Gallery: Crowds flock to Sutton Coldfield Fire Station fun day

More than 2,000 visitors headed to Sutton Coldfield Fire Station’s open day on Saturday.

Lachlan McLachlan with Lincoln Smith, 2, and Ellie Smith
Lachlan McLachlan with Lincoln Smith, 2, and Ellie Smith

The station opened its doors to allow the public to look behind the scenes.

Visitors could view specialist vehicles and equipment and see the firefighters demonstrate a range of specialist skills.

There was also a chance to see Urban Search and Rescue dogs Cara and Luna in action as well as the fire service band. and there were fairground rides, face painting and refreshments.

The Fire Fighters Charity raised more than £1,600 and collected £400 for their fire engine pull at the Royal Sutton Fun Run.

It marked a new era for Sutton Coldfield Fire Station after it was officially unveiled as the West Midlands region’s third Technical Rescue Unit (TRU).

Fire chiefs insist the move will enhance services for Royal Town residents.

Lord-Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE and MP Andrew Mitchell joined Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach and councillor Greg Brackenridge, chairman of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, at the launch of the new unit.

The Sutton station, in Lichfield Road, follows Wednesbury and Bickenhill in becoming the base for a team of specialist firefighters, increasing technical rescue capability.

A fire engine will remain based at the station, ready to respond 24/7 to urgent, life-threatening incidents within the five-minute response standard.

But, while TRU firefighters will still respond to incidents which pose a risk to life, including fires in homes and road traffic collisions, they will also be trained and equipped for rope rescues, water rescues and boat response, building collapses and shoring of dangerous structures, incidents involving large vehicles, such as HGVs and trains and responding with other agencies to terrorism incidents.

Chief Fire Officer Loach said: “Sutton Coldfield, through an evidence-based approach, became an obvious choice to enhance Technical Rescue capability whilst we continue to deliver all of the other local capabilities, with prevention through home safety checks, and protection services.

"We are proud now to have a station on the Coventry side of the brigade, the Black Country side and now, with Sutton, in and around Birmingham. So we have good, balanced technical rescue capability across the area.

“I want to be clear that we are enhancing our services in Sutton Coldfield. We will make Sutton Coldfield even safer, and want people to be assured that all services will be there. We want to make Sutton stronger and we want the community to use the station to engage with us.”

“And we want to make our community healthier. We want to play a wider role in closing that gap of health inequalities because a firefighter is a trusted person and we can reach out to people to deliver on our vision of being safer, stronger and healthier.”

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