May Day! May Day! Emergency Services Day Report

16 May 2016

Sirens, loud hailers, bells and the screams of children anxious to meet their TV hero, Fireman Sam, rang out all day long at the Museum’s annual Emergency Services Day on Bank Holiday Monday May 2nd.

As usual, visitors had a wealth of opportunities to go ‘behind-the-scenes’ with all types of emergency crews and services; children sat in police cars, fire engines and ambulances and tried out the ‘blues and twos’ (frightening anyone who happened to be walking past at the time) while officers and emergency personnel explained how they respond to calls and incidents.

There were lots of other emergency organisations exhibiting across the Museum site including Lowland Rescue with a large display in front of the BP Pagoda. They provide search and rescue services alongside Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue, RNLI and others and as well as some of their specialist equipment, the most popular aspect of their stand was their search and rescue dogs, who received attention pretty much all day. In the Paddock there was a small arena where spectators could see demonstrations of arrests and searches, vehicles and equipment and commentator Keith Barry made sure he got the inside story from everyone he interviewed, giving the crowd some great insights.

Also putting on extensive displays were Surrey 4x4 Response outside the Acoustics Building, allowing visitors to winch a vehicle with their specialist gear; SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) made a fine display along the Racing Lock-ups in the Motoring Village with their ‘blood bikes’ and in the Campbell Car Park a row of fine historic fire engines stood to attention. Surrey Ambulance Retirement Association put on their customary display of old ambulances in the Paddock and the British Transport Police demonstrated their ANPR equipment. Behind the Hangar, visitors were able to turn a tanker on its side, courtesy of J & A Recovery.

In the main arena behind the Hangar there were two major demonstrations. The first was by the Goodwood Rescue Unit, who are often seen at our events, and the Brooklands Marshals with an illustration of a motorsport incident that necessitated the roof of a car to be taken off with specialist cutting gear. The second incident was put on by Surrey Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service, in which a drunken driver who had caused an accident involving a pedestrian was arrested.

Fireman Sam made his way to the crowds on three occasions much to the delight of our younger visitors, many of whom had come dressed as the man himself. However, not to be outdone in the popularity stakes, the Museum’s own mascot Bertie Bear made a dramatic entrance on more than one occasion which included being elevated more than 42m to the skies in the cage on the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service’s aerial ladder platform. This has to be the highest Bertie has ever been…

Brooklands Museum would like to thank all the Services and Personnel, Exhibitors, Marshals and Volunteers who kindly gave their time and support to this event.