A belated Christmas present for Hungary

Pictured left to right: Andy Bevon, Rob Sheppard, Martin Barclay, Kevin Pardy, Sean Nicholas and Steve Worrall

A team of six Shropshire firefighters today set off from Shrewsbury on a three day 1,300 mile journey to Hungary to donate a decommissioned rescue tender to volunteer firefighters near Budapest.

The vehicle, which has seen 20 years service on the roads of Shropshire, is specially designed for dealing with road traffic collisions and collapsed buildings. It is equipped with a range of cutting, lifting and spreading equipment essential for releasing trapped casualties.

It is on its way to Pilisvörösvár Fire Station, 12 miles north of Budapest, where it will be used as part of a project sponsored by the European Commission. This will involve Shropshire firefighters training their Hungarian counterparts in the safe and effective use of the donated vehicle and equipment.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Steve Worrall, who is leading the team on the week long expedition, said: "This initiative, with the generous support of the EC, represents a real opportunity to extend the life of a very effective rescue vehicle which will be put to good use by our colleagues in Pilisvörösvár.

"Additionally, the ability to work and experience rescue techniques in Hungary presents an excellent development opportunity for Shropshire staff and will undoubtedly have wider benefits for our own service."

4th January, 2008