A crew from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) responded to a very unusual call out last week.
Swalwell Community Fire station, in Gateshead, received a call from Addison Court Care Home, in nearby Crawcrook, asking if they could surprise one of the residents on her 105th birthday.
Ivena Smailes, known locally as Aunty Ivy, had requested that her birthday cake be delivered by “a burly, tattooed fireman”.
A crew from Blue Watch sprang into action, and a firefighter fitting the description climbed a ladder to the third floor balcony of the care home before climbing through the window and delivering a cake, complete with candles, to Ivy on bended knee.
The surprising scene was the latest in a series of unusual birthday wishes requested by the sprightly centenarian.
Debra Carter, from the home, said: “She’s got a fantastic sense of humour. On her bucket list this year she wanted a cake delivered by a fireman with tattoos. We’ve managed to find one and the fire brigade have been fantastic about it; they were arguing over who was going to climb the ladder and deliver it to her.”
Watch Manager Andy Lane, TWFRS, said: “It was something of a first, but we thought it was incredibly important to carry out Ivy’s wishes. We picked up a bunch of flowers for her on the way to make it a little bit more special.
“On behalf of the watch, myself and everyone at TWFRS we extend our sincere best wishes to Ivy and hope that she has many more birthdays to come.”
Apparently Ivy has already made it clear what she would like for her 106th birthday – a fly-by from the Red Arrows display team or a visit from Prince Harry!