London Fire Brigade

Fire engine pull across London for charity

12 September 2011

A group of London firefighters are set to pull a fire engine for almost seven miles across London in a bid to raise money for the charities that helped their injured colleagues.

Whilst attending a large fire in some flats in Wandsworth in January this year, four firefighters from Wandsworth Fire Station’s Green Watch received serious burns. Thankfully they are all now on the road to recovery but their rehabilitation has been greatly helped by the staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the Fire Fighters Charity.

Colleagues of the injured firefighters have organised the fire engine pull to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity and Children’s Burns Trust which is based at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. They will pull the fire engine on Saturday 17 September between the two hospitals that treated the firefighters – the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Fulham Road and St George’s Hospital in Tooting. The event will start at 10am and is expected to take around six hours. Firefighters from Wandsworth Green Watch will be helped in their efforts by other firefighters from their own and surrounding fire stations.

Wandsworth Fire Station’s Green Watch Manager, Winston Douglas, who has organised the event, said:

“It’s going to be incredibly hard work but we’re determined to do it. This will be a fitting tribute to our colleagues who were injured. It will also be a way to say thank you to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the Fire Fighters Charity, which have both amazing in supporting them during their recovery.”

Wandsworth Borough Commander, Nigel Miles, said:

 "It’s been a tough few months for Wandsworth Green Watch but I’m proud of how they’ve dealt with it all. They are a professional and dedicated crew and it’s testament to their strength and determination that they’re now on the road to recovery.

 “Pulling a fire engine for this distance is no mean feat so I hope people are really generous and sponsor them!”

The firefighters are hoping to raise at least £2000 for the charities. You can sponsor them here: 

You can also send a text to 70070 with the code WAND69 and the amount you wish to donate. The amount can be £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or a maximum of £10.

Just how heavy is a fire engine?

 The fire engine the firefighters will pull weighs 13.5 tonnes which is roughly the same weight as:

  • Three fully grown African elephants
  • 17 x the weight of the England rugby pack
  • 165 firefighters
  • More than £1.3 million in pound coins 

A further fundraising event - Disco Inferno 999

A further fundraising event, Disco Inferno 999, is being held at the Grand nightclub in Clapham Junction on September 28.

The event has been organised by Chris Cox, another of the firefighters’ colleagues from Wandsworth fire station. The event is being held as a tribute to the injured firefighters and to recognise the medical teams who have worked tirelessly in aiding their recovery. All proceeds will go to the Fire Fighters Charity, the Katie Piper Foundation and the Children’s Burns Trust. Tickets are £9.99 and can be bought on the Eventim website. All proceeds will go to the charities involved.


Notes to editors

The route

The route 6.9 miles long. Using a harness, eight firefighters will pull the fire engine at any one time. The firefighters will be rotating the pulling of the engine and around 40 firefighters will be taking part on the day.

- Start: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road.

- Left onto Edith Grove.

- Right onto Kings Road, continue along to New Kings Road.

- Left onto Putney Bridge.

- Straight ahead Putney High Street.

- Left onto Upper Richmond Road.

- Drive fire engine through one way system onto Garrett Lane.

- Due to road works on Garrett Lane start pulling fire engine near the junction of Mapleton Road.

- Continue along Garrett Lane to Tooting High Street.

- The fire engine must be driven along Tooting High Street.

- Right into Blackshaw Road, fire engine will be pulled again to St Georges Hospital.

About the fire where the firefighters were injured

On the 8th January 2011 eight fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to a fire in flats on East Hill in Wandsworth in South West London.

The fire damaged the ground, first and second floors of the converted three storey terrace house. A staircase between the ground and first floor was also destroyed. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued one person and a further six people left the building before firefighters arrived at the scene.

Four firefighters were taken to hospital suffering from burns.

The Brigade was called at 2243 and the fire was under control by 0155. Fire crews from Wandsworth and surrounding fire stations attended the incident.

You can follow the Brigade on Twitter @LondonFire and on Facebook at

If you would like any further information please contact Emma Cullen in the Brigade's press office on 020 8536 5922.