Six Nottinghamshire firefighters climb over 13,000ft for service's charity

The firefighters raised over £12,000 for the service's charity Credit: Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue service

By ITV Central Production Journalist Lara Davies

A group of six female firefighters have raised over £12,000 for The Fire Fighters Charity, after climbing up Mount Toubkal in Morrocco.

The group, from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, completed the journey which included a seven-hour trek to the 13'000ft high summit, in two days - a climb which usually takes around a week.

Some of the women were strangers when they agreed to the fundraising challenge four months before and have spent "every spare minute" together raising money since.

Charley Weatherall-Smith, soon-to-be Station Manager at West Bridgford Fire Station, told ITV News Central that she "wanted to do a challenge, but didn't know what to do".

The 34-year-old-said: "I managed to rope some friends in and we managed to work together and make it happen.

"We looked at Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro but we saw Mount Toubkal and that caught our attention.

"Obviously with the nature of our jobs, we can't take loads of time off so doing the whole journey in 3 days fitted perfectly."

(left to right) Nicola, Mary and Lauree ready to jet off on their adventure

Mary Amos, 28, who took part in the challenge with Ms Weatherall-Smith, said she took part because she had "never done anything like this before."

She told ITV News Central: "This is by far the highest any of us have ever climbed and it was an amazing experience.

"Obviously reaching the summit was a highlight but for me the best moment was actually setting off.

"Even though we started at 4am and it was still dark, that nervous adrenaline for the adventure ahead really started to set in.

"Moments like that really hit you.

"Looking up at the massive stars and realising that you're there, literally in the middle of nowhere, starting the challenge you've been talking about for months."

The group set off in the dark so they couldn't see high terrain ahead

When asked how long it took the group to prepare for the challenge, the pair smiled.

"It took four months - not long, and definitely not long enough," said Ms Amos, as she laughed.

"It was difficult at times and interesting, but we made a plan and we couldn't have asked for a better team - everyone just clicked."

The Arnold firefighter added: "The altitude was by far the hardest part of the trek though.

"Usually with altitude, you have a bit of time to acclimatise but we went from base camp to the summit so quickly that I think that was one thing that we didn't really predict because none of us had ever climbed that high."

The challenge consisted of months of fundraising including bake sales, car washes, fates, station open days, even more baking and even a rowing challenge against "some built blokes from a local supermarket, which was interesting".

The firefighter's target was £10,000 by September, but the team "smashed that" and raised £12,188.

The servicewomen from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service were raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity - which supports current and retired firefighters with everything from mental and physical health to retirement and health.

The Journey

The team set off to Marrakech on 7 September ready to start their challenge the next day.

The first day consisted of a seven-hour uphill trek, which took the group through walnut groves, steep winding valleys and remote steep terrain, to their base-camp village.

The team started at 4am on summit day, prepared with head torches and plenty of layers to tackle the ascending altitude.

A few hours in, the sun rose and the group were rewarded with some breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains, which "spurred them on".

A 4,167m (13,000ft) climb later, they made it to the summit at 9am.