Princess Alexandra, deputy president of the British Red Cross Society, met firefighters and Red Cross volunteers at royal visit to Falmouth Fire Station on Thursday.
Her Royal Highness met volunteers and staff from the charity’s fire and emergency support (FES) service, fire fighters from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and local dignitaries during the visit.
During the visit Princess Alexandra watched an exercise involving members of the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and Red Cross volunteers.
Princess Alexandra was escorted by Des Tidbury, chief fire officer for Cornwall, and Rosie Jackson, president of the Red Cross in Cornwall, and met a group of young people involved in the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix Project.
Princess Alexandra was also shown around the FES vehicle which has been specially adapted to support people during emergencies such as house fires.
Richard Williams, FES coordinator at the Red Cross in Cornwall, said: “I was impressed by the level of knowledge Princess Alexandra already had about our service and the interest she expressed. I am very pleased with the support she has shown by visiting today. I hope that, as a result, we can get more local people interested in finding out about the service and joining our team of dedicated volunteers.”
When people are affected by a serious incident or emergency, Red Cross volunteers -equipped with a specially adapted vehicle – respond around the clock. Trained to provide practical and emotional support, they care for those affected while the emergency services get on with their jobs.
Shaun Roberts, station manager at Falmouth Fire Station, said: “A great deal of preparation went into this visit and we were rewarded by the positive attitude that Her Royal Highness showed towards everyone. She was really interested in everything that was going on and asked lots of questions. Hopefully her visit will help the Red Cross to get the support it needs from new volunteers.”
Since the Cornwall FES service was launched in December 2012 it has responded to 75 emergencies, helping 80 people. The service is only possible thanks to the generous donations of people throughout Cornwall and a team of hard-working local fundraisers who spent two years organising everything from tea parties to comedy nights to raise the £40,000 needed for the brand new vehicle. The Red Cross is now recruiting for new volunteers to add to the existing team of 25.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering for FES, call Richard Williams on 01872 267960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the Red Cross visit: redcross.org.uk