On Tuesday of this week, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attended the Protection Fair in Sweden and awarded perhaps the most unusual prize she has ever awarded – a gold fire hydrant! The magazine Swedish Firefighter is behind the award which seeks to promote development, innovation and good co-operation within the emergency service organisations. The award was given to the Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade, who also receive a cash prize; other nominees were Southern Alvsborgs Rescue Service Association and Hoganas Civil Protection.
One of a number of fire brigades within Stockholm, the Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade is the largest Fire Brigade in Sweden with a total of twenty-seven fire stations of which about half are manned 24/7, and the rest have all or part retained crews or are daytime only stations. The Southern Alvsborgs Rescue Service operates in the Gothenburg area, and Hoganas is a small town in Skåne County and the centre of the porcelain industry within Sweden.
The Protection Fair has been going since 1969, meaning next year will be its Golden Anniversary. It is the largest fair of its kind in Northern Europe; this year about three thousand visitors attended and looked around stalls from two hundred & fifty exhibitors. Swedish Firefighter magazine is a trade publication which seeks to promote the good work that Swedish Fire & Rescue workers do when they go about their daily jobs.
Crown Princess Victoria is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne and has the title Duchess of Västergötland – a historic province within Sweden. She is one of only three heir-apparents across the world who are female, the others being her god-daughter Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange in the Netherlands, and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant in Belgium. The visit to the exhibition was one of many engagements the Crown Princess makes as a member of the Swedish Royal Family.