West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s 11 new wholetime recruits have pulled together to raise funds for a great cause, successfully hauling a 12-tonne fire engine around a four mile course at Ford Airfield.
The trainee firefighters managed to complete the ambitious challenge in just 1 hour 20 minutes, despite the tough course – with a slight hill at one end – being carried out in freezing conditions.
The trainees worked in teams of six, supported by instructors from their course, changing over while on the move to ensure they didn't lose momentum.
Enduring the weather and putting in the hard work paid off, with the event having raised hundreds of pounds for The Fire Fighters Charity.
Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, Debra Kennard, officially started the event, which was watched by the Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Deputy CFO and Assistant CFO who were also there to welcome the victorious recruits across the finish line.
Course Commander Keith Parvin said: "This was a really tough event. There is a longstanding tradition of trainee firefighters raising money for charity, and we've had some difficult challenges in the past, but this topped the lot.
"I'm really proud of this great team effort. We would like to say a huge thank you to the team at Ford Airfield, to all the support and help from the wider team on the day, and of course to everyone who has made a generous donation to this brilliant cause."
Staff from The Fire Fighters Charity, as well as some current charity beneficiaries, cycled to Ford to show their support. A cash collection was carried out during the event and donations are still welcome via the JustGiving page.
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.