Autistic Portsmouth lad lives the high life during VIP QA trip

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HE MAY only be 12 but this knowledgeable lad was able to give hospital staff a lesson in fire safety when he paid them a special visit.

Andrew Impey, who has autism, was given an exclusive tour of Queen Alexandra’s helipad to get the lowdown on the facility’s firefighting tech.

Stuart Burnham with 12-year-old Andrew Impey and his mum, Kirstine Burnham   Picture: Habibur Rahman

Stuart Burnham with 12-year-old Andrew Impey and his mum, Kirstine Burnham Picture: Habibur Rahman

The trip was part of the youngster’s One Lad mission, in which he hopes to visit all 2.300 of the UK’s fire stations – and raise awareness of The Fire Fighters Charity.

He was shown all the hospital’s systems for combating blazes and even had a chance to step out onto the helipad to admire the view – and the site’s firefighting technology.

Andrew, of Cosham, who was given a Diana award in the summer, said: ‘It has been really exciting and I loved it. I loved the sprinklers and using the monitors.’

As well as looking at the monitoring system he also had the chance to slip into some firefighting gear.

Andrew’s mum Kirstine was with him every step of the way.

She and her husband Paul helped set up the visit after being badgered by their son for several months.

The 46-year-old said Andrew had an great time and praised the hospital for its kindness.

She said: ‘He was chuffed to bits. Of course this was the first helipad he has been to. But he was pleased as punch to be there.’

She added: ‘There were six people from the hospital with him and he asked them questions and told them what they were doing “wrong”.

‘At one point one of the guys said he was trying not to say anything because he was scared of getting it wrong which Andrew thought was hilarious.’

Andrew has so far visited 1,055 fire stations, including sites in New York, Denmark and France. He has about 1,300 in the UK to go until he has seen them all.