Emergency services day brings family fun to the sea

COMMUNITY SUPPORT Emergency services at the annual GAFIRS 999 day in Stokes Bay
COMMUNITY SUPPORT Emergency services at the annual GAFIRS 999 day in Stokes Bay
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A HOST of blue light services were on display to give the community a better understanding of the work they do.

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) welcomed the fire, ambulance, police, coastguard, community safety and Ramora bomb disposal services to its base in Stokes Bay as part of its annual emergency services day.

Families were treated to demonstrations in sea safety and cadet training, along with fun activities such as a find the mine game and a bouncy castle.

The volunteer group also displayed the work they do in rescue situations, by launching one of their boats off the jetty at Stokes Bay, giving a live demonstration out at sea.

Chairman of GAFIRS, Keith Thomas, said hosting this annual event was vital for the service as it gave the public a better understanding of what it is they do.

Mr Thomas admitted that as GAFIRS is a voluntary service, it relies on its community for support so it can continue to carry out its life-saving service.

He said: ‘We were delighted to be able to welcome so many different blue light services to this year’s event.

‘As a volunteer service we do rely on the help of the community and hosting these emergency service days is a great way for us to give something back.

‘By hosting days like this it doesn’t just help support us but also gives other services in the community the chance to showcase the work they do.’

The site in Lifeboat Lane, Gosport, had more than 500 people visit during the day, before it was invaded by a group of Stormtroopers with collection buckets.

All the funds raised from the day helped support the vital work that GAFIRS and the other blue light services provide to the community.

Throughout the day the volunteers from all the services managed to raise £602.12.

As well as providing fun for all the family, Mr Thomas wanted to use the day to help recruit new volunteers.

He said: ‘We had a lot of people show an interest in signing up and from the day we had at least three new volunteers come on board.’