Fire crews in Portsmouth open their station doors to all

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FIRE Stations across the city have been opening their doors to the public.

Cosham Fire Station held an open day for children and families to meet the crew and find out more about the work that firefighters carry out.

Zay Ahmed with his sweet corn stall at Southsea fire station's fun day marking International Day of Peace Picture: Vernon Nash (180433-012)

Zay Ahmed with his sweet corn stall at Southsea fire station's fun day marking International Day of Peace Picture: Vernon Nash (180433-012)

Organiser and crew manager, Stephen Alchin, said: ‘It is all about building relationships with people. Most of the children get really excited about seeing the fire engine so it is also an opportunity to use that enthusiasm to educate them about fire safety.’

The event included a number of stalls, chance to dress in uniform and see inside the fire engine, face painting and a bouncy castle. For many of the children the ‘dunk the fireman’ competition was the highlight.

Another key aim of the event was to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity.

‘The money is used to support retired fire fighters who may have been left with physical injuries or mental health problems as a result of their service,’ explained station manager Steve Jenkins.

Rowshonara Reza and Freida M'Cormack Picture: Vernon Nash (180433-017)

Rowshonara Reza and Freida M'Cormack Picture: Vernon Nash (180433-017)

Craig Sutton and his daughter Macy and son Ralph were part of an expected 500 people who visited the station.

‘It is definitely a good opportunity for the fire service to connect with the local community,’ said Criag.

‘I have really enjoyed today. Dunking the fire fighter was the best bit,’ added daughter Macy, aged 5.   

Across the city, Southsea Fire Station were hosting an event to celebrate multiculturalism. 

Firefighters Neil Whitlock, Beth Medway, Colin Curry and Tim Debens in Southsea Picture: Vernon Nash (180433-007)

Firefighters Neil Whitlock, Beth Medway, Colin Curry and Tim Debens in Southsea Picture: Vernon Nash (180433-007)

Fire fighter and community liaison officer, Beth Medway, said ‘We see ourselves as a key part of the community and so wanted to be involved with this project.’

The event brought people together from a range of different cultural backgrounds and included African drummers, chat over chai, Chinese dancers and a selection of food from places such as the Caribbean and Middle East.

Organiser and council community coordinator officer, Freida M’Cormack, said: ‘Today is about promoting peace and acceptance. The more people get to know about each others culture and traditions then the less negative behaviours we will see.’

Craig Sutton with daughter Macy, aged 5 (left) and Ralph, aged 2 (right)

Craig Sutton with daughter Macy, aged 5 (left) and Ralph, aged 2 (right)

Station Manager Steve Jenkins

Station Manager Steve Jenkins

Children took part in 'dunk the fireman' competition

Children took part in 'dunk the fireman' competition

Crew manager and event organiser Stephen Alchin

Crew manager and event organiser Stephen Alchin