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Trick or treat! Firefighters seek out safety-conscious pumpkins this Hallowe’en!

Firefighters at East Preston Fire Station are on the hunt for the most creative Hallowe’en pumpkins in the village this weekend – and there’s a sweet treat in store for the winning creation.

With many Hallowe’en events scaled back this year due to COVID-19, the retained (on-call) firefighters based at the station on North Lane have been thinking about other ways to mark October 31.

After carving out their own family pumpkins with safety warning signs, Crew Commander Chris Harrison and daughter Millie are keen to see what other clever ideas people in the village are able to come up with.

Chris said: “Hallowe’en is really popular among a lot of the children in the village, but we all know that things are going to be a little bit different this year. We obviously didn’t want it to pass without doing anything to mark the occasion, but we do need to make sure we stay safe.

“That’s why we have decided to hold a virtual pumpkin carving competition, and we would like to invite all children in the village to have a think about what safety messages they could carve into their pumpkins this Hallowe’en to remind people to stay safe.

“We had a go with a slippery road surface sign, which was hard work to carve! And we also made a Slow, Children! sign too. But we think there might be some even more creative ideas to be had.”

Chris and the crew are inviting families in the village to carve out their safety messages in their pumpkins and then submit a picture of their finished pumpkin on the station’s twitter page, @station_48 before Saturday. They can also be emailed to FRS.Stn48@westsussex.gov.uk. The crew will then pick a winner and arrange for a tub of Hallowe’en sweets worthy of any trick or treater to be delivered to the lucky winner, taking into account any allergies or dietary requirements.

Chris added: “We know it’s not quite the same, but for the time being we all need to take extra care and follow the government guidelines if we are going out and about – following the rule of six and social distancing.

“But we hope that this will be a fun idea for families to work on together to mark Hallowe’en, and serve as a reminder for us all to stay safe.”

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