Prince William personally thanks Britain's life-savers on Emergency Services Day

9 September 2021, 16:29 | Updated: 9 September 2021, 18:58

Prince William thanked emergency services workers and paid tribute to their work
Prince William thanked emergency services workers and paid tribute to their work. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Prince William thanked emergency responders to mark 999 Day and honoured the work of Britain's life-savers.

The Duke of Cambridge was told about their vital work and members of the public spoke about how they were helped in their time of need.

The royal is no stranger to working in life-or-death moments, given his career as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot before he joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Marking Emergency Services Day at the Dockhead Fire Station in South London, the Duke thanked staff for their invaluable work.

Read more: 999 Day: Heroic emergency services honoured for life-changing work

"This #999Day we’re saying a huge thank you to everyone working and volunteering in the emergency services and the NHS," the Kensington Royal account tweeted.

"Today The Duke met some of the incredible people saving lives across the UK, as they were reunited with those that they saved."

The Duke was seen speaking to a young girl, surrounded by emergency workers.

Kensington Royal captioned a photo of the moment: "Meeting... Lila, who was successfully resuscitated by ambulance technician Charlotte Speers, along with fire-fighters Marc Rustage and James Knight, after she collapsed."

Lila Page had been playing around a pub during a meal but returned to her mum looking unwell. When Lila collapsed, off-duty paramedics and firefighters in the pub raced to save her.

The six-year-old said it was "great" to emergency services workers and it was "good" to meet Prince William, and they talked about her heart condition, her sparkly shoes and unicorn watch.

Read more: Prince William 'helped Afghan officer he knew from Sandhurst flee Taliban to Britain'

Prince William also met Ravi, who was rescued by the RNLI after being dragged out to sea - and kept himself alive by remembering the charity's "float to live" advice, keeping himself above water for nearly an hour before a lifeboat crew found him.

He also met two officers from the Met, PC Ryan Legge and PC Ahmet Mavitunali, who saved the life of Noura - then aged six - when her father inflicted terrible injuries on her.

Jolanta, a firefighter, was reunited with Mariam, who she rescued. She told LBC: "It was really special, it wasn't something that I would expect."

Mariam said he was "down to earth" and interested to hear their stories, and that she felt an "immense sense of gratitude" to the emergency services.

"What they do for humanity is immense," she said.

Prince William backs mental health support for emergency services workers through The Royal Foundation.

Alongside the Duke of Cambridge was Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said he was inspired by the stories he had heard.

"We've had the privilege of meeting not just heroic emergency responders but also some of the people whose lives they’ve saved," Mr Khan explained.

He added: "It’s so inspiring to hear these stories and it gives not only the Duke of Cambridge but also me, as the Mayor, a chance to say thank you to our amazing emergency service workers."

Prince William also convened a conference last year – the Emergency Responder Senior Leaders Board – to bring together people in the UK's emergency services and focus specifically on mental health support.

The issue especially came to the fore after the Covid outbreak last year, when images of overworked medics were broadcast around the world, and the public heard stories of how doctors and nurses coped with experiencing skyrocketing deaths in hospitals.