Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has today paid a special private visit to Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Joint Headquarters and Joint Training Centre in Ripley, Derbyshire to celebrate the two emergency services continued collaboration, ‘Making Derbyshire Safer Together’.
HRH was welcomed to the Ripley Headquarters by hosts, Chief Constable Peter Goodman and Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Terry McDermott who alongside the Lord-Lieutenant for Derbyshire, Mr. William Tucker presented the Mayor and Mayoress of Amber Valley, Mr. John Walker and Mrs. Angela Walker and members of staff from across police and fire to HRH.
After the staff presentations and a tour of the building, HRH was escorted to the atrium of the purpose built Joint Headquarters where the Chair of Derbyshire’s Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Kevin Buttery and Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa both welcomed our Royal visitor in the presence of staff viewing from balconies decorated for the special occasion in red, white and blue bunting.
Speaking shortly before the unveiling of a plaque to mark the occasion, Councillor Kevin Buttery said it was an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness to Derbyshire. Cllr. Buttery went on to say; “We are incredibly proud of the working relationship that we have with our police colleagues and feel incredibly privileged that you have taken the time to visit us and celebrate this ongoing collaboration.
“Our common aim of Making Derbyshire Safer Together is reflected in the services we deliver to our communities, whether that be responding to emergencies, protecting the vulnerable, or preventing emergencies from happening.”
Inviting HRH to unveil the commemorative plaque, Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr. Hardyal Dhindsa said: “Both this Headquarters building and the Joint Training Centre are practical demonstrations of our commitment to working together to keep people safe.
“We all hope you find today’s visit both informative and enjoyable and that you leave Derbyshire knowing that collaboration and community safety are at the forefront of everything we do.”
Located either side of the commemorative plaque were official flag bearers from police and fire, Watch Manager Anders Hobson and Police Constable Mark Atterbury who for the first time were jointly presenting the ceremonial colours for police and fire.
Prior to departing Headquarters for the Joint Training Centre (JTC), HRH was presented with a posy by Junior Volunteer Police Cadet Bryn Caldecott and Fire Cadet Grace Freeman, before meeting representatives of the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO).
A short car journey from the Headquarters building saw HRH arrive at the JTC where the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer introduced HRH to Police Superintendent, Claire Hammond and Fire Service Area Manager, Rick Roberts who gave an overview of operational demonstrations including, Tasers, the fire investigation dog Dexter and police digi search dog Woody.
A walk through tour of the JTC brought HRH to the appliance bay where she met with 30 cadets from police and fire before viewing further operational demonstrations and static displays. Live demonstrations included: working at height involving cadets, chemical incident response and drone capability. Static displays included a large animal rescue using a horse mannequin and an armed response vehicle showing the equipment carried on a daily basis.
Included in the visit were further introductions to Life President of Bowmer & Kirkland, Mr. John Kirkland and his partner, Mrs. Ladell Dietrich. Bowmer & Kirkland were the builders for both the Joint Headquarters and Joint Training Centre. Managing Director of Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited, Mr. Marvin Cooke, DL was introduced to HRH in honour of Toyota’s continued partnership with Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service which has seen hundreds of cars donated to the Service to support road traffic collision training.
A final farewell and HRH was on her way to the awaiting helicopter.