Dozens flock to Gosport emergency services day

SIRENS ablaze and emergency services' kit on display pulled in families to a busy open day.

Monday, 18th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:18 pm
ALL ABOARD Gafirs crew member Rob Winfield with, from left, Ben Terry, seven; Alfie Thompson, eight; Harry Thompson, 10 Picture: Mick Young,

Dozens of people went to the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service’s (Gafirs) annual Blue Light day at their base in Lifeboat Lane, Gosport, on Saturday.

Pride of place was the voluntary organisation’s new lifeboats Joan Dora Fuller and Ian Fuller.

Coastguard, ambulance service and the police all had vehicles on display to keep youngsters happy.

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Jack Regan, six, put on police riot kit as he arrived. He was with his mum Rachael Taylor, 34, from Rowner, her partner Gary Regan, 39, and sister Ellie Barnes, nine.

Gary said: ‘It just lets them find out about the services. It makes them respect them more.’

A bomb disposal team and Serv Wessex, the blood transport service for the NHS, were also at the event.

Sue Parker, 63, of Hardway, Gosport, was with her husband Mike Parker, 68, and grandchildren Abi Chinner, seven, Daisy Chinner, three and Ethan Park, 16 months old. Sue said: ‘We wanted to support the Gafirs. The children love it. It’s not very often they get the opportunity to go in an ambulance.’

Keith Thomas, chairman at Gafirs, said: ‘It’s our ninth annual lifeboat and blue light services day.

‘It’s an opportunity for us to get together all the local emergency services and show case their capabilities alongside Gafirs.

‘Although we’re a voluntary service we are a blue light service, it’s nice to draw us all together.’

Gafirs relies on donations from the public to provide its life-saving service.

Keith added: ‘It’s nice to give the public something back for what they give to us.’

Those life-saving skills were on show with an on-water demonstration in Stokes Bay in the morning.

Just hours before at 4am, Gafirs had been called to a person in the water at Stokes Bay but were stood down as police were dealing with the incident.

And people at the open day looked on as the crew launched to a report of a yacht having engine failure after 1pm.