborough Fire Station also hosted their own Fun and Safety Day this week.