Thousands of people descended on Hullavington Airfield nr Chippenham on Sunday 11 September for what was the most successful Emergency Services Show ever in its seven year history.
The event is one of the largest shows of its kind in the UK and showcased all of the blue light services from across the South West to give the public a rare opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’ of how the agencies work together to protect the community, including situations such as hazardous incidents, road traffic collisions, search & rescue, armed response, and rural crime.
There was a spectacular line-up of attractions including the South West Regional Police Dog Trials, It’s A Knockout, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Helimed 65 Air Ambulance from Filton, plus the adrenaline fuelled fire engine and police car rides which included a very popular Mitsubishi Evo X. Entertainment was provided by Swindon & Wiltshire’s brand new radio station ‘MORE’ with well known presenter Howard Taylor, and the arena demo’s included a motorway crash simulation as well as a magnificent parade of vintage and modern emergency vehicles.
The focal point of the show though was our 9/11 ‘memorial wall’ containing hundreds of images and information from the area surrounding the Twin Towers World Trade Centre, New York, and Pentagon, Washington. This served as a poignant backdrop when we released 911 balloons as a mark of respect on the tenth anniversary of the horrific tragedy.
Regrettably the Silver Stars Parachute Display Team were unable to attend due to the previously forecast weather conditions, however, we were fortunate to have remarkably sunny weather which was a pleasant surprise for everyone.
Committee Chairman and Founder Chris Harvey said: “The Emergency Services show exceeds all our expectations year on year and an action packed day was enjoyed by all. It was also a very poignant day for the show being the anniversary of 9/11 and this was marked with respect. The show started seven years ago as an idea based on Malmesbury Fire Stations open day. It is now considered to be the biggest show of its kind in the UK and the feedback as always has been tremendously positive."
"While our respective organisations strongly support this event, we receive no direct funding from them or any government sources. The Show is totally reliant on the goodwill and support of organisations and businesses to enable us to produce it. Therefore my sincere gratitude goes to everyone who has supported us, including our sponsors, exhibitors, and of course our visitors. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the committee and helpers who work tirelessly all year round and on the day. We look forward to bringing you an even bigger and better event when the show returns in 2013.”
The event is run by a voluntary committee and is entirely non-profit making, with the aims being to provide a fantastic family fun day, educate the public with key community safety messages, and ultimately raise money for charities connected with the blue light services.
Final figures for monies raised are still pending, but early indications are that last year’s record of over £17,000 has been beaten, meaning this was certainly the most successful show by far, and all proceeds will again be going to charitable organisations.
The committee have decided that the ESS will take a break in 2012 because of the operational commitments faced by the blue light services during the Olympics. However, the time between will certainly be used constructively to make the 2013 event even bigger and better. Planning is already underway and any suggestions/ideas are always welcomed, plus there’s an array of sponsorship opportunities for businesses and organisations. For more information and to contact the committee, please visit www.emergencyservicesshow.com. This will also soon be updated with all the photos and highlights from this year’s event.
Photos by Phil Elliott www.shootmephotographic.co.uk