Emergency Services Day 2017 Report

08 May 2017

May Day! May Day!

Winkworth bells and sirens were nothing compared to the screams of children anxious to meet their TV hero, Fireman Sam, who made several appearances amongst mixed weather at this year’s Emergency Services Day. In all, 90 vehicles from all areas of specialist emergency work descended on the Museum, giving visitors plenty of opportunities to go ‘behind-the-scenes’ with their crews and personnel, who were ready for questions. Whether you’ve always wanted to sit in a fire engine and start the siren or see inside an unmarked police car, this was your chance.

Police officers, blood bike riders, 999 response units and the Red Cross all welcomed passers-by and explained how they carry out their everyday work. The Paddock was fenced off as the main arena where spectators could see demonstrations of arrests and searches, vehicles and equipment. Commentator Keith Barry did his usual sterling job and got the inside story from all the crews and demonstrators he interviewed.

Police Car UK were out in ‘force’ with some classics not seen on our roads in service for decades. There was a 1966 Volvo 121 Amazon rescued by owner Steve Woodward, a 1978 Minivan in familiar white and duck egg blue and a Rover SD1 owned by Ernie Jupp that was used in the dash from Stansted Airport to the Cromwell Hospital in London by police officers assisting in delivering a liver for an emergency transplant in 1987.

Fireman Sam made his first appearance in the arena under grey clouds, narrowly missing a shower, so later he met and greeted children inside the Vickers Suite. Some children had come dressed as the man himself. The uncertain weather didn’t deter Surrey Fire & Rescue Service from extending their aerial ladder platform from Leatherhead right up into the sky to its full extent of 42 metres. Next to them in the Outer Paddock was a Royal Navy Bedford RLHZ green goddess, Surrey 4x4 Response and several ambulance crews. The Finishing Straight was the place to see the giant, heavy Scania recovery lorries that took on the task of the tanker tilt effortlessly. All in all it was a fantastic family day out attended this year by over 4,100 visitors, a slight increase from last year.