Shropshire Fire Aid to Romania

Brigade chaplain Murray McBride in a traditional blessing before the vehicle convoy set off for Romania

A team of volunteers from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have set off for their annual trip to Romania to donate much needed fire equipment and to provide aid to an old people’s home.

The aid convoy will travel 1,800 miles across Europe to deliver four fire engines, two 4x4 vehicles, equipment and uniforms to fire stations in Transylvania.

A total of three firefighters from Merseyside are also joining the 11 strong Shropshire expedition codenamed Operation Sabre.

Steve Worrall, a retired Assistant Chief Fire Officer for the county, who has organised several trips to eastern Europe, said: “It is always a humbling experience when we arrive in Romania and see how much they need this equipment which is no longer used in the UK.

“Everyone has given up their spare time, raised money for the effort, taken holidays for the trip and is looking forward to helping to train firefighters to use the equipment. We also have strong links with an old people’s home which has virtually no funding and where we will carry out minor building works and repairs and do more decorating to help upgrade it for the residents.”

He thanked 16 local companies and organisations which had rallied to support the effort with sponsorship. The volunteers have helped to raise funds to buy the redundant fire engines from the fire authority.

This will bring to 20, the number of UK redundant fire engines delivered to poor communities in Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service over the last several years.

The convoy of vehicles were “blessed” in a traditional ceremony by brigade chaplain Murray McBride at Shrewsbury fire HQ.

They set off for their ten day trip across eight countries on June 30 arriving back in the UK on July 9.

On route they will stay with fellow firefighters in Germany and Austria before arriving in Romania to deliver the vehicles and equipment to five Romanian communties in Mures county.

The charity trip is being made in support of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, a charity preserving Saxon villages in Romania whose patron is Prince Charles and Mures county fire service in Romania. Some of the fire equipment will be used in rural parts of the Romanian conservation area which have no fire cover.


2nd July, 2014