In 2014 my family experienced an epic year that would rival that of an Eastenders Script.
February 1st, fresh back from a trip to Paris, I was woken to a phone call from my brother at 5am:
"VICS, THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!"
"CALL THE AMBULANCE!" I declare leaping out of bed. Needless to say he had already phoned the correct service in the fire brigade. They arrived to the house within 4 minutes of receiving his call. 8 units, from 3 different stations attended the blaze, which reignited twice and took over 5 hours to extinguish. Within a matter of hours we were homeless and our childhood home destroyed.
The efficiency and compassion of the fire fighters was second to none. Not once did they question who, why or what had happened. (An electrical fault that caused a fire in the cavity of brickwork, burning for 7hours before it was discovered.) They simply showed up, attentive and focused, getting the job done as best they could. They were constantly bringing us out any valuables they found from the house in case it was of importance. Escorting us back in to collect our belongings, holding open carrier bags and helping us pack up what we needed- reminding us of the essentials that might be useful as we attempted to navigate through the rubble. They even bought the dogs lead, bed and dog food out to make sure she was comfortable! They had the patience of saints, constantly updating us with their progress and answering our endless questions. The next evening they were even back to make sure the rest of the streets fire alarms were all working!
A fire is not something you can plan or prepare for, there's no one there to tell you how's best to deal with it. You haven't been for tests or doctors appointments as you would with an illness and you don't have the support of professionals helping you through the ordeal. You rely on the bravery, professionalism and immediacy of the fire service to not only save lives, but also save your whole life in the form of your home.
Without the bat of an eyelid they were there to help us in our hour of need, working resiliently to make sure the fire was extinguished with as little damage as possible. Knowing that The Fire Fighters Charity is set up to help support those injured and affected as a result of their time in the service, gives me reassurance that the support and help they need is available to them should they ever need it, as they were for us.
I find it heartbreaking to see the struggles that the services are currently going through, these jobs are exceptionally difficult without the worry that the support for staff is not available. The expectations and demands are constantly growing on the fire service and I want to be able to repay them and offer them support in return, for what they had for us in abundance.
I feel proud every time I see a fire engine whizz past, knowing that however minutely I am part of the services history, and in turn wish to shape part of theirs, by raising money running the Virgin London Marathon 2019.
Fundraising for The Fire Fighters Charity
Welcome to our London Marathon team page!
Charity Registration No. 1093387