Page 13 - HOT NEWS_FEB_2015
P. 13

Firefighters teamed up with paramedics at a station they share to make sure 26 elderly people, who otherwise would have spent Christmas Day on their own, were treated to a day out.
A four course Christmas dinner, bingo, raffle, brass quartet, DJ and Santa arriving by a MF&RS Combined Platform Ladder (CPL) was all provided as part of the day at Southport Community Fire Station. Enough donations were made to ensure that everyone went home with a gift.
Transport was provided by two mini buses, one from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust and one from our Service ensured that everyone arrived and got home safely. Firefighter Brian Grimley gave up most of his Christmas Day volunteering with his family and driving the MF&RS minibus. The event was held on December 25.
Watch Manager Ian Nelson, who is part of White Watch at Southport Community Fire Station and helped plan the event and get donations, said: “The event was a great success and is a very good example of MF&RS working in partnership with the North West Ambulance Service, utilising the facilities at Southport Community Fire Station with funding and donations from over 50 local businesses which ensured the day went ahead.
“Early in 2014, Sara Smith, a paramedic based at Southport, approached myself and Firefighter Brian Grimley about an idea she had to try and hold a Christmas meal for some of the most vulnerable OAPs in the area. I approached Group Manager Rob Pritchard, district manager for Sefton, to see if this was achievable. He arranged a meeting with Sefton District Prevention Manager Jen Taylor who helped push the idea forward.
“Sara and I approached lots of local businesses over the next few months and gained donations from bags of potatoes to Christmas presents for the OAPs. We were inundated with offers of help from members of the community having to restrict it to 14 volunteers on the day, including a DJ for the event.”
Ian continued: “We did initially find it difficult getting OAPs for the day but, with the help of the Salvation
Army, Age UK, which was formed by a merger of Help the Aged and Age Concern, and other agencies, we got the message out there.
“Sara's drive and passion for this event was truly inspiring and without her it would not have taken place. Also the help of Green Watch, who were on duty that day, who ran the bingo, raffle and provided the Combined Platform Ladder (CPL) for Santa, provided a fantastic boost to the event.”
Station Manager Richie Clarke said: "I supported Watch Manager Nelson for this project. This event and the work ahead of it to make sure it took place between MF&RS and NWAS shows not only that the co-location of Services is working but also the benefits to the vulnerable people within the community, and community in general, is great. I am hopeful that similar projects can be undertaken and emulated to provide this throughout the year and next Christmas.”
Firefighters on duty in Belle Vale had a surprise visit from the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Erica Kemp visited Belle Vale Community Fire Station as part of a brief tour on Christmas Day morning to say thank you to people who were working on December 25.
Station Manager Sean McGuinness said: “The Lord Mayor stayed for about 45 minutes having a tour of the station and a good chat with the crew who were on duty. The firefighters were delighted to host the Lord Mayor and very pleased with her gift of a box of chocolates. The Lord Mayor also gratefully received two festive cupcakes, home made by Firefighter Sam Gaynor in return. Our firefighters carry out training and fire prevention work, as well as being ready to respond to emergency calls, even when other people may be on holiday and were very pleased to receive such a visit.”
Photos supplied by Watch Manager Ian Nelson.
Photo supplied by Station Manager Sean McGuinness.
Left to right: Councillor Richard Kemp, The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Erica Kemp, Firefighter Sam Gaynor, Firefighter Mark Omar, Station Manager Sean McGuinness and Watch Manager Neil Graham.

   11   12   13   14   15