Nine volunteers from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have set off on a 1,800 mile aid trip to transport more much needed fire equipment to Romania.
Firefighters including Assistant Chief Fire Officer Steve Worrall and other members of staff have all given up their holiday to prepare and deliver a Land Rover and two redundant fire engines bought from Buckinghamshire and Hereford & Worcester Fire Services.
Brand new firefighting uniforms
On board will also be 500 brand new firefighting uniforms, to replace the Romanians’ inadequate firefighting kit, donated by Lion Apparel after ACO Worrall was named the inaugral FIRE & Lion Beyond the Call of Duty Award winner (pictured).
These are the 13th UK fire appliances to be delivered to needy areas in Romania, and Bulgaria during seven trips. The latest contingent will set off aboard the fire appliances and a Land Rover for the week long trip to Transylvania travelling by ferry to France and on to Germany, Austria and Romania stopping at fire stations on the way.
The Shropshire delegation has paid £150 each towards the aid trip and have raised more than £4,000 with charitable events.
The trip is being made with the help of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, which preserves ancient villages in Romania - and has Shropshire experts helping out – the Trust patron is Prince Charles who has a house there.
Training Romanian firefighters
The group will arrive in Targu Mures in Romania on June 6 and drop the uniform off at the Fire Service HQ in the city and then drive to Reghin for an overnight stay with Reghin Rotary Club, which has bought one of the fire trucks and will receive a scroll from Shrewsbury Rotary Club.
Shropshire firefighters will then deliver a one-day training course to around 20 Romanian firefighters in the use of the pumps, ladders and the L4P (the 4 x 4 old Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service Land Rover with firefighting equipment on board for access to smaller areas).