Video: firefighters open doors to the public

Mansfield Fire Station has now been in existence for 75 years and celebrated by opening its doors to the public.

Crowds on the day were wowed by demonstrations of firefighters rescuing a woman from a burning building and injured passengers being cut out of cars.

NMAC-Fire Station Open Day-8'A demonstration of a rescue from a burning house

NMAC-Fire Station Open Day-8'A demonstration of a rescue from a burning house

But there were also stalls and, of course, the opportunity to sit in a fire engine and wear a fireman’s hat, among other attractions.

Phil Cawar (62), of Forest Town, said the day had been a real eye-opener.

“It has been brilliant. There are so many things for the kids to do. The demonstration where they cut the motorist out of the car was fantastic.

“I think it shows that firemen do more than what you would expect. I think we take them for granted but there is a lot more to the job when you see it up close.”

The town’s current fire station was opened in 1997 by the Duchess of Gloucester and replaced the original, which was overseen by the Baths and Fire Committee.

Station manager Simon Glew said he was proud to open its doors to the public and demonstrate what a modern fire service does.

“I have been a firefighter for 20 years,” said Simon. “And the job has changed a lot over my time.

“People are a lot safer now - there are not as many open coal fires. Appliances are also a lot safer too.

“And, though people are a lot safer on paper in the home, we still need to prevent fires from happening in the first place.”

To this effect firefighters are often out in the community providing householders and businesses with fire safety advice.

They also provide medical assistance during emergency incidents.

The job was always, and still is, a very physical one, with personnel facing temperatures of between 600-800 degrees Celsius during blazes.

There is also some extremely heavy lifting involved in fighting fires which would quickly overwhelm the out of shape.

New recruits undergo 15 weeks’ training before they are taken on as trainees. Then the next step is an NVQ course.

But the truth is, firemen have to train every day of their lives to maintain competency in their jobs.

Said Simon: “A firefighter must be honest, trustworthy, physically fit, have an enquiring mind, ask challenging questions, always challenge the system and be a team player.

“It is an interesting and diverse job and you get immense satisfaction when you have helped someone and saved a life - it is something to be proud of.

“The worst part of the job is the unfortunate occasions when someone loses their life, whether in a fire or in a road traffic accident.

“It is very difficult to train for this element of the job.”

To find out more about the work your fire service does, visit