FIREFIGHTERS completed a back-breaking task to help raise money for poorly youngster Daisy Palmer.
Crew members from Basildon fire station pulled one of their a 12-ton engines for six miles on Saturday from Great Berry Primary School, in Forest Glade, Langdon Hills, to the fire station.
The mammoth task was fundraising for the Daisy Palmer Trust, which is trying to get £100,000 for home improvements for the eight-year-old who lives in Burr Close, Langdon Hills.
Daisy suffers from the rare chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction condition, which means she has to stay in bed for 18 hours a day hooked up to a specialised feeding machine as she cannot eat unaided.
Adam Allison, who took part,said the challenge was tough for all involved, but they were motivated by their inspiration – namely Daisy.
Mr Allison said: “We met Daisy about 18 months ago when she visited our fire station and she took a big interest in what we do. Since then we’ve grown to know and love her.
“In the past we have done other fundraisers for Daisy, but this time we wanted to do something really big.
“We did do some practice before by just pulling the engine in our station yard and it will be tough, but I think we are just excited to be doing it.”
Using rope harnesses for the pull, the men completed the route, which went through Mandeville Way, Leinster Road and Laindon Link, in about two hours.
Sirens blared out from the engine as onlookers clapped and cheered the effort while passing motorists tooted their horns in support.
Damon Palmer, Daisy’s father, said he and the whole family were amazed by what the firefighters had done.
Mr Palmer said: “When they told me they were going to do the pull, I thought they were crazy!
“It was amazing to see them pulling the engine. We held up a bit of traffic along the way, but there were plenty of drivers reaching to chuck some money in the buckets, which was really touching to see.”
Daisy was not present at the pull as she is in hospital.