CHILDREN experienced life inside a range of emergency vehicles at an event at Port Solent.
Vehicles from all the emergency services were open to the public with children able to handle the equipment and try on a range of outfits.
Organiser of the 999 Car Meet Special, Paul McKay, has a particular passion for fire engines and his two vehicles were part of six being showcased at the event.
‘I’ve always had an interest in fire engines and bought my last engine in 2015 from Portchester Station,’ explained Paul.
One of the main attractions was the 1978 police car with accompanying original siren and flashing light. It was brought to the event by fellow organiser Jason White.
‘Cars have always been my passion. I bought the police car because I wanted something different,’ explained Jason.
Representatives from the emergency services believe the event helps to build relationships with the communities they support.
Ambulance team leader, Jim May, said: ‘It allows us to engage with the public in a relaxed environment as normally we tend to only deal with people when they are on their way to hospital.’
The event also provides the services with an educational opportunity to inform the public.
Station Officer for Portsmouth Coastguard, Roly Warmington, said: ‘We bring down educational material and speak to the children about staying safe on the beach and in the water.’
The ambulance service also provided people with the opportunity to learn emergency first aid.
John Knight, whose grandson Elliot got to practise cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), said: ‘It is a great opportunity for the children to gain an insight into the work of the emergency services. It is fantastic that Elliot is only six and he is learning how to deal with a potential casualty.’
Despite the wet weather hundreds of people attended the free event.
Visitor Matt Holt said: ‘I came down with my daughter. Her mother is a nurse and it is brilliant for her to see the vehicles and staff. It helps prevent children having a fear of the emergency services.’