Fire service hose given new lease of life

Fire service handing over hose to keeper at Bristol Zoo

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has donated old firefighting hose to two animal attractions in the local area.

Due to firefighting activities, hose can suffer damage. Although some damage can be repaired, more serious defects mean the hose falls below the standard required to fight fires which means it must be disposed of. 

All hose used by AF&RS is regularly inspected and tested. Following the most recent checks, hose that didn’t meet the required grade was withdrawn and, as part of the AF&RS commitment to helping the environment, has been donated to Bristol Zoo Gardens and Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm for use in their various animal enclosures.

The hoses will be used by Bristol Zoo Gardens to provide enrichment for the animals in its care.

Richard Switzer, assistant head of the animal department and curator of birds at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: “We are hugely grateful for the hose donation from Avon Fire & Rescue Service.This is a great example of sustainable practice as the hose will be recycled and used to create a whole host of enrichment objects for our animals, including hammocks, swings and puzzle feeders."

At Noahs Ark Farm Zoo the water hoses will be used to enrich the lives of the 100 acre park’s newest arrivals – the popular Spectacled bear brothers Tupa and Sonco who live in the recently completed 2 acre Andean Adventure habitat.

Keepers will make special hammocks for the bears who enjoy climbing and relaxing in high vantage points, helping to simulate their natural aerial behaviours in the Andean mountains in South America. Noah’s Ark will also make hanging toys for their primates including endangered Siamang gibbons and two species of lemur.

Keeper Emma Godsell comments “We’re excited to use the hoses for these different types of enrichment, it’s important for zoos to stimulate their animals to keep them active and engaged with their environment. It all contributes to healthy, happy animals which is what we all want to see.”

Each attraction has received 23 metre lengths of various types of hose (70 millimetre, 45 millimetre and 19 millimetre diameter hose). 

AF&RS Group Manager for Technical Services Harry Awramenko, said: “I am really pleased that AF&RS can support local animal centres, and that our old firefighting hose can be recycled and put to such good use.”

Bristol Zoo staff with the hose provided by Avon Fire & Rescue Service Fire service handing over hose to keeper at Noah's Ark Farm