19th Apr, 2019

Redditch firefighter joins Olympian's tribute to wartime air raid heroes

Correspondent 7th Nov, 2018

AN on-call firefighter from Redditch features in the BBC One documentary series Home Front Heroes tonight, Wednesday, November 7, 2018, as the modern-day equivalent of a wartime air raid warden.

As part of the documentary series leading up to Remembrance Sunday, former Paralympian and member of the House of Lords, the Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, joined the team from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) for a training day at Kidderminster Fire Station to help her explore the bravery of her grandfather who was an air raid warden in World War II.

Tanni joined Station Commander Lee Watson, Watch Commander Don Mackenzie and on-call firefighters including Peter Murray from Leintwardine and Jamie Walsh from Redditch in the cosmetic ‘smoke’-filled fire house to experience some of the conditions her grandfather would have faced during the air raids over South Wales.

She also witnessed training involving a ‘flash-over’ fire – where even from her position of safety, and wearing protective equipment, she could feel the heat of the inferno.

All 27 fire stations in Herefordshire and Worcestershire have on-call crew – men and women who are aged 18+, who live or work within five minutes of the fire station, and who can commit to being on-call for a minimum of 40 hours of each week.

Tanni said: “The on-call firefighter is a genuine community champion.

“Like the air raid wardens of World War II, these men and women are a vital part of their town or village, working and living locally and providing first response for fires, road accidents, water incidents, and even rescuing animals.

“During their training day, I was struck by their commitment to the Fire Service and to their communities, and also their skills and teamwork in the most hostile conditions. They really are the modern-day Home Front Heroes.”

Home Front Heroes with Tanni Grey Thompson is broadcast on BBC 1 at 9.15pm.

To learn more about becoming an on-call firefighter, visit www.hwfire.org.uk/join-us.

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