Being part of history

A community hero who saves lives in his role with the fire service says it was the honour of a life-time to be part of the King’s Coronation ceremony.

Dedicated Ryan Young, 28, works full time as a member of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) Prevention and Education district team.

He spends his days helping keep the most vulnerable in society safe but, in his spare time, he volunteers for three other uniformed services.

Ryan, from South Tyneside, volunteers as a Special Constable with Northumbria Police and an Emergency Ambulance Crew at St John’s Ambulance.

He is also a reservist with the British Army and it was in this capacity that saw him involved in the King’s Coronation ceremony at the weekend.

Ryan is based out of 103 Field Squadron in Newcastle, which form parts of 71 Engineer Regiment.

He was selected to be part of the procession to mark the Coronation of King Charles III, marching from Westminster Abbey all the way to Buckingham Palace.

The proud volunteer also had to perform a rifle drill in the Palace garden alongside representatives from commonwealth countries from around the world.

He has spent the last three weeks rehearsing at night in London, at Sandhurst, and at RAF Odium, making sure he is ready for the big day.

Today (Tuesday) Ryan said, “It’s been a tough few weeks practising the drills and marching and the spacing, there is so much to remember.

“Knowing that the eyes of the world were going to be on me did make it quiet daunting and we’ve been practising overnight when it’s been quite in London which is strange.

“People started queuing for spaces to watch the day’s pageantry about a week before so they saw us practising so when it all came together I knew it will be an impressive sight to behold.

“I think there were 6,000 people taking part in the parade, there are people from across the world coming to take part which is incredible.

“On Coronation day, we were brought in by train at about 2am from where we were staying just outside of London, we came into Waterloo and people were clapping for us already it was such a great thing to see.

“It was such an unbelievable event to be involved in and the memories will stay with me for a life time.”

It is the third royal event Ryan has been involved in over the last 12 months after working the Platinum Jubilee in his volunteer role at St John’s Ambulance.

And in September he travelled to Windsor with TWFRS to provide additional support for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service at the funeral Queen Elizabeth II.

Group Manager Steve Thomas, Head of TWFRS’s Prevention and Education Department, said: “Ryan is a fantastic asset to the Service and his dedication to his communities cannot be questioned.

“He has the compassion and empathy we look for in all employees at the fire service and his voluntary work speaks volumes for the kind of person he is.”

Why not follow in Ryan’s footsteps and visit the ‘Work for Us’ section of the TWFRS website to find out more about job and volunteering opportunities.