Firefighter says ‘yes’ to Leap Year proposal at Billingshurst Fire Station

Sarah Baldwin and Kieran Hatchard celebrate their engagement at Billingshurst Fire Station

Sarah Baldwin and Kieran Hatchard celebrate their engagement at Billingshurst Fire Station

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The champagne flowed at Billingshurst Fire Station after a woman asked her firefighter boyfriend to marry her on Leap Day.

Sarah Baldwin, of Bognor, arranged a secret plan with crew members so she could propose to Kieran Hatchard, of Billingshurst, at the fire station’s drill night.

Sarah and Kieran pictured with Kieran's colleagues at the fire station

Sarah and Kieran pictured with Kieran's colleagues at the fire station

He said ‘yes’ and the happy couple were greeted with cheering and applause from family, friends and Kieran’s colleagues.

Firefighter Dan Game, who has known Kieran since their school days, said: “I haven’t seen Kieran like that for a long time.

“He can’t believe we kept it a secret and she managed to plan it without him knowing.

“He was completely unaware of what was happening, which made it even better.”

Kieran, 27, has worked for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for eight years, and his relationship with 26-year-old Sarah ignited in January 2010.

Dan explained that only three members of the crew were aware of the plan after Sarah told them she planned to pop the question.

He said: “Sarah said to the watch manager Rob that she was thinking of proposing to Kieran, and he gave her a few ideas of what we could do to help.”

Together, they concocted a plan to send Sarah to the top of the drill tower before asking Kieran to climb up as part of a drill.

When he reached the top and found her there, Sarah went down on one knee and presented Kieran with a palladium wedding band from Gold Arts in Chichester.

This was followed by a performance from local musician Paul Brigstock, who sang Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up to the engaged couple.

Dan added: “We had all their family and friends hiding around the side of the fire station, and the minute he started climbing up they came out of their hiding place.

“At the weekend Sarah asked him to get a haircut, and that was the only hint he had!”

Between 20 and 30 people, including the fire crew and both sets of parents, were on hand to congratulate the pair.

They visited a nearby pub to celebrate, and at the end of drill night, were joined by Kieran’s colleagues.

The couple are hoping to buy their first home this year.

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