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Ever wanted to drive a tank and a fire engine?
5:30pm Saturday 18th August 2012 in News
WITH only a year’s worth of driving experience, the thought of manouvering a 14-tonne fire engine made me a little nervous.
But as I clambered into the driver’s seat and sat behind the huge wheel I felt surprisingly at ease – especially as it was an automatic.
Expertly guided by Ian Lambkin, one of the organisers of the driving challenge, I successfully drove around Moreton Fire Service College for about five minutes, and without crashing.
Driving a fire engine is probably every child’s dream but something you might never be able to do when you’re an adult.
But Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service has made that possible.
Participants can get behind the wheel in a number of large vehicles including articulated lorries, police cars, JCBs and even a tank as part of a charity fund-raiser.
The event, on Sunday, September 2, is open to anyone over the age of 17 with a full driving licence – and for the first time this year men can take part.
Helen Lowe, aged 58, of Moreton, has taken part in the event for the last few years both as a driver and a volunteer.
She said: “It was just amazing to be able to drive so many different types of vehicle.
“Everyone was coming off the vehicles grinning.
They had a great time.”
Sam Mimms, aged 44, of Tysoe, near Shipston, said it made her think more about driving near large lorries.
“I’ve more understanding of how it is to drive one, “she said.
“I appreciate how it is to drive things other than a car.”
Last year the event raised £20,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity, which supports serving and retired firefighters and their families.
Event organiser Mike Parraton said: “This one is unique as you get to drive a large range of vehicles.
“It’s about having fun and a new experience as well as raising money for a good cause.”
Registration costs £10 and entrants should try to raise a minimum of £90 sponsorship with all proceeds going towards the charity.
To take part, entrants should request a registration pack from Mike Parraton on 07717 895424 or register online at firefighterscharity.org.uk/glosdc.