FIREFIGHTERS have provided sick children with a unique mode of transport to wheel them to the operating theatre at North Staffordshire's main hospital.
A ‘Strollex’ trolley, designed and shaped like a Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service fire engine, has been donated to the children’s ward at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Fire Safety Officer Kelvin Chell was one of the brains behind the donation and is one of the many members of the service who have helped raise over £60,000 for a number of different charities and organisations over the years.
Kelvin, who joined the service in 1972, said: “We’re always looking for different organisations we can help and we noticed the hospital had Strollex trollies but didn’t have one in the shape of fire engine.
“When a child goes down to the operating theatre it can be a traumatic experience so by going down the ward in something different rather than a wheelchair, hopefully it’ll take some of the stress and anxiety away from them.
“The trolley was designed based on one of our existing engines and was funded mainly through funds from the ‘Stokie Christmas Market’ we host at Hanley fire station.”
Kelvin, from Bignall End, added: “Raising money for charities and less fortunate people is something we’ve always done in the fire service. We’ve always had a knack of helping people and we’re fortunate that we can do it.
“We really imagined that the trolley would bring a smile to many childrens’ faces so we made it happen.”
Steve Rushton, UHNM Charity Manager said: “Surgery can be an extremely daunting time for most people, let alone a child. Children would normally have to travel to theatre on beds, which can be a scary experience for them in our clinical settings.
“But thanks to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the fear factor has been taken away and replaced with an exciting experience.”