Thousands of visitors got a unique insight into the work of Cheshire’s emergency services at the Blue Light Open Day on Sunday (July 16).
Held jointly between Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire & Rescue, the day was a chance for the Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service to showcase the skilled and varied work they do.
There were displays in the main arena from the Cheshire Fire Cadets, the Constabulary Band, and a demonstration of how the police and fire services work together in a road traffic collision, while a second display arena provided action-packed demonstrations of public order police dealing with petrol bombings, an electrifying Taser demonstration by specially-trained officers, and the fire service’s rope rescue team.
In the exhibition hall, a vast array of representatives were on hand to issue crime prevention advice, safety tips and information while there were practical demonstrations and interactive attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
Elsewhere there were static displays of current and historic police and fire vehicles, an area dedicated to the Museum of Policing, and the stars of TV show Police Interceptors.
In a change this year, the event was made ticket-only in order to more effectively manage the number of visitors, ensuring everyone could enjoy the day in a comfortable and safe environment.
Chief Constable Simon Byrne got stuck into the day’s events, being petrol bombed, chased by a police dog, and even had a go at passing the firefighter’s practical test.
He said: “What a fantastic day. I said before the event that the Open Day is always one of my personal highlights and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
“For me, it’s really important that the public can see up close the work that our emergency services do. As I walked around I felt an immense sense of pride and everyone I spoke to told me what a wonderful time they were having – and so did I.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock added: “The event was wonderful. It was fantastic to see so many people of all ages come along to discover more about what the blue light services do.
“I hope everyone had a great time and managed to pick up some information that could help keep them and their families safe in the future.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “The Open Day was a huge success and it was wonderful to see so many people from across the county having a great day out with their family and friends.
“One of my key policing priorities is to have a police service that is connected to our communities, and holding an event such as this is a perfect example of us achieving this goal.
“Thankfully the weather stayed dry and it was really uplifting to see the passion for policing people in Cheshire have.”
Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority, Cllr Bob Rudd, said: “The open day was a testament to the hardworking police and fire staff, cadets and volunteers involved in putting together the event.
“They made sure that everyone who came had an enjoyable day and could experience a behind the scenes look at the work of our emergency services.”