On Bank Holiday Monday, Tyne and Wear FRS welcomed the youngest firefighter ever to don their crested uniform and firefighter’s helmet when Vinnie Hall, aged 2, of Hylton Castle in Sunderland excitedly visited Marley Park Community Fire Station with his mum Kristie.
The ‘fire engine mad’ youngster’s dreams came true as he got to meet some real-life firefighters.
‘Vinnie has always loved anything associated with the fire service from cartoons on the telly through to playing with his toy fire engine in his bedroom. But over the past six months he’s been really curious about real life fire stations. From fire poles to fire trucks. He totally loves to dress up in his firefighter’s costume and to help rescue his cuddly toys,’ said Mum, Kristie.
When Vinnie was given his adventurous guided tour of Marley Park Community Fire Station, he was lucky enough to explore a number of different experiences from sitting in the driver’s seat of a fire appliance, using a fire hose, and he even got to slide down the fire station pole.
Kristie, aged 26, who works as a carer in a local care home continues by talking about how the young aspiring firefighter reacted to his fire station visit. She said: ‘Vinnie seemed in awe of the fire truck. He was very inquisitive and asked the firefighters hundreds of questions. He was absolutely amazed!
‘You could see the delight in his face as he had a beaming smile that went from ear to ear.’
Vinnie’s Mum was asked how she would feel if her little boy grew up to become a firefighter. She said: ‘Vinnie becoming a future firefighter would be a very admirable job role and would make me and his dad extremely proud. But as long as he achieves what makes him happy – I’ll be equally as proud.’
Shaun Makin, Service Delivery Station Manager for Marley Park Community Fire Station, said: ‘It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Vinnie and his mum for a guided tour of our community fire station. It’s so refreshing to see the excitement and enthusiasm for the Fire Service in somebody so young. We hope that Vinnie takes his love for becoming a firefighter into his adult years, and maybe one day we’ll welcome him back as a fully fledged recruit.’