Families flock to fire station’s annual open day

Ben Fanciulli, from Portchester, Penelope Davies, Georgia Davies, from Southsea, Tristan Davies,  Dave Willcocks, Mark Hair and Adam Cooper Pictures: Kimberley Barber

Ben Fanciulli, from Portchester, Penelope Davies, Georgia Davies, from Southsea, Tristan Davies, Dave Willcocks, Mark Hair and Adam Cooper Pictures: Kimberley Barber

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DARING displays, fearless firefighting and awesome abseils wowed the crowds at a fire station’s annual open day.

The event was held at Southsea Fire Station in Somers Road.

Southsea Fire Station open day, held on September 3
Cousins Monty Jarvis, three, and Owen Duncan, seven, from Southsea, trying on some kit PPP-160309-180137001

Southsea Fire Station open day, held on September 3 Cousins Monty Jarvis, three, and Owen Duncan, seven, from Southsea, trying on some kit PPP-160309-180137001

Hundreds of people went along to show their support – and it was all hands to the pump for the fire crews and their friends and families who volunteered to run the day.

Watch manager Ian Jeffrey was on the cake stall.

He said: ‘The open day is our opportunity as station to open it up to the general public, to let them come in and see what we do.

‘It’s nice for us to talk to the local community. Quite often all they see is the glass doors up and us walking around, so it’s good to open them up and let them come in.’

Firefighter Tom Davies played a damsel in distress – complete with blond wig and pretty dress – and was rescued from the second floor of the fire station’s tower by abseiling fire crews.

Tom is preparing to take part in the Cockleshell Challenge next week, which will see him paddle 90 miles in five days along with a group of other firefighters, and he said the event was a great way to raise awareness of the challenge, as well as raising money for the five charities they are supporting. ‘It has been great,’ he said.

Firefighter Gary Wilders was on barbecue duties, and was talking about his upcoming fundraising event in between cooking sausages.

Gary and three other firefighters are due to take part in the annual stair climb in Atlanta Georgia for the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund next week.

He said the open day was a great annual event. ‘It’s a bit of fun and I’ve done a lot of cooking,’ he said.

As well as food stalls, people were told of the dangers of chip pans, the importance of having working smoke alarms, plus much more.

There was entertainment with dance displays and live bands. And, of course, children had the chance to get onboard the fire trucks, and to try on some of the firefighting kit.

Lots of families were at the day, including Georgia Davies, 25, from Southsea, who was with her children Penelope, one, and Tristan, three, plus boyfriend Ben Fanciulli, 30.

Ben said: ‘It’s been really nice. It’s great for the kids as its gives them the opportunity to see what goes on behind closed doors.’

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