Shropshire charity Operation Sabre set off to Transylvania in Romania on Wednesday (June 6th) taking three more fully equipped fire engines and several tonnes of humanitarian aid.
The convoy, crewed by 11 volunteer serving and retired firefighters from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and neighbouring fire services, including two Romanian fire officers, received a traditional blessing from Canon Jonathan Mitchell at St Chad’s, next to Shrewsbury Quarry, just before departure.
Canon Jonathan said it was an honour to carry out his fourth blessing of Operation Sabre’s convoys, a blessing that is reciprocated by Romanian Catholic, Presbyterian and Orthodox priests on arrival in Romania.
The convoy will travel 1,700 miles, over five days, through nine countries, before reaching Transylvania.
On arrival, the team will embark upon an intensive training programme with local volunteer firefighters in the communities of Alba and Bihor counties, together with delivering aid to orphanages and old people’s homes.
The team, working alongside Romanian firefighters, will also continue their long-term project of redecorating and refurbishing a special needs home that caters for 80 residents.
The charity’s vice-president and team leader Malcolm Price praised the support of local groups from across Shropshire and the Welsh borders who have generously donated toys, blankets and clothing, all of which will make a huge impact upon the lives of those who have so little.
The team return to the UK on Saturday, June 20 and their daily progress can be viewed via the charity’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/operationsabre
Top image: Retired firefighters and support staff on their way to Romania with more humanitarian aid.