Red Watch take on different lifesaving task

Firefighters from Blackpool's Forest Gate Fire Station in training for the Blackpool 10K Fun Run. From left, Alistair Clark, Ian Birks, Andrew Jones, Mark Preddy, Paul Hunter, Phil Peck, Peter Cook, Matt Pendlebury, Marc Randles, Tony Ford and Ian Alder.

Firefighters from Blackpool's Forest Gate Fire Station in training for the Blackpool 10K Fun Run. From left, Alistair Clark, Ian Birks, Andrew Jones, Mark Preddy, Paul Hunter, Phil Peck, Peter Cook, Matt Pendlebury, Marc Randles, Tony Ford and Ian Alder.

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THEY’RE used to fighting fires and saving the day, and now this group of firemen is going one step further in the name of heroism.

Red Watch from Blackpool Fire Station are preparing for this year’s Beaverbrooks Blackpool 10k Fun Run, in full fire-fighting kit, to raise money for the race organiser, Trinity Hospice.

And while each year there has always been a representative from the team taking part, this year all 12 will run in a bid to say farewell to Watch Manager Ian Alder, who retires this year.

Firefighter Matt Pendlebury said: “Ian calls us ‘miboys’ and it’ll be really nice to all run this race with him together for the last time. Ian is a big family man. At night when we’re on duty we always sit down and eat a meal together – this is just another thing we can do together as a family.”

This will be Matt’s seventh time running the 10k, which he has always done bearing the number 999.

He said training was going well for the team, which spanned an age range from Matt, at 29, to Ian who is 49. One firefighter, Tony Ford, is training to be a 10,000m runner for Great Britain, and another is training as a boxer.

Matt will be aiming to run the course, from The Hilton to the Pleasure Beach and back, in under 80 minutes, but one thing he’s sure of is that no-one will be breaking ranks on the day.

“We start together, and we finish together,” he said.

“We’re all really looking forward to it. This is the sort of thing we will never be able to do with Ian again. He is a great officer and the best boss we could wish for.”

BLACKPOOL 10K FUN RUN: Click here for our Fun Run minisite including entry form and gallery from last year’s event..