This month sees the closure of Syston’s very own Fire Station. There has been a fire station in Syston for over a hundred years. The current site was developed in the 1950’s and was fully operational by 1954. Since then it has served Syston and district until this month, when it will be reassigned to the newly built fire station at Birstall.
This is our tribute, suggested by a reader Mr A Dakin, who like us wanted to thank all those firefighters past and present who have served this community across the years.
On Wednesday 20th March the editor met the current watch which is made up of 14 firefighters, including one woman, seven of whom are full time as well as retained firefighters. In talking to the crew, it emerged that the crew get 35 days off a year, but when on call they have to remain within one mile of the station, which doesn’t sound too difficult until you consider that they couldn’t go to Thurmaston to shop as it is outside the one mile limit!
For all you engine enthusiasts, the editor gathered some information about the Fire engine. The current one is a Scania 2008 plate, with an eight litre engine capable of a top speed of 70 mile per hour. It has a 12 metre ladder, and can carry 1,800 litres/400 gallons of water. The Engine weighs approximately 16 tons and is crewed by a minimum of four and maximum of six firefighters.
In the last year the Syston crew have been called out over 240 times and have the highest response rate in the county.
As well as the STN creating this article, some students studying Media GCSE at Wreake Valley Academy were invited to go along and meet the firefighters and develop a DVD recording action of the watch at Syston, but also giving some fire safety advice. It is hoped that once completed the video will be available to purchase to raised funds for local charities. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy, please send your name, address and telephone number to our usual address found on page two and we will inform you when they are available and at what cost.
The STN also visited the crew when they were training one Saturday morning. On arrival, the fire station doors were closed and smoke was pouring out from the top. Next the sound of sirens as the fire engine arrived and turned into the station and around to the back where it stopped before the firefighters jumped from the engine, opening the back and sides in preparation of going into the ‘fire’. Two firefighters waited at the door of the building while the others attached the hose to the mains supply of water and adjusted the settings on the engine before signalling to the others that it was alright to go in. They opened the door and disappeared into the building. While inside another firefighter role played a man in distress trying to get to their trapped ‘friend’. After some time the fire fighters re-appeared from the building with the man who had been trapped. He was taken over to a safe area and checked over. The doors were then opened to release the artificial smoke and the engine packed away.
A most interesting insight to the level of training our firefighters go through regularly, now we know why they are the best!
The Syston station will be having a closing event in April and we will bring you a follow up to this article after the event. However, the Fire Service are collating photographs from across the years in order to keep a record of this incredible station. If you have any pictures you would like to share then please don’t hesitate to contact us at STN and we will happily pass them on.
The STN would like to thank the Crew at Syston Fire Station for allowing us time to visit and observe them at practice, also for allowing the students from Wreake Valley Academy to film them and finally Mr Dakin, whose idea it was to record this historical moment.
On behalf of all the residents of Syston and district may we thank the current and past crews at Syston Fire Station for all the years of service you have given to our community and we hope that you accept this article and DVD as a token of our appreciation.
The new full-time Fire Station at Birstall will be our future provider and some of our current fire fighters will be transferred to there.
Our Picture below shows the crew members present when the editor went to take some photographs. Members unavailable were: Dave Palethorpe, Kevin Dawe, Stephen Willatt and Elizabeth Shute.