Trainee firefighters cross Forth Road Bridge for charity

Firefighters in full equipment. Picture; contributed
Firefighters in full equipment. Picture; contributed
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TRAINEE firefighters have crossed the Forth Road Bridge in full breathing apparatus to raise money for charity.

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20 wholetime recruits completed the 5km mission over the iconic landmark while wearing safety kit weighing 25kg.

Motorists and pedestrians showed their support for the recruits by tooting horns and cheering from the road-side.

The gruelling stomp was part of a fundraising effort that has so far raised £2,000 for four charities - The Firefighters Charity, Anthony Nolan, The Family Support Trust and Scottish Burned Children’s Club.

Station Manager Colin Ferguson, who manages the recruits at the SFRS training base in Thornton, Fife, said: “Crossing the Forth Road Bridge in full firefighting equipment is no mean feat.

“It is a great display of the physical fitness and positive mental attitude expected of our recruits, both individually and working together as a team.

The trainees braved wind and rain as they set off from South Queensferry at 9.30am on Thursday morning.

They trekked the 2.5km route to the Fife side of the crossing before turning back for the return leg.

Each recruit completed the task in full safety kit including a full-body fire tunic, safety helmet, steel lined boots and the heavy breathing apparatus.

It also taught recruits how to steady their breathing during periods of physical exertion which is crucial when responding to incidents while wearing the BA kit.

Rhonda Jones, 37, was one of the recruits who took part in the cross-county challenge.

She said: “It was great to be able to take part in such a great charity effort.

“We have all used breathing apparatus at the training camp but it takes it to a new level wearing it during the walk.

“You become more conscious of the weight but it’s a great tactic in teaching you how to stay calm and focus your mind and your breathing.”

More than 100 wholetime firefighter recruits joined the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in January this year – the largest ever intake.