Visit to KFRS Technical Rescue and Kent Firefighting Museum

Visit to KFRS Technical Rescue and Kent Firefighting Museum

In September a small group of Company members, including our Master, visited the Technical Rescue Centre of Kent Fire & Rescue Service. We were also joined by a guest, John Nadal, author of several books on the London Fire Brigade and the London Salvage Corps. Our visit had been arranged by Liveryman Mark Rist, an Area Manager in KFRS, and was hosted by Crew Manager Andrew Taylor.

We were treated to an excellent presentation by Andrew on the work of Technical Rescue. Housed in a dedicated USAR training centre within Maidstone fire station, Technical Rescue has search and rescue responsibilities for Kent, across England and internationally. They have a full-time crew of 12, backed up by retained crews members that can be called in from across Kent. We saw examples of equipment and techniques used for hot and cold cutting, shoring, rescue in confined spaces, line rescue, sensitive listening and detection devices, and drone capabilities.

After the presentation we were able to see the drone operated by Technical Rescue and observe the its high-resolution camera in action. We went on to have lunch with members of the crew on duty that watch and were able to learn a lot about their training and career development. We left the crew with a copy of our Company book celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. A full report on the work of Kent Technical Rescue will appear early next year.

After this visit we travelled to Kent Firefirefighting Museum, where we were met by Roger Lewis, a Trustee of the museum, who was to be our guide. We were also met by three other Trustees, Liveryman Jeanne Brinton and Past Masters Jeremy Beech and Alan Wells.

The museum is situated in the grounds of a garden centre on land gifted for the purpose by the owner of the site who has connections with the Kent Fire and Rescue Service ( It has a fascinating collection of archive material and equipment related to firefighting, particularly in Kent, and has a dedicated building to house a horse-drawn steam fire appliance. It was a fitting end to our day and as a token of our appreciation Jeremy Beech was presented with a copy of our book for the museum collection.

David Holt