Hero Lt Col. Igor Pismenskij Visits Fulston To Share His Chernobyl Experience

Students from Fulston Manor School were honoured to be visited by Lt Col. Igor Pismenskij, a Ukrainian helicopter pilot who flew 29 missions over the Chernobyl Reactor in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, 30 years ago. Lt Col. Pismenskij, along with his interpreter, Suitlana Wilmot, had the students enthralled with the answers to the many questions that were fired at him. The visit, organised by RS, saw Religious Studies, Citizenship and Science classes learn about how the disaster happened, what devastation followed and the clearing up project. They also found out about the charity, Chernobyl Children's Life Line, based in Herne Bay, from volunteers Charlotte John and Sarah Day. Charlotte and Sarah visit Chernobyl 3 to 4 times a year, using their own annual leave, to help various families affected by the tragic events. They also organise for children of Chernobyl, where the effects of radiation are still being felt, to visit the UK and be able to breathe in fresh air and drink clean water. Mrs O’Neill told her science class of year 7s that she had, in fact, had a  tour of the Chernobyl exclusion zone a few years ago so Igor’s visit was very poignant “it was amazing for the students, as well as myself, to hear a first-hand account of what it was like to circle the reactor to drop sand and cement from a helicopter. It was an amazingly brave mission. I’ve never seen so many questions directed at just one person. The students were awe struck”.