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Princess Royal opens new Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service training centre and fire station in Huntingdon





More than 100 colleagues, contractors and civic dignitaries welcomed the Princess Royal for the new official opening of a new fire station and service training centre in Cambridgeshire.

Princess Anne was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, on her visit to the site in Huntingdon last Wednesday (November 29), and introduced to fire authority chair Edna Murphy, deputy chief executive for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) Matthew Warren, and assistant chief fire officer Jon Anderson, among other representatives, before touring the new fire station and training centre.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

Her Royal Highness was guided by group commander Simon Thompson. First to meet HRH were employees from the fire service involved in the project, as well as contractors including Artisan and Crofton Engineering, who designed and built the fire station and training buildings respectively.

The princess was treated to three demonstrations by firefighters and training centre instructors, showing rope rescue, road traffic collision and large animal rescue techniques.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

This included a horse rescue from a water-filled ditch to replicate the unique challenges Cambridgeshire firefighters face with the large number of waterways in the county.

The tour also included meeting on-call firefighters, the community safety team, representatives from support groups and Year 10 students from Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon who have designed a piece of artwork for one of the conference rooms. Mr Warren thanked those involved in the project for their hard work, before the royal guest unveiled a commemorative plaque and expressed how much she had enjoyed her tour and meeting everyone involved.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

Evlyn, 8, and Keevah, 11, whose fathers work at the fire station, presented Her Royal Highness with a posy to conclude the event.

Mr Warren said: “It was a perfect event to officially open our new replacement fire station in Huntingdon and the service’s new training facility, and an opportunity for us to properly thank everyone who has been involved in this project.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

“So much time, effort and hard work has gone into this new build by so many people and it was fantastic to stand in front of everyone today and collectively thank them in person.

“Having Her Royal Highness with us to meet everyone, learn more about our fire and rescue service and unveil a commemorative plaque made it particularly special and something that everyone will remember and talk about for a long time.”

Cllr Edna Murphy, chair of the fire authority, added: “It was very special to be able to demonstrate the work of our fire and rescue service to Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.

“I know how long and how much the service has wanted a new training facility that was fit for a modern-day fire and rescue service and so it is wonderful to see it complete and showcased today.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the new Huntingdon fire station and service training centre for a tour and to officially open the building with the unveiling of a plaque. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

“I’d also like to thank everyone involved in the project for all their hard work.”

Outside the station, members of the Fire Brigades’ Union took to the streets to protest against what they say is a ‘dangerous’ reduction to fire crews in Cambridgeshire.

The number of on-call firefighters was changed to three per crew in January as part of a trial. Five firefighters are recommended where lives are at risk. The fire service says the change enables it to serve rural areas better and more quickly.



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