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Firefighter Chris drops from the sky to help burns victims

PUBLISHED: 19:33 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:36 05 October 2010

FIREMAN Chris Walsh thinks nothing of putting himself in danger—even when he's off duty. First it was a 150ft bungee jump with nothing between him and the ground except a thin, elastic rope. Now it's jumping out of an aircraft 13,000ft up and freefalling for almost a minute before he pulls his parachute chord

Mike Brooke

FIREMAN Chris Walsh thinks nothing of putting himself in danger—even when he’s off duty.

First it was a 150ft bungee jump with nothing between him and the ground except a thin, elastic rope.

Now it’s jumping out of an aircraft 13,000ft up and freefalling for almost a minute before he pulls his parachute chord.

Not surprising, then, that the 26-year-old bachelor from Stepney in London’s East End fights fires and rescues people in danger for a living.

Chris is making a parachute jump next week to try and raise £500 for charity.

He only has about half the money pledged and is anxiously looking for more sponsors.

But Chris, who recently moved from Shadwell fire station to his new posting at Stratford, admitted: “My crewmates think I’m daft jumping from 13,000—but I like putting myself in danger.

“I want to raise funds for the Children’s Fire and Burns Trust, which helps youngsters recover from fires, so I’ll try my hand at anything.”

He takes off with the British Parachute Association from an airfield at March, in Cambridgeshire, on September 19.

“It’s my first jump and I am a bit nervous,” he admits.

“I freefall at 130 miles-an-hour for 45 seconds before pulling the rip-chord—I just hope the chord is luminous so I can see it easily.”

He did his bungee jump in Greece four years ago “just for fun”—but next week’s freefall is more serious, raising money for the London Fire Brigade’s own benevolent fund as well as the children’s fire charity.

“I’ve only got a few days left to pester people to sponsor me,” he adds.

Then it’s all systems go’—provided he remembers to take his parachute.

Chris can be sponsored with a click online:

www.justgiving.com/skydivingwalshy

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