Competition winners enjoy morning as firefighter!

A group of Year 5 children from West Yorkshire’s primary schools got a taste of life as a firefighter today as their prize for winning our Christmas Fire Safety Poster Competition!

The competition attracted 360 entries from talented school pupils who put crayon, felt tip pen and glitter to paper to design colourful posters which got across a festive fire safety messages.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling, had a tough job choosing two joint winners and four runners-up.

The joint winners were Phoebe Preston, aged 10, from St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, Horsforth, and Chloe Whitehurst, aged nine, from Seven Hills Primary School in Morley.

In addition the Chief chose four runners-up.

They were:

  • Sara Malik from Carr Manor Primary School in Leeds
  • Emily Swales from Kirkstall St Stephen’s C of E Primary School
  • Charlotte Murray from St Paul’s Primary School in Leeds
  • Millie Helliwell from St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy in Horsforth  

The group took part in a fun and educational trip to Leeds Fire Station today where they were hosted by Green Watch.

The youngsters tried on some pint-sized firefighters’ kit before heading to the yard to watch a mock-up rescue from the smoke house using an aerial ladder platform and positive pressure ventilation (a large fan used to clear smoke).

The winners and their nominated friends also took a tour of the station and fire engines and watched a second exercise showing how casualties are released from trapped cars following crashes.

Winner Phoebe said: “It has been amazing. I’m really impressed with all the firefighters.”

Joint winner, Chloe, also added: “It has been really good. It was good fun to try the kit on. I have definitely learned a lot about what firefighters do, it was really interesting.”

Phoebe’s dad Graham Preston, of Rawdon, who owns a printing company, got the chance to play the part of the casualty during to road traffic collision exercise.

He said: “It has been an absolutely mind-blowing experience. We got to see everything from a firefighter’s point of view and what they do on a day-to-day basis. The bell goes and they are off! They are very professional!    

“The experience of being a casualty was quite surreal. When I was in the car the firefighter was talking to me as if it was a real situation and he put me at ease and explained what was going on at every stage.”   

Watch Manager Derek Sylvester said: “The youngsters’ posters were chosen not just because they were bright and colourful but also because they got an important safety message across from checking your smoke alarm to cooking safety.

“Green watch has really loved hosting the visit to station and we hope it has been enjoyable and educational for the youngsters and their parents and teachers.”