A team of firefighters swapped hoses and hard hats for sponges and buckets last month as the Huddersfield community came together to raise money for a children’s charity.
Last year, Watch Commander, Andy Wooler, had his life turned upside down as he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was forced to initially spend one week at Leeds General Infirmary.
It was here, that the brave 45-year-old dad first encountered the Yorkshire children’s cancer charity, Candlelighters – based at the LGI’s Paediatric Oncology and Haematology Day Unit.
From that day he decided he was going to help the group in whatever way he could and last month a community car wash was held at Huddersfield Fire Station.
With firefighters hosing down cars rather than flames, the day was a huge success, raising more than £2,000.
Andy said if it was not for the support of his friends and family the day would not have been possible.
“My wife, friends, volunteers, colleagues, whoever we could get really came on down and helped us raise this great amount,” he said.
“The support from the guys here was fantastic. The on-duty crew were called out a couple of times so just had to drop the sponges and off they went but when they came back they would help again.
“The off-duty personnel also came in and helped out which was a massive help.”
He added: “I’ve always said that I was happy working here with the West Yorkshire Fire Service but I didn’t realise how much support I really had until I unfortunately needed it.”
Mohammed Quadafi has been working as a firefighter for 13 years and has known Andy since 2007. After helping out at the car wash he explained how important it was that all the crew showed support for their colleague.
“The diagnosis was obviously bad but at times like this it is great to see Andy back in work,” he said.
“When he told us about the idea for the car wash we all rallied around. It was great to get together and do something for such an important cause and the whole idea for the car wash was fantastic.”