Day in the life of a firefighter has mutual benefits
Members of staff from The Fire Fighters Charity had a opportunity to experience life on the other side of the fence.
The charity, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has a close working relationship with West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Staff from Marine Court, the charity’s centre in Littlehampton, were keen to experience the type of work firefighters carry out, so spent a day with E Watch at Worthing Fire Station.
Watch Manager Darren Wickings, who hosted the visit, said: “It was a really fun-filled day and all of the staff said how much they had enjoyed it. More importantly, it gave them a valuable insight into the work we do and how their treatment could benefit our staff.”
Three exercise therapists, two physiotherapists and two psychological therapists had a go at everyday firefighter tasks to give them a better understanding of the injuries and issues they deal with.
They were given a tour of the station and appliances, including all the equipment firefighters carry, then witnessed a callout to a child with his hand trapped.
Back at the station, they dressed in protective equipment for a breathing apparatus exercise, where they worked as a team to rescue two casualties while dragging a hose reel.
They went up in the aerial ladder platform, tried out hydraulic rescue equipment during some road accident training, experienced hose drills like hose running and put out a hot fat fire with a fire blanket.
During the day, they also sat down and talked to staff about their roles and the specialist support the charity offers.
Exercise therapist Rachel Rees said: “It was great for us to get first-hand experience of the challenging and eye-opening work our beneficiaries undertake on a daily basis.
“We were also able to see how the services we provide can benefit fire and rescue service personnel in terms of their physical and psychological wellbeing for work, and we were able to talk to the staff at Worthing about how we can help them. As ever, we are full of admiration for the work of WSFRS and delighted to be able to play a part in helping with the incredible job they do.”