Prince Charles has officially opened the rebuilt Shadwell Fire Station in celebration of London Fire Brigade’s 150th anniversary.
The Prince Of Wales arrived at the building on Cable Street to take a tour of the premises while meeting firefighters, officers, cadets and pupils from Blue Gate Fields Junior School, who gave the royal a brief lesson in fire safety.
He also witnessed a fire drill demonstration, with firefighters simulating a rescue with the aid of Sherlock the fire investigation dog.
Prince Charles 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.”
The fire station was one of nine that have been rebuilt as part of a PFI project and has been turned into a state-of-the-art building with more modern facilities.
One of the people Prince Charles spoke to was Paul Osborne, a fire investigation officer at London Fire Brigade and Sherlock’s handler.
He said: “It was obviously a very humbling moment for me to meet a member of royalty, I’m a complete royalist so it’s a real privilege and an honour to be invited by various dignitaries here today.
“I don’t think Sherlock was that overwhelmed, which was nice because I was in fear for my uniform and what he might do to the prince.
“He’s a very placid dog so I think the only thing the prince would have got was a lick but he was very well behaved.”
When asked what the prince said to him, Paul said: “He was very interested in what Sherlock’s role was and the fact that arson is still used as a weapon in a lot of different cultures.
“He was very interested in the fact that Sherlock’s role was very positive in terms of getting custodial sentences for people who have been up to no good.
“Sherlock doesn’t just protect us and save lives but he also helps to identify what has caused the fire and bring people to justice.”
Towards the end of his visit, Prince Charles handed over the keys of a previously decommissioned fire engine to the high commissioner of Malta.
The vehicle will be run by a team of volunteer firefighters on the island of Gozo.
And the Prince presented the Outstanding Rescue Award to eight firefighters who rescued a man from a serious fire in Walthamstow in April 2015.
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