Thrills and spills at firefighters’ open day

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The sun was shining and the community turned out in force when Maybole Fire Station opened its doors to the public.

Dozens of children and parents gathered at the Ayrshire station to meet with firefighters and check out vintage appliances.

They also watched as the highly-skilled crew rescued ‘injured casualties’ firstly from height and secondly from a simulated road traffic collision.

Kids also got the chance to buy toy fire engines, t-shirts and caps supporting the Firefighters Charity – raising over £300.

And the Maybole community said a final farewell to Jim Davidson who retired as a retained firefighter after 30 years’ service.

The event was also attended by Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Coastguard, British Red Cross and Maybole Community Council.

Jane McCulloch is the SFRS Crew Manager at Maybole and a firefighter with 28 years’ experience.

She said: “It was an amazing day from start to finish. The support from the community was phenomenal. It was really good to get to chat with them and tell them all about important fire safety information, and show them the many different types of emergency rescue work that we perform.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the community for taking the time to meet with us, to the heritage society for providing the vintage fire engine and to all of our partners for coming along to this fantastic event.”

Alana Bannerman took her children Andrea Nolan, two, and Eilidh Nolan, three, to the Open Day. She said: “The children love the sirens and all the big vehicles - they really liked the vintage fire engine. Our emergency services are fantastic and the job that they do for us is amazing. It’s been a great day out.”

And little Liam Thomson, two, got into the swing of the event by wearing a hi-vis vest with “naughty boy” printed on the back. He was accompanied by mum Samantha Cook and his friend Ashley Anderson, two, who was with her mum Hayley Anderson.

James Anderson now lives in Irvine but returned to his home town for the event with kids Sasha, six, and Jamie, two. They were pictured in an ambulance with David Johnson of the British Red Cross.

James said: “My son Jamie loves Fireman Sam so I thought it would be great for him and Sasha to meet with the firefighters and the other emergency service workers to find out all about their work.”

Connor Lee, eight, went to the Open Day with younger brother Kaidan, five, mum Claire McMillan and gran Diane Simpson. He got to sit in the front seat of a police vehicle.

Diane said: “This is a great idea because it lets us know that there is plenty of help here if we ever need it, and that there are really friendly people behind all of the uniforms here today.”

The 1st Maybole Guides also went along to the event with Leader in training, Marion Hutchison, so that they could interview firefighters in order to achieve their Fire Safety badges.

Marion said: “It is really good for them to come out here today and learn all about the different types of fires that can occur and also to meet with the different emergency services.”

After the fun-filled and informative day, firefighter Ross Hetherington found time to give niece Freya Openshaw, seven months, a big kiss. But it was too much excitement for Freya’s twin sister, Darcey, who took a nap nearby accompanied by aunt Kimberley Rodger.

The SFRS is always available to attend at homes and carry out free home fire safety visits where they will test or install smoke alarms and offer safety advice. To arrange contact the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or fill in a form at

One of the biggest thrills of the day, however, was when the HM Coastguard helicopter flew over on the way to a training exercise.

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this youngster gets behind the wheel of a fire engine

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These youngsters enjoyed the open day

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Driving the fire engine was popular on the day

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A firefighter of the future

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One of the spectacular displays on the day

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Demonstrating a road accident rescue