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Mascots on Duty

A big Happy Birthday to our very own NESM mascot Rocko who celebrates their birthday this month, on the 11th July. Now, usually we’d say it’s rude to ask a racoon their age, but Rocko doesn’t mind; they will be 8 years old. But what about some of the other mascots that are used in the emergency services? We are going to find out about them in this blog and what the role of a mascot is.


 

When you think of mascots you probably think first of those at sports events, like football or rugby matches, but the emergency services have mascots too. A mascot traditionally brings luck, acts as a bridge between an organisation and its audience, represents a group (school for example) or a team or a brand. In the emergency services it’s that bridge that is so important, especially for the younger audience.

 

We do not see many mascots for Police Services. But here in South Yorkshire we had PC Bill. Then there’s Thames Valley Police’s Proud and Respect (named after a competition for school children in 2013). But it is hard to find anymore U.K based traditional police mascots. (There are, however, a few real life four-legged friends that have been taken as unofficial mascots, like Baloo the police dog at Essex police who was sadly injured in the line of duty and unable to continue).

 


The Fire Service has a lot more mascots to choose from. We’ll start with Bleeper with his creation to help teach children and young people about fire safety. Bleeper is a- you’ve guessed it- smoke alarm. Then we have Welephant, a red elephant wearing a fire helmet, who was used by all the UK’s fire brigades, but since 1989 has been more associated with the Children’s Burns Trust. You can still join the Welephant Club through Staffordshire Fire and Rescue with some of his friends; Blaze Bear is one of them. Blaze Bear is joined by Priya (a six year old girl who really wants to be a firefighter when she grows up) and Cybil the Squirrel. Different fire services have different mascots just like the Police, but there have been a few changes over the years, most recently in 2019 Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue created their own mascot to bring in something more inclusive.

 


Not all mascots come entirely from the services themselves, one of our loveliest mascot stories comes from the Ambulance Service. South Western Ambulance Service had a competition to name their new mascot and a young boy called Ewan suggested Roly Bear after his grandfather Roland who works as a paramedic in Wiltshire.

 

The RNLI has the very recognisable Stormy Stan, with a big bushy beard and dressed in his bright yellow uniform. You can sometimes meet Stan at events. He can usually be found (when not being cheeky) teaching people how to be safe at sea or helping out at charity events trying to raise money for the RNLI and other charities.


 

Yorkshire Air Ambulance has a trio of cartoon human mascots: Paramedic Polly, Pilot Percy, and Dr. Priti Blade who are all dressed in uniforms. Over at Midlands Air Ambulance they have Maac, a bear dressed again in uniform and, like Polly, Percy and Priti, you can see them at fundraising events. Children’s Air Ambulances, like Midlands, has gone the animal route with their mascots Blade the Bear and Peggy the Penguin. Blade is dressed as a superhero and Peggy is in a jumpsuit, they can be seen at some events and you can even buy your very own teddy versions.

I have tried to include as many mascots as I could find, but I am sure I have missed some. If I’ve left one of your favourite emergency services mascots out, please comment and let us know below!

 

By Rosie Norrell

Learning and Communities Co-ordinator


Photo credits: Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Essex Police.

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