Fareham firefighters climb to the top of ‘Everest’

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BATTLING against a biting wind and freezing temperatures, anybody would think that these firefighters were really climbing the snowy peaks of Everest.

Members of White Watch, based at Fareham Fire Station, took their ladders and buckets to Asda in Newgate Lane to raise money for a good cause.

ON THE UP Firefighters climb ladders to raise money at Asda in Fareham.

ON THE UP Firefighters climb ladders to raise money at Asda in Fareham.

With ladders leant against the supermarket’s roof, a team of 10 firefighters completed a sponsored ladder climb the equivalent distance in height to that of Mount Everest.

They were raising money for a 19-year-old girl that had been involved in a serious road traffic collision in May.

The team from White Watch had attended the crash and had rescued her from the car.

Unfortunately, the teenager, who doesn’t want to be named, was left paralysed after the accident.

Paul Coates, Pete Broomfield, Andy Gussman, Paul Cambell, Neil Stephenson and Tom Maslin

Paul Coates, Pete Broomfield, Andy Gussman, Paul Cambell, Neil Stephenson and Tom Maslin

When the firefighters heard that her family needed to raise £4,000 for a specially-adapted wheelchair, they immediately offered to help.

Lin Batten, the station’s cleaner, was helping out and holding a collection bucket.

She said: ‘She used to play in our darts team, so when she had the accident I kept the guys at the fire station informed.

‘Usually when they attend a scene they don’t hear much more afterwards but as soon as they found out, they couldn’t do enough to help.’

Paul Coates, station manager, said he had been up the ladder at least 50 times already.

He said: ‘I’ve come down here on my day off to support them. It’s such a good cause.

‘White Watch really wanted to help the young lady. That is exactly what our firefighters are like. They are a real driving force in the community.’

Firefighter Paul Cambell said: ‘We had to get her out of the car. When we heard that she needed a wheelchair we didn’t hesitate in helping in any way we could.’

All donations are welcome at Fareham Fire Station, Station Approach, Fareham, PO16 0HZ

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