Shropshire Fire Aid To Romania

Romanian firefighters' paraded at a special ceremony to thank the Shropshire led campaign which has delivered UK fire engines to replace dilapidated rural appliances.
Romanian firefighters' paraded at a special ceremony to thank the Shropshire led campaign which has delivered UK fire engines to replace dilapidated rural appliances.
28th October, 2016

A Shropshire led campaign to deliver much needed fire and humanitarian aid to Romania has been praised for its “commitment and dedication.”

Fire engines from Devon, driven across Europe by members of Operation Sabre, culminated in a handover ceremony this week attended by dignitaries from the Romanian and British governments and fire chiefs.

A flag waving street parade and march by from Romanian firefighters added to the pomp and ceremony of the occasion attended by a team of eight from Shropshire and Merseyside, including serving and retired firefighters and Councillor Mal Price, a member of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority.

Alex Gregory, the British Embassy representative in Romania, said: “I was delighted to be able to join Operation Sabre for a day on behalf of the British Embassy to see the handover of two former UK fire engines to the fire services in Mures County.

“The commitment and dedication of the Operation Sabre team along with volunteers from Shropshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services, to provide these vehicles and their support to children and the elderly over the past five years has made a real difference and I was proud to lend the support of the British Embassy.”

More than 20 redundant fire engines from the UK have been delivered to poor communities in Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland by the Shropshire led expeditions over the last few years.

Trip organiser Steve Worrall, a retired Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The majority of the fire engines taken to Romania begin a new life in some of the most remote communities where typically local people wait in excess of one hour for the nearest fire engine to arrive.”

Local firefighting volunteers have been provided with training and uniforms donated from the UK, Austria and Germany.

During their stay, the team worked with Romanian firefighters to decorate a child protection centre and deliver aid to an old people’s home which the charity has completely refurbished over five years.

A Mercedes minibus and Ford Ranger were also delivered to Mures County Fire Service along with four tonnes of humanitarian aid for both the children and elderly.

The UK convoy teamed up with Bavarian firefighters from Regensburg who delivered a minibus. There have been ten humanitarian aid trips to Translyvania by the team over the past five years.

A total of 30 fully equipped fire service vehicles have been delivered with training for local firefighters over the past few years.

 

Alex Gregory, the British Embassy representative in Romania, aboard the UK replacement fire appliance
A UK fire appliance will replace this ancient fire engine from Romania
The UK fire appliance driven 1,800 miles to Romania by Operation Sabre