Uckfield fire station open day success

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Uckfield’s recent community fire station’s Open Day was a huge success with hundreds turning up to join in with the fun.

An incredible 800 visitors flocked to the town’s fire station for the event on April 14 - 200 more than the year before. The day was organised by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Wealden District Council, Sussex Police, UK Power Networks, Tesco and Freedom Leisure.

The idea behind the event was to promote safety alongside children’s health and welfare.

Children looked on in delight at gleaming fire engines which stood alongside police vehicles. Kids got to explore the real thing in a safe environment, as well as the ESFRS Firebike, which proved a big attraction.

Watch Manager Ian Ritchie said: “Activities such as face painting, giant Jenga, puppet making and badge making were available while a children’s entertainer kept the youngsters amused. Sussex Police provided road safety information while Community Fire Safety (CFS) staff offered cycle safety advice. UK Power Networks supplied electrical safety advice and Tesco supplied the children with ‘Healthy Eating’ fruit salads.

“Uckfield’s re-vamped fire house saw queues stretch across the station yard to use a hosereel to put out the flames and reveal safety messages while the penalty shootout saw hundreds of budding footballers showing their skills. ESFRS volunteers distributed home safety information and collected Home Safety Visit referrals.

“This is the third of these events to be held at Uckfield with each one attracting larger visitor numbers and greater interest. Such was the interest that 340 people had come through the doors within 10 minutes of opening. Uckfield FM had advertised the day throughout the preceding week and featured it on air during the morning.

“A huge vote of thanks from the station personnel goes to all concerned with the organisation of the day especially Sophie and Zoe from Wealden District Council plus Community Safety Advisors (CFAs), Gaidagh and Anna. The event proved just what can be achieved when groups work closely together.

“Support from personnel on annual leave who put themselves out to attend together with Uckfield FM, ESFRS Community Volunteers, City CFS and the Wealden CSA Team was greatly appreciated and ensured that all of those present witnessed first hand, partnership working at it’s best.”

Wealden’s health development officer Sophie Hepworth said: “In these difficult financial times accident prevention certainly makes economic sense. The day gave all members of the family the opportunity to think about keeping safe at home, on the road and when out and about.”