Since the inaugaration of the 999 service 60 years ago Rye residents have had the sure knowledge that a 999 fire call would be answered in rapid time by their part-time firemen.
Today that tradition is still being honoured by a band of men who are dedicated to protecting the lives and property of Rye and the immediate district. A response time of just a few minutes is achieved for any call made from the town.
Their recent Open Day (September 5) demonstrated that they are also keen to meet the people and proud to demonstrate their well looked after equipment in simulated Fire shouts. It was also a day for the children. face painting, bouncy castle and photographs on a fire appliance were much to their liking. Fun was had by young and old alike. An excellent example of good public relations from the Force that still enjoys the confidence and support of the people they serve .
Rye is fortunate indeed to have such a well drilled band of men available.They appear in other roles too.On Bonfire night they take on the job of chairing the selected celebrity from the Rye Lodge to the Bonfire where the chosen one ignites the giant pyre.
Firefighter Steve Nash demonstrates his artistic ability painting the face of young Antonia Olliffe`
Public confidence has been won over the years in the face of highly dangerous fires that have put large sections of the town at risk. Inside the town walls the houses are packed tightly together with little or no fire break walls between. The local firefighters know every building intimately and are able to work out the path of the fire and get in front of it. An example of this was a nasty fire in the basement of a shop in the High Street in 1966 when the flames were funneled up a hollow partition wall from the cellar straight into the roof. Local knowledge and prompt action by Rye firemen, got them onto the roof before the flames took hold and enabled them to stop the fire spreading to other buildings and minimise the damage in the building in which it had started.
“Rye’s New” October 2004
All articles, photographs, films and drawings on this web site are World Copyright Protected. No reproduction for publication without prior arrangement. © World Copyright 20017 Cinque Ports Magazines Rye Ltd., Guinea Hall Lodge Sellindge TN25 6EG