Everton’s Aaron Lennon swapped his playing kit for fire kit to urge people to stay safe this Bonfire Night.
The Blues winger took time out after training to visit Speke Community Fire Station to find out more about how firefighters and police officers will be working to keep Merseyside safe on Bonfire Night.
After donning fire kit, Lennon was given a tour of the station and shown the various rescue equipment on the fire engine while being told about the pressures that firefighters face when dealing with deliberate fires over the Bonfire period.
Lennon said: “Anybody who is going to put their life at risk to keep other people safe is a hero and the work that firefighters do is unbelievable.
“Obviously they do a great job all year round but especially coming up to Bonfire Night we wanted to come down to the fire station and support the great job they do.
“We just want everyone to stay safe, respect the rules and go to organised fireworks displays.”
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service are advising residents to attend one of the many organised fireworks displays taking place across the region on November 5.For more information and a list of organised displays, visitwww.merseyside.police.uk or visit your local council website.
In addition, youngsters can enjoy a series of cage football sessions that are being held by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s charitable arm, Fire Support Network, over the Bonfire and Halloween period.
Watch Manager Ian Mullen, who is leading the bonfire strategy for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Aaron to the fire station, where he learned about the pressures faced by firefighters over the Bonfire period, if people set deliberate fires.
“If firefighters are called out to deliberate fires, that can delay a response to other emergencies.
“We want people to stay safe by attending an organised display and are urging parents to ensure their children know the dangers of fireworks misuse or fire-setting.
“People should never give combustible materials to young people to build bonfires and should not dump rubbish where it could be set on fire.
“Wheelie bins should only be put out on the day of collection and brought back in straight away. They should never be stored near windows and doors.”
Superintendent Julie Cooke of Merseyside Police said: “It’s great that Aaron Lennon is supporting this year’s campaign and we want people to enjoy this fun time of year safely.
“Our message during this period is simple – anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing such offences will be dealt with firmly and robustly.
“It’s only a small minority of people who cause problems during this time but there are lots of organised events and activities going on across the region for people to enjoy.”
Pets may also become frightened by fireworks and where possible owners are advised to keep pets indoors.
To report an unlit bonfire, call Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958. Outside office hours, please leave a message with your details and a contact number.
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