HRH The Prince of Wales is “proud” his charity has trained apprentices who are helping build new fire engines said to be the most advanced in the world.
Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, met staff and apprentices, including Prince’s Trust members, from Emergency One (E1). The Scottish company is building the new specially-designed fire engine fleet for the London Fire Brigade, under sub contract from Babcock International.
Speaking after he had examined the prototype vehicle at the event launching the new fleet at Dumfries House in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, Charles said: “I was immensely impressed to hear about the success of the company in winning this particular contract. I would like to congratulate all of you most warmly for all the work which has gone into producing such an incredible high-quality appliance.”
Charles continued: “I’m also thrilled to that my Prince’s Trust has helped, too, in various ways to ensure that there is still a number of young people coming in who can take on apprenticeships in the company and nothing could give me greater pleasure or pride than knowing that my Trust has helped in this way.”
He said he would “give a little cheer” every time he sees one of the engines in London as it will remind him of Cumnock where the E1 factory is based, joking, “even if I can’t get through the traffic because of it”.
London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ron Dobson said the new engines are the “most advanced in the world” – designed to be quicker, safer and easier to operate, and to have less impact on the environment as they have lower emissions.
E1 was chosen from firms across Europe for the new contract, which Managing Director Mike Madsen said is the “most prestigious” in its history, adding the apprenticeship programme in conjunction with the Prince’s Trust is the “envy of the industry”.
Charles is the Great Steward of the Dumfries House Trust and launched his own engineering centre at the 18th-century stately home and estate last year aimed at boosting science, technology, engineering and maths subjects among schoolchildren.
He helped to save the house, its land and contents, including a priceless art collection, from being broken up by leading a consortium of charities and heritage bodies which bought the house and estate in 2007 and it opened to the public a year later.
For more information please vist www.emergencyone.co.uk