Fareham’s 999 services day gets bigger and better than ever

CARE Jack Seifert, eight, from Fareham was extra lucky to get his hand held by ambulance technician Chrissy Jenkins pictured with Team Leader Jeff Newbold. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132909-6313)
CARE Jack Seifert, eight, from Fareham was extra lucky to get his hand held by ambulance technician Chrissy Jenkins pictured with Team Leader Jeff Newbold. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132909-6313)
Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

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SIRENS filled the air of Fareham town centre over the weekend.

But it was all part of the annual 999 Day that gives families the chance to learn about the different emergency services that operate in the area.

FUN DAY Sisters Esmay and Yasmine Moore from Waterlooville enjoy a rest. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132909-6354)

FUN DAY Sisters Esmay and Yasmine Moore from Waterlooville enjoy a rest. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132909-6354)

Along with police vans, fire engines and ambulance services, blood transport vehicles and the Royal Navy police also attended.

The crews took over the town centre and showcased their vehicles, along with ones from the past.

Patricia Gray, Fareham town centre manager, said: ‘This is the fourth year we have hosted such an event and it gets bigger every year.

‘We have got the police, firefighters, paramedics, a bomb disposal squad and lots of other emergency services.

‘They have got their equipment on show, giving children the chance to learn about all the different jobs they have to do.

‘As well as being able to see inside all the vehicles, the kids have pressed the siren button and turned on the lights.

‘It’s a great chance for them to learn something new.’

Some of the services were part of the 999 day for the first time.

Patricia added: ‘When we first started out, we were contacting the services but this year, a couple contacted us because it is a great opportunity for them.’

Police officer Jim Chapman, from the road policing unit at Fratton police station, was on-site with his police car.

He was giving out leaflets on a number of road safety issues and showing kids the inside of the vehicle.

He said: ‘Days like this are great for the families but also the services.

‘We can give out advice in a laid back, fun atmosphere and the kids love it.

‘A few of them have managed to find the buttons for the sirens and we have also let them turn on and off the lights.

‘They love the old-fashioned cars and vehicles that belong to enthusiasts. It’s great that they get the chance to look around.

‘Every year this event has got bigger and it showcases just the number of different emergency services there are.’

For families with young children, the day was exciting and three-year-old Angelos had fun with his mum Sarah Kopitsa, from Whiteley.

She said: ‘The day was really great especially for kids as they love all the emergency vehicles.

‘Angelos has loved it.’