Fire and rescue service volunteers from Hertfordshire and London played a key role in a run held in memory of the tragic events in New York on 9/11.

Six Community Horse Patrol (CHiPs) riders and two horses travelled to London to take part in the inaugural Tunnel 2 Towers run (T2T) London 2012 alongside 15 community fire safety volunterers.

T2T was inspired by the New York Tunnel to Towers Run held in memory of firefighter, Stephen Siller; one of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives when the Twin Towers collapsed on 11 September 2001.

Roy Wilsher, Director of Community Protection and Chief Fire Officer, said: “The Tunnels to Towers run is a wonderful way to remember all those brave service men and women who sacrificed their lives trying to save others. The event was a huge success and great deal of money was raised for a number of charities, including the Firefighters Charity, the Blue Lamp Foundation and The London Fire Brigade Welfare Fund. I would personally like to thank all of the HFRS volunteers involved for taking the time to help and for representing the service so well.”

The runners travel five kilometres from Bermondsey through the Rotherhithe Tunnel to Billingsgate Market. Participants were welcomed at the finish line by fire engines and standard bearers displaying the colours of all the brigades taking part, with Nigel Harden from the Fire and Rescue Service Youth Engagement Team representing the Hertfordshire service.

This was just the latest event to show off the effectivess of HFRS' volunteer scheme, as highlighted at the recent CFOA Eastern Region Volunteer Conference [23 Oct] attended by Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Norfolk, Cambridge and Essex fire services.

Hosted and initiated by HFRS the event focused on unique aspects of Hertfordshire’s volunteer scheme, including community horse patrols (CHiPs); the introduction of Trading Standards volunteers; community advocates and training for businesses to identify and signpost vulnerable residents.

During the conference HFRS  talked about its plans for the future including training for volunteers to drive 4x4 vehicles in extreme weather to deliver meals on wheels and ensure essential services continue; and the set up of a 24/7 cleanup scheme for vulnerable residents.

Following the success of this initial conference, all those who attended will now meet regularly, with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service due to host the next Chief Fire Officers Association Eastern Region Volunteers Conference. 

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Community volunteers throughout the eastern region do an incredible job in providing support to fire crews and helping to improve the safety of the communities they live in.  Having regular meetings like this one will allow our scheme, and neighbouring ones, to progress and develop further.”

The December/January edition of FIRE Magazine will feature a full focus on HFRS & their community volunteer scheme - click here to subscribe to read this piece in full

Posted 30/10/2012 by