True transport lovers never grow out of their passion and BJ certainly proved his devotion recently when we took a Fire Engine tour on the Gold Coast. When I spotted the Fire4Hire tour while researching family-friendly Gold Coast activities I just knew we had to surprise BJ with a ride.
There was no holding BJ back when Geoff pulled up in the now retired, but authentic, Fire Truck. BJ’s enthusiasm helped him climb those stairs. At that very moment I could see another reason why it was worth all those struggles to get BJ into a standing frame each day when he was little.
We shared the tour with another family who were celebrating their son’s birthday, making it a jolly atmosphere in the back of the truck. The mood was elevated even further with the first whirr of the siren and when the music was cranked up for the ride. It started with the Fireman Sam theme song which pleased the six year old birthday boy and went on to fun party tunes like Gangnam Style for the older trainee fire fighters. Being the social person BJ is, he loved seeing people on the streets of Surfer’s Paradise waving to him as we drove by.
The tour weaves its way from Surfer’s Paradise, along the beachfront/Esplanade to The Spit where passengers are invited to experience the full power of a working fire hose. BJ loved it but we were glad Geoff kept it squarely positioned at the oval. Knowing BJ’s wicked sense of humour he’d have loved nothing more than to douse us!
I’m never one to say no to an experience so I lined up keenly to operate the fire hose too. I was amazed at the weight of the hose nozzle and the slight kick-back I experienced when turning the hose on. There’s a reason fire fighters have so many muscles.
Geoff is a retired fire fighter so he was able to give us a good insight into the workings of a fire engine, its capacity and the methods used by fire fighters to put out different types of fires. Our young travel companion was keen to check fire facts from a few Fireman Sam episodes and no question was too curly for Geoff.
Although the talk was really interesting, BJ had one thing on his mind. He was determined to get into the driver’s seat. I can just imagine what would happen if BJ was let loose behind the wheel. The tour wasn’t rushed so there was plenty of time for photos, questions and for all of us to take turns.
Now you may be thinking this tour is better suited to younger kids, but you’d be wrong. I certainly embraced my inner fire fighter and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. These tours are booked for parties, disability groups, Hen’s & Bucks parties and formals.
Being an authentic fire truck accessibility is a challenge but we managed. Geoff, our friendly fire fighter guide, was helpful and lent a hand wherever he could. There are steep stairs to negotiate to get into and out of the truck.
We chose to leave BJ’s wheelchair behind in the Fire4Hire office but Geoff had offered to take it along. BJ was quite happy sitting on the stool for the period we were at the oval and stood with Hubby’s assistance to use the fire hose.
You can read more about the tours on offer on the Fire4Hire website. We certainly give this a thumbs up for family fun on the Gold Coast.
Thanks to Geoff and Fire4Hire for a great tour. BJ was given a complimentary ride and the rest of us received a discounted ride for the purposes of reviewing this experience. I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s no doubting BJ’s joy.