Firefighters’ lifeline try life on the frontline
Members of staff from The Fire Fighters Charity had a chance to experience life on the other side of the fence.
The charity, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has a close working relationship with West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.
Staff from the charity’s centre at Marine Court, Littlehampton, were keen to experience the type of work our teams carry out so spent a day with E Watch, Worthing.
Three exercise therapists, two physiotherapists and two psychological therapists got the chance to have a go at some everyday firefighter tasks to give them a better understanding of the injuries and issues they deal with.
They had a full tour of the station and appliances, showing all the equipment we carry, before watching a callout to a child with his hand trapped in a door.
Back at the station they dressed in protective equipment for a breathing apparatus ‘persons reported’ exercise, where they worked as a team to rescue two casualties whilst dragging a hose reel.
They went up in the Aerial Ladder Platform; tried out hydraulic rescue equipment, during some RTC training; got the chance to experience hose drills, including hose running; and put out a hot fat fire with a fire blanket.
During the day they also sat down and talked to staff about their roles and the specialist support the charity offers.
Watch Manager Darren Wickings, who hosted the visit, said: "It was a really fun-filled day and all of the staff said how much they had enjoyed it. More importantly, it gave them a valuable insight into the work we do and how their treatment could benefit our staff."
Marine Court Exercise Therapist Rachel Rees, who took part from the charity, said: "It was great for us to get first-hand experience of the challenging and eye-opening work our beneficiaries undertake on a daily basis. We were also able to see how the services we provide can benefit fire and rescue service personnel in terms of their physical and psychological wellbeing for work, and we were able to talk to the staff at Worthing about how we can help them.
"As ever, we are full of admiration for the work of WSFRS and delighted to be able to play a part in helping with the incredible job they do."
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.
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