Half marathon

From half marathons to ladder climbs and beyond – AF&RS making a difference

By Richard Wheeler, Red Watch Crew Manager at Avonmouth fire station

Historically fire and rescue services around the country and the world have always taken part in charity fundraising.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) is no different. In fact, we feel we are very much at the peak of fundraising within the fire service family.

Over the last four years, AF&RS have campaigned through a series of public events to fundraise for three young children, who all require Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operations to assist them to walk unaided.

As well as focused fundraising, we also regularly raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity and others such as MIND, Help for Heroes, and Crisis.

The types of events we organise and take part in are diverse, but you may have seen us either in The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Cabot Circus or Southgate shopping centre in Bath.

Normally we run, row and cycle on static machines in full firefighting kit and breathing apparatus; the extra weight of kit is around 20kg!

We have also taken part in the Bristol 10K and Half Marathon, again in full firefighting kit and breathing apparatus.

This year, we pushed the boundaries further still and carried a 105 ladder around with us, which weighed around 60Kg, all in aid of charity.

In November, eight firefighters from AF&RS are attempting one of the Service's biggest events yet, where firefighters will be walking 150 Miles across Avon visiting every fire station within the Service, plus AF&RS' Control Room and HQ.

This will be done over 60 hours, non-stop with no sleep, and again the participants will be wearing firefighting kit and breathing apparatus.

Being a part of the charity team is an honour and a privilege. We strive to push ourselves in everything we take part in and we meet the core values of the Service with our ambitious and courageous organised events, all of which benefit members of the communities we serve.

We are inclusive to every member of AF&RS in that we are constantly being assisted and supported by all departments on our journey to raise money.

Charity work is a huge part of what we do and anyone who works for AF&RS, whether it be operational, support staff or civilian are welcome to join and take part in our continuous mission.

By joining AF&RS, you are joining an organisation where staff want to proactively make a difference. 

You can read more about the charity team here.