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Kent Fire and Rescue Service crews smash Guinness World Record for ladder climbing in Ashford

Members of the emergency services were on fire when they smashed a Guinness World Record for ladder climbing.

Kent firefighters, including those from Ashford, took back a record they held two years ago by climbing a total distance of 42,290m in eight hours onto a 10-metre high scaffold platform in the town centre.

Organiser, Ashford firefighter Mike Pitney, said: “On several occasions the record attempt looked as good as dead as three times rain hampered efforts when the fire-pole erected to come back down from the scaffolding became dangerously fast for descents.

Firefighters after winning a Guinness World Record for climbing 42,290m within eight hours

"On the third occasion a thunderstorm together with lightning made it seem everything was against us.

“But in the last hour it was worked out that with a huge effort it was maybe just possible.

"We erected another ladder to use instead of the fire pole to come down and then the family, friends and people of Ashford who were watching came into their own as they cheered and screamed everyone on to an almost fever pitch, through cramp and pain until the record was broken by just four trips up the ladder or 40 metres in distance!”

After you...emergency teams scamper up the ladder

In 2010, 10 Kent Fire and Rescue Service firefighters set a world record for the longest distance climbed via a ladder over eight hours.

The record was broken after six attempts from different counties and even countries by a team from the Isle Of Man in 2012.

Ashford Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets turned out to show their support, town business and individuals donated refreshments and time and scaffolding was donated by Paul Berry Scaffolding.

Firemen during their successful world record attempt

Cash was also collected for The Fire Fighters Charity but is still being counted.

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