Firefighters are taking part in the Watford Race for Life after a colleague’s partner was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
On September 18, while wearing full firefighting gear, the 11 members of Green Watch at Hemel Hempstead Fire Station will be helping to beat cancer.
The ten men and one woman crew will be taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life in Watford in support of the partner of a watch member who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Watch commander Greig Bescoby said: “We are such a close unit and we all feel helpless. She’s under 40 with two young children and it’s not in our nature not to help.
“As firefighters, we want to help people and although we can’t help her, we’ve decided to do the Race for Life to raise money to support the amazing people at Cancer Research UK who can.”
The crew will all be wearing 3.5st of firefighting kit to complete the 5k course at Cassiobury Park.
Firefighter Nick Tozer said: “Rather than just do the 5k, we decided to make it a bit more challenging by adding the full fire kit as well as boots, helmets and breathing apparatus.
“We’ve been running around the station building up to wearing extra bits of kit then adding extra distance.
“It’s been fun and has definitely brought us closer together. Come rain or shine, we’ll all make sure we cross the finish line together.”
Green Watch has already raised over £5,000 through their online fundraising page for Cancer Research UK set up by firefighter Emma Plunkett.
She said: “We all wanted to do something and when the suggestion for Race For Life came up we all said ‘yes’ straight away. It’s harder than I thought it would be though, wearing the kit and when it’s hot, it’s really tough.
“Normally when you’re fighting fires you only wear it for about half an hour at a time and then take a break so this will be longer.”
As well as donations, Green Watch is asking for spectators to come to the race and cheer them on along the route.
Crew commander Colin Ryan said: “Cancer hits us all in some way and it’s really good for us all to raise awareness of such a good cause.”
Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for Hertfordshire, Elisa Mitchell said: “We are really grateful to Green Watch for taking part in Race for Life, especially with 3.5st of extra weight to carry around the course.”
Green Watch’s fundraising page can be found at https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/greenwatch-firefighters