Suffolk firefighter prepares to take on London Marathon - in full kit and breathing apparatus

Ipswich firefighter Dale Mason is running the London Marathon in his full firefighting kit. Picture

Ipswich firefighter Dale Mason is running the London Marathon in his full firefighting kit. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk firefighter is preparing to take on the London Marathon - in full kit and breathing apparatus - in memory of colleague Tony Bickers.

Dale Mason is running in memory of his friend and colleague Tony Bickers. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dale Mason is running in memory of his friend and colleague Tony Bickers. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Dale Mason, 45, watch commander and road traffic collision trauma instructor, will take on gruelling 26.2 mile course around the capital in full gear - including oxygen tank and mask - on Sunday, April 22.

Mr Mason, from Ipswich, is taking on the challenge in memory of his colleague and ‘brother’ Tony Bickers, 53, who died after he was struck by a train at Mellis in December 2016.

An inquest on March 28 last year concluded that he took his own life.

“I am looking to raise money and awareness for the Mind Blue Light Appeal, said Mr Mason.

Ipswich firefighter Dale Mason is running the London Marathon in his full firefighting kit. Picture

Ipswich firefighter Dale Mason is running the London Marathon in his full firefighting kit. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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“As firefighters we are the least likely among the emergency service professions to talk about mental health but we do see some horrific sights.

“I teach road traffic collision trauma which deals with cutting people out of cars and life-threatening interventions.

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“You see a lot and are exposed to a lot.

As a group we tend to be good at talking to each other but some people do not feel comfortable sharing it.

“It is also good to be aware so we are able to spot the signs in others.”

Mr Mason, a father-of-two, has some experience in running long distances in full fire fighting kit - having taken on the Great East Run in September.

“This will be my eighth marathon in total, he said.

“I’ve taken on the distance running, I thought I can handle an extra challenge.

“I have been following a marathon training programme carrying the full gear.

“I’ve been getting a few interested looks running along the road with my kit on.

“I do it in the evening when it is a bit cooler, I don’t think it will be as comfortable for the real marathon.

“The main issue is because it is designed with a thermal barrier - which will keep the heat in.

“When I took on the Great East Run I went through a litre of water every 20 minutes and another two litres down my back.”

To find out more and to donate to Mr Mason’s fundraising challenge visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dale-mason3 or text DJMA57 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.

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