'People are walking away smiling': All the photos from today's fire service open day
PUBLISHED: 14:25 08 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 08 September 2019
Lowestoft South Fire Station opened its doors to the public in celebration of its 10th anniversary at the new building.
As a celebration of the decade of service which crews have undertaken from a base in the new building and a chance to fundraise for the fire service while educating the public, the event was a roaring success.
Russell Punchard, the station commander and deputy district commander for the north district, said: "We feel overwhelmed, the public have been fantastic, since 9.45am we've had a steady stream of people coming in. People are walking away with smiles on their faces so it's either the coffee and the cakes or the attractions!
"It also coincides with tomorrow being the national 999 emergency services day. "Really the important message from today is that people can come here and learn about prevention techniques, about CPR techniques from our ambulance colleagues. There's education value to coming down here and the more people from the public we can educate the better to prevent fires from happening."
On site, there were cakes, refreshments, demonstrations of what the emergency services do and their equipment and stalls raising money for the service. Ambulance, police, coastguard and Red Cross services from the region were also on site.
Mr Punchard said: "We've got vintage fire trucks, we have fundraiser events with all proceeds going to the firefighters' charity. We have a cake stall baked by firefighters' families, we have football, we have a charity stall.
"I've been working in the fire service for 36 years, I've been here in Lowestoft for about the last six years. The modern fire service is going through a dramatic change from when I first joined, it's unrecognisable. I work here because I choose to. Lowestoft is a great place to work, the people are great, I come to work with a smile on my face every morning.
"I'd like to give a really big thank you to the people of Lowestoft to coming out here, because we're here 365 days a year and it's good to actually see our public. I'd also like to thank the crews who set everything up, including last night's night watch who really put things together."
Hundreds of people attended the station throughout the day, with cars parking over verges near the site.
Here are some photos from the event: