His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales officially re-opened Shadwell fire station in east London in celebration of their 150th anniversary.
The Prince watched a firefighter drill, as well as meeting fire cadets, local school children and fire investigation dog, Sherlock.
His Royal Higness also handed the keys of a de-commissioned fire engine over to the High Commissioner of Malta, who will be sending it to the island of Gozo for use by a team of volunteer firefighters who work for a charity called Emergency Rescue Response Corps (ERRC).
As part of the celebratory event, The Prince of Wales also presented a certificates of commendation to eight firefighters in recognition of their life-saving actions at the scene of a serious fire in Walthamstow in April 2015.
The crews quickly extinguished the fire, rescued a man from inside the flat, which was extremely difficult given the amount of smoke inside the property, and gave him first aid, which ultimately saved his life.
‘Thank you for everything that you do for this city’
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales said: “Nothing could give me more pleasure than to open Shadwell Fire Station.
“My warmest congratulations to all of those who are involved on a day-to-day basis in helping to keep London safe.
“I think we are incredibly lucky to have people like yourselves who are prepared to carry out these very difficult tasks and rescues at appalling fires. Thank you for everything that you do in this city.”
London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said: “I’m thrilled that His Royal Highness is helping us to celebrate our 150th anniversary, which is momentous occasion for all at the Brigade.
“There have been firefighters in London since the great fire of 1666 but it was only in 1866 that the London Fire Brigade was officially formed.
“That 150 years has seen vast improvements in how we tackle fires and the number of fires in London is now at an all time low. We look forward to welcoming further advancements and seeing the number of fires and associated injuries and deaths fall even lower.”
Fire investigator, Paul Osborne, met His Royal Highness, and introduced him to fire investigation dog, Sherlock. He said: “It was very humbling to meet a member of Royalty, a real privilege and an honour.
“His Royal Highness was very interested in Sherlock’s role and the fact that arson is still used as a weapon and that thanks to Sherlock, a number of custodial sentences have been brought about.
“Sherlock was very well behaved and didn’t run around too much. Luckily he’s a very placid dog but I think he gave the Prince a lick!”
History of Shadwell fire station
There has been a fire station on Cable Street, where the new station is situated, since 1937, although the history of firefighting in Shadwell dates back to the 1800s, when a parish pump was situated at St Paul’s churchyard.
The new fire station was built as part of the Private Finance Initiative. It is a state-of-the-art station and provides firefighters with modern facilities that meet the demands of a 21st century fire and rescue service.