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Norwich International Airport firemen ready to skydive for East Anglian Air Ambulance

PUBLISHED: 20:51 25 June 2012

Airport firefighters Karl Appleton, left, and Mark Matless are preparing to skydive for the East Anglian air ambulance.  Photo: Bill Smith

Airport firefighters Karl Appleton, left, and Mark Matless are preparing to skydive for the East Anglian air ambulance. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

A pair of firefighters will leap out of a plane at 13,000ft to raise money for an inspirational life-saving service.

More used to dealing with extreme situations than extreme sports, Norwich International Airport firefighters Karl Appleton, 29, and Mark Matless, 27, are preparing a skydive in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Mr Appleton, of Finishers Road, off Drayton Road, and Mr Matless, of Roe Drive, Earlham, will descend 5,000ft in just 40 seconds and hit speeds of 120mph – and this impressive feat will have been inspired by another, one they see first hand every day.

Mr Appleton said: “From our base we see the air ambulance go back and forth every day.

“It is not government funded and covers four counties, providing a life saving service for the public.”

Last year the pair took part in a cycle race for Comic Relief, raising more than £2,000 with staff at the airport, and despite being brave for a job, Mr Appleton says he is still daunted by the prospect of diving head-first into a two mile drop.

“This year we thought we would do something a bit more dangerous,” said Mr Appleton.

“We have been interested in doing it for a while, so we thought if we did it for charity then we could not back out.

“This is more dangerous than my job, there are more variable factors that could go wrong. And we have never done anything like it. I have played rugby, and Mark has played chess.

“We tried to encourage others to join us but no one wanted to, I can’t see why.”

The sky dive is on September 28 and the flying firefighters have so far raised £140 of their £500 target.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/NIAfirefighterskydive

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