FIREFIGHTERS past and present came together for Northolt station’s 50th anniversary on Sunday.
Retired staff, the mayor of Ealing, councillor Mohammad Aslam, borough commander Sean Bennett, residents and community groups celebrated its birthday which was on Monday March 11.
The party involved workers in old uniform telling stories of the past, live simulations, photographs, vintage fire engines on display, a buffet and various stalls.
Turan Turan, who has been station manager for 12 years, said: "Anyone that has served at Northolt will know that it is great. A firefighter who retired about 20 years ago, Tom Farr, sent a letter reminding me it was going to be 50 and I thought it was a great opportunity to have an open day.
“People were given a sense of history and it helped to show employees where they sit within the organisation.”
The station opened in 1963 after closure of the branches in Harrow on the hill and Greenford, and engines were relocated to Northolt.
It was originally commissioned by Middlesex county council as part of their post war and post national fire service drive for modernisation and standardisation.
The land on which the station sits is thought to have previously been a site for allotments.
The design follows a common pattern with 14 other Middlesex stations built around the same time.
Its flexible modular shape is unique because of being constructed on a mirror image of every other Middlesex station ever built, with appliance bays to the left.
One of the differences since 1963 is what firefighters wore- at that time they had heavy duty woven garments.
Today they wear lightweight uniform which offers thermal protection and breathing apparatus which is capable of being monitored remotely providing additional safeguards.
Advances have been made with the current existence of an extensive range of hydraulic, electrical and computer assisted equipment which are ergonomic and user friendly.
Mr Turan, who has been in the fire service for 29 years, said that people used to be recruited from the arms services and they would be mainly men.
For the last thirty years however, he said that with equality laws and technology developing, they have been recruiting women and have fire engines without height requirements, helping to combat discrimination.
One of the most significant developments in the London Fire Brigade today is the emphasis on prevention as a core objective.
Firefighters actively engage with the community providing safety guidance to reduce fires and injuries.
This year Ealing have a target of visiting 2858 homes and completing a fire risk assessment providing a smoke alarm where appropriate.
Ealing has four stations, a total of eight fire appliances including a support vehicle and over 170 staff working within the borough.
The station, on Petts Hill, has got a very illustrious background of service to the community and on Sunday attendees showed appreciation for the positive work and improvements throughout the years.
A number of displays were performed in the afternoon using ladders, hose and breathing apparatus and a selection of hydraulic cutting tools.
They simulated an incident using a drill tower, showing how they fight fires in buildings.
A demonstration of a fake road accident was also given, using crews to cut the roof off a car, as well as putting on a ‘hot fat fire’ spectacle of how not to put it out.
The event was used to promote home fire safety visits, a service free of charge where people can benefit from a free fire alarm being fitted.
The fire fighter national charity stall took over £600 to help injured fighters and give bursaries to widows and orphans.
Around 200 people showed their faces on Sunday over the course of the day.
Mr Turan, of Eastcote, said: “It's personal because I grew up in Northolt- a great area. I moved near the fire station just when it opened.
“Everyone thought it was a fantastic day. Someone brought in pictures that dated back to the 60s, it was brilliant. The station has reached a milestone in its life.”
To request a home fire safety visit, go to https://hfsvwr.london-fire.gov.uk/