A FIRE station open day was a blazing success in Bognor Regis.
The special event on Saturday, at the station on West Meads Drive, was an opportunity for a rare peek behind the scenes.
Visitors could also look at some of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s emergency appliances.
For six-year-old Freddie Binks it was the first time he had seen a fire engine up close.
“I have had a lot of fun, but the best has been looking at the fire engines. I got to sit in it and it was really good.”
Freddie’s mother Nina Binks said Freddie had been looking forward to coming to the event all week.
“I was a bit worried when I saw the weather this morning, but it has still been a fantastic few hours. I think having an open day is a brilliant idea. It lets the children talk to the firefighters and encourages them to think about fire safety,” said the Rose Green resident.
Firefighting displays, which included road traffic collision extractions, caught visitors’ attention. They showed the difficulties crews have to face and highlighted dangers on the roads.
The chance to chat informally to crews about a range of fire and road safety issues was one taken up by many, and the service’s information bus was on site with firefighters there to answer any questions and offer advice.
Crews were also promoting the Who Cares? campaign which aims to protect the area’s most vulnerable residents.
This initiative raises awareness of the life-saving potential of a home fire safety check and the availability of specialist fire detection and protection equipment for those who may need more than just a standard smoke alarm in their home.
“The fire safety advice I have got today has been invaluable,” said Claire Simpson.
“It has really made me think about what I have got in the home, but also about what my elderly relatives have,” said the Felpham Way resident.
Plenty of other attractions also proved popular with the family.
The queues for a ride in a fire engine stretched for most of the day, with youngsters and even the adults all clamouring for a go.
“I have never been in a fire engine before so I am excited. I don’t mind queuing because it will be good,” said eight-year-old Eva Watson, who was waiting for her turn with her brother Danny and dad Mike.
There was also a fire engine simulator ride which drew the crowds.
Firefighters were also joined by colleagues from South East Coast Ambulance Service, the Red Cross and Sussex Police. There was a chance to sit on a police motorcycle complete with flashing lights and an opportunity to learn more about life-saving CPR.
For those feeling a bit peckish there was also a barbecue and refreshments on offer.
The event was free but donations were welcomed, and any proceeds will now be donated to the Firefighters’ Charity as well as other local charities.