Busy time at fire station open day

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Friday 23rd October 2015 11:48 am
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Inside the back of the fire engine/ambulance, sitting on the stretcher are Ethan (4) and Daniel (6) Whetton from Crediton, both of whom are rather fond of fire engines. Daniel’s collection includes a “Lego” one while Ethan has a “Playmobil” one. Here they are with firefighter Liam Lowey. SR 5061

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SOME of the newest fire fighting and life saving equipment in the South West was on show at Crediton Fire Station’s open day.

Firefighters were kept busy the whole day showing people over the appliances and around the station as well as giving safety advice.

Children loved being able to see over the big machines and the neighbours must have had a noisy time because sounding the warning sirens was a favourite.

One of the machines Crediton is trialling is a fire engine/ambulance for the future. Crediton is a co-responder station, this vehicle with a stretcher in the back could be the future.

It is small enough to be used in narrow places to get to an incident quickly. It carries 500 litres of water with the fire fighting equipment as well as other equipment for initial first aid.

This appliance is also on trial in Hampshire and is the first in the South West of its kind.

One of the top 10 retained stations in the Devon and Somerset area, last year more than half of Crediton’s call-outs were for its co-responder service to anything from a trauma accident to cardiac arrest.

One of the firefighters commented: “It is surprising how many people do not realise that we are co-responding here, but they are so relieved someone has come to help in an emergency.”

One fascinating piece of equipment was the big foam cannon which would be used for incidents such as a petrol station fire or a farm fire. Crediton quite often has to use foam and has its own bulk foam pod.

The longest ladder, 13.5 metres, carried on a fire tender in Devon and Somerset was extended against the training tower.

Visitors could look over the welfare unit which is equipped with facilities for making hot drinks and comes with self-heating meals which the fire crews can use, plus toilets.

There are three of these in the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service - based at Crediton, Ivybridge and Burnham-on-Sea.

This unit has space inside where firefighters can sit as well as an inflatable section at the back to give more shelter.

There is a long-established link with the Salvation Army, which is why its shield is on the side of the unit.

On a really big job, the Salvation Army would go out to cook for the firefighters in this unit, taking the food with them.

One of the Crediton firefighters said: “They are brilliant, they do a really good job. They come out, all volunteers, provide the food and cook it in the kitchen in the unit.

“In the past they would come out with their burger van, but now they can use.”

There was a lot for people to see at the open day because Crediton is a two-pump station with three specials - the welfare pod, the foam and the co-responder vehicle.

One other vehicle that helped the day go well was the Mr Frosty ice cream van manned by Dean Bessant from Torquay who had given up his usual round for the day to support the fire service.

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