Weston-super-Mare RNLI brought together all of the other emergency services to show their equipment to the visiting public. Good weather helped to swell the visitors who saw impressive kit and impressive personnel.
This is the second year a 999 day has been organised on the Beach Lawns in Weston. Organised by the RNLI volunteer crew, it was a major attraction. The intention was to bring together all of the emergency services so they could get to know each other and understand better what they all do. This could only be to the good as they often have to work together.
The other reason for holding this event is to allow the public to see what the emergency services use for their tasks and to see and question the staff who use that equipment. It was estimated that approximately 10,000 visitors crowded round the displays. As well as the latest and very dramatic vehicles and kit, the display also included many vintage emergency vehicles which were also very popular.
This free show had over 44 emergency service and vintage emergency service stands. The Great Western Air Ambulance flew in and allowed visitors to examine it. It had to leave to pick up casualties on two occasions during the afternoon but this added to the excitement.
Bristol Airport brought one of their huge fire tenders which was open to the public alongside the Avon Fire tenders, chip pan fire tender and hovercraft. The Airport tender extended its jet arm into the air which was matched by Avon Fire’s Turntable ladder which was fully extended for all to see.
Many other displays took place. Obviously there as a large involvement from the RNLI itself. As well as two lifeboats, the Flood Rescue team showed their wares and there were stands on Sea Safety and Youth Education. The RNLI lifeguards also spent many hours talking to interested parties.
Avon and Somerset Police had a large presence with several vehicles including their latest Interceptor car. They also brought their horses and dogs which were very popular. Alongside them a group of vintage police cars from the UK and the USA showed how things used to be.
In the Arena the Sea Cadet band entertained, St Johns Ambulance demonstrated first aid techniques, the Shadow Cheerleaders performed and one plucky young lady had her hair shaved off in aid of the RNLI.
Charlotte Conroy, Lifeboat Operations Manager of Weston-super-Mare said; ‘The event was a great success. As well as demonstrating what we and the other emergency services do it allowed all of us in the front line to talk to each other. This has resulted in a better understanding but also has set up various collaborations between us to help us improve our services.